Prototype L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar on Low-altitude / Near-ground Platforms

2020-01-16T19:50:45Z (GMT) by Man Chung Chim
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a technique to synthesize a large antenna array using the motion of a small antenna. When it comes to remote sensing, mapping, and change detection, SAR has been shown to be a good candidate by its ability to penetrate moisture and vegetation, and the avilibility of phase information for precise interferometric measurements [1] [13].

This study was motivated by the fact that satellite and high-altitude SAR has limited data availability in terms of temporal resolution and the cost of every measurement. It is believed that SAR systems mounted on smaller UAV or ground vehicles could provide a much better coverage of the target in time, and in di erent geometry.

We proposed a L-band SAR system based on Software-Defi ned Radio to be mounted on automotive platform. Novel motion estimation and compensation, as well as autofocusing techniques were developed to aid the SAR signal processing under much more demanding environment - the instability of radar platforms. It is expected this research development could bring down the cost of SAR being used as a remote sensing solution, and allow SAR system to be mounted on much smaller platforms by overcoming the instability of the track using novel signal processing methods, and eventually making SAR measurement available in places and times that was previously impossible.