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17 June 1996 Remote sensing of land scenarios with an airborne 94-GHz synthetic aperture radar
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The scattering process of electromagnetic waves is dominated by the match between wavelength and the geometric dimensions of surface structures. With respect to the microwave radar bands millimeter-waves are better matched to small surface features of terrain. Therefore this frequency band is able to gain additional information on the terrain of interest. For high resolution imaging SAR is the favorite solution also for millimeter-wave frequencies. Compared to more classical radar bands millimeter-waves offer advantages in the SAR processing, because due to the higher primary resolution at a given antenna aperture sources of image distortions such as range migration or depth of focus can be neglected at these frequencies. Moreover the inherently short aperture time for a given resolution improves the relation to the time constant of flight instabilities and makes motion compensation a simple process. A coherent, polarimetric, high range resolution radar, operating at a nominal frequency of 94 GHz, has been installed onboard an aircraft to allow remote sensing measurements in a side looking synthetic aperture approach. The radar-raw-data were registered together with time code and inertial data of the aircraft and later on evaluated by an off-line SAR-processor. The resulting images then had to undergo an automatic recognition process to extract certain complex targets using a knowledge based production system. The paper describes the measurement system and discusses the evaluation procedures with emphasis on the applied SAR algorithm. Examples of radar images at 94 GHz are shown and samples of pattern recognition derived from the SAR images are shown.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Helmut Essen, R. Makaruschka, and E. Peter Baars "Remote sensing of land scenarios with an airborne 94-GHz synthetic aperture radar", Proc. SPIE 2742, Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II, (17 June 1996);


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