Motivation and applications
Existing spectral estimation approaches
Relationship to phased arrays
Synthetic Aperture Radar is a form of radar that is used to create 2 or 3dimensional images of
objects, such as landscapes.
Uses the motion of the radar antenna and mounted on Moving Platform
target in the time taken for the radar pulses to return to the antenna creates the large
"synthetic“ antenna aperture.
To create a SAR image, successive pulses of radio waves are transmitted to "illuminate" a target
the echo of each pulse is received and recorded.
the antenna location relative to the target changes with time.
Current (2010) airborne systems provide resolutions of about 10 cm, ultra wideband systems
provide resolution of about 10 cm
Ultra wideband systems provide resolutions of a few millimetres and experimental terahertz SAR
has provided submillimetre resolution in the laboratory.
4. Motivation and applications
The properties of SAR can be described as having high resolution capability
SAR also have a great day and night imaging capability
SAR images have wide applications in remote sensing and mapping of the surfaces of both the
Earth and other planets.
Some of the other important applications of SAR are topography, oceanography, glaciology, geology
5. Basic Principle
Electromagnetic waves are sequentially transmitted and reflected echoes are
collected, digitized and stored by the radar antenna for later processing.
As transmission and reception occur at different time, they map to different
combination of the received signals builds a virtual aperture that is much longer
than the physical antenna length.
The range direction is parallel to flight track and perpendicular to azimuth
The 3D processing is done in two steps:
generation of 2D (azimuth range) high resolution images
digital elevation model (DEM)
In addition to this, multiple baselines can be used to extend 3D imaging to the time
A three dimensional array (a volume) of scene elements is defined which will represent the volume of
space within which targets exist
Initially, the SAR gives each voxel a density of zero.
Then, for each captured waveform, the entire volume is iterated.
For a given waveform and voxel, the distance from the position represented by the voxel to the
antenna(e) used to capture that waveform is calculated.
The sample value at that position in the waveform is then added to the voxel's density value.
This represents a possible echo from a target at that position.
After all waveforms have been iterated over all voxels, the basic SAR processing is complete.
What remains, in the simplest approach, is to decide what voxel density value represents a solid object.
Thus to detect a point on a target, there must be at least two different antenna echoes from that point
Consequently, there is a need for large numbers of antenna positions to properly characterize a target.
The voxels that passed the threshold criteria are visualized in 2D or 3D.
7. Existing spectral estimation approaches
Synthetic Aperture Radar determines the 3D reflectivity from measured SAR data.
SAR image stack are sampled version of the Fourier transform of reflectivity in elevation direction.
Thus the spectral estimation techniques are used to improve the resolution, reduce speckle
1. Nonparametric methods
- FFT :
- FFT is one such method which is used in majority of the spectral estimation algorithms
and there are many fast
algorithms for computing the multidimensional discrete Fourier transform
- A branch of finite multidimensional linear algebra, is used to identify similarities and
differences among various FFT
algorithm variants and also to create new variants.
- The FFT implementation is essentially a realization of the mapping of the mathematical
generation of the variants and executing matrix operations.
8. Advantages of FFT method :
it is easier to identify mapping between computing structures and
mathematical expressions and thus better than conventional methods.
- reducing the computational effort and improve their implementation time.
Disadvantages of FFT method :
- FFT cannot separate sinusoids closer in frequency. Also if the periodicity of
the data does not match FFT,
edge effects are seen
Other methods are Capon Method and Apes Method
9. Parametric subspace decomposition methods
- This subspace decomposition method separates the eigenvectors of the
autocovariance matrix into those
corresponding to signals and to clutter.
- Shows features of image more accurately
- High computational complexity.
- Radar waves have a polarization.
- but anisotropic materials such as grass often reflect different
polarizations with different intensities.
- Interpretation of the resulting colors requires significant testing
- Examples include subterranean tunneling or paths of vehicles
driving through the area being imaged.
- SAR polarimetry is a technique used for deriving qualitative and
Quantitative physical information for land, snow and ice, ocean
and urban Applications
Fig . SAR image of Death Valley
colored using polarimetry
- Rather than discarding the phase data, information can be extracted from it
- If the two samples are obtained simultaneously then any phase difference
will contain information about the angle from which the radar echo returned.
- Differential interferometry Differential interferometry (DInSAR) requires taking
at least two images with addition of a DEM. The DEM can be either produced by
GPS measurements or could be generated by interferometry as long as the time
between acquisition of the image pairs is short.
13. Typical application Of SAR
- In a typical SAR application, a single radar antenna is attached to an aircraft
- Resolution in the range dimension of the image is accomplished by creating
pulses which define very short time intervals, either by emitting short pulses.
- The total signal is that from a beamwidth sized patch of the ground.
- The process can be thought of as combining the series of spatially distributed
observations as if all had been made simultaneously with an antenna as long as
the beamwidth and focused on that particular point.
- Image resolution of SAR in its range coordinate (expressed in image pixels per distance unit) is m
proportional to the radio bandwidth of whatever type of pulse is used.
14. Image appearance
- The two dimensions of a radar image are range and cross range
- Because slant ranges to level terrain vary in vertical angle, each elevation
of such terrain appears as a curved surface
- Fine resolution radar images of small areas can appear most nearly like
familiar optical ones
- An important fact that applies to SARs but not to real aperture radars is that the direction of overlay of any
scene point is not directly toward the radar, but toward that point of the SAR's current path direction that is
nearest to the target point.
- Objects in motion within a SAR scene alter the Doppler frequencies of the returns.
- These considerations, along with the speckle structure due to coherence, take some getting used to in order t
correctly interpret SAR images.
15. Relationship to phased arrays
- A technique closely related to SAR uses an array (referred to as a "phased array") of real antenna elem
spatially distributed over either one or two dimensions perpendicular to the radar range Dimension.
- In comparison, a SAR's (commonly) single physical antenna element gathers signals at different position
- Core of these both : distance that radar waves travel to and back from each scene element consist of s
integer number of wavelengths plus some fraction of a "final“ wavelength.
- Every wave scattered from any point in the scene has a circular curvature about that point as a center.
16. Data collection
- Synthetic aperture radar was first used by NASA on JPL's Seasat oceanographic satellite in 1978
- In the 1980s, as a prototype for instruments to be flown on the NASA Space Shuttles
- The Venera 15 and Venera 16 followed later by the Magellan space probe mapped the
surface of Venus over several years using synthetic aperture radar.
- The Mineseeker Project is designing a system for determining whether regions contain
landmines based on a blimp carrying ultrawideband synthetic aperture radar.
- SAR has been used in radio astronomy for many years to simulate a large radio telescope
by combining observations taken from multiple locations using a mobile antenna.
- The Alaska Satellite Facility provides production, archiving and distribution to the scientific community of SAR d
- CSTARS downlinks and processes SAR data (as well as other data) from a variety of satellites
A model of a German SARLup
inside a Cosmos3M