HydroSAR training: Extracting flood information from SAR

Date 26 Jan 2021 to 29 Jan 2021
Contact Persons servirhkh@icimod.org
Type Training


Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) uses powerful microwave technologies and has cloud-penetrating, all-day data acquisition capabilities through persistent rain and cloud cover, allowing regular mapping of floods in affected areas. Radar signals interact differently with the surface than other sensing systems, providing new information on the observed environment including applications in flood inundation and depth measurement. Floods impact tens of millions of people each year and cause significant infrastructure damage in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Improvements in estimating the flood extent and depth to communicate actionable information to those at-risk and to emergency responders have substantial lifesaving and monetary benefits. 

In this context, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be conducting this training, within the framework of ICIMOD’s SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) initiative, and as part of the institutional capacity building efforts with the NASA’s SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. 

The training will cover a wide range of topics, including fundamentals of SAR remote sensing, OpenSARlab, flood extent and depth mapping algorithms and hands-on exercises.


This training aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge to professionals from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal in using SAR data and its application to extract flood information. 

Expected Outcomes

Upon completion of the training, participants will have a better understanding of the concepts and general applications of SAR data for flood mapping, enabling them to use the knowledge professionally and replicate it in their countries. 

Expected Participants

A total of 20 professionals from HKH countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal with backgrounds in remote sensing and geographic information systems will be participating in this training.

Resource persons and facilitators

University of Alaska Fairbanks: Franz J Meyer

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center: Andrew Molthan, Lori Schultz, Jordan Bell

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Batuhan Osmanoglu, MinJeong Jo

ICIMOD: Rajesh Thapa, Mir Matin, Karma Tsering, Birendra Bajracharya

  • Agenda

Downloadable resources

List of participants

Recorded sessions


SERVIR connects space to village by helping developing countries use satellite data to address challenges in food security, water resources, weather and climate, land use, and natural disasters. A partnership of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and leading technical organizations, SERVIR develops innovative solutions to improve livelihoods and foster self-reliance in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya

ICIMOD implements the SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) Initiative – one of five regional hubs of the SERVIR network – in its regional member countries, prioritizing activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.