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3 May 2012 3-D synthetic aperture processing on high-frequency wide-beam microwave systems
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The use of High-Frequency MicroWaves (HFMW) for high-resolution imagery has gained interest over the last years. Very promising in-depth applications can be foreseen for composite non-metal, non-polarized materials, widely used in the aeronautic and aerospace industries. Most of these materials present a high transparency in the HFMW range and, therefore, defects, delaminations or occlusions within the material can be located. This property can be exploited by applying 3-D HFMW imaging where conventional focused imaging systems are typically used but a different approach such as Synthetic Aperture (SA) radar can be addressed. This paper will present an end-to-end 3-D imagery system for short-range, non-destructive testing based on a frequency-modulated continuous-wave HFMWsensor operating at 100 GHz, implying no health concerns to the human body as well as relatively low cost and limited power requirements. The sensor scans the material while moving sequentially in every elevation plane following a 2-D grid and uses a significantly wide beam antenna for data acquisition, in contrast to focused systems. Collected data must be coherently combined using a SA algorithm to form focused images. Range-independent, synthetically improved cross-range resolutions are remarkable added values of SA processing. Such algorithms can be found in the literature and operate in the time or frequency domains, being the former computationally impractical and the latter the best option for in-depth 3-D imaging. A balanced trade-off between performance and image focusing quality is investigated for several SA algorithms.
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Edison Cristofani, Anna Brook, and Marijke Vandewal "3-D synthetic aperture processing on high-frequency wide-beam microwave systems", Proc. SPIE 8361, Radar Sensor Technology XVI, 83610E (3 May 2012);

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