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Focusing of airborne synthetic aperture radar data from highly nonlinear flight tracks


Frey, O; Magnard, C; Rüegg, M; Meier, E (2009). Focusing of airborne synthetic aperture radar data from highly nonlinear flight tracks. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47(6):1844 -1858.

Abstract

Standard focusing of data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) assumes a straight recording track of the sensor platform. Small nonlinearities of airborne platform tracks are corrected for during a motion-compensation step while maintaining the assumption of a linear flight path. This paper describes the processing of SAR data acquired from nonlinear tracks, typical of sensors mounted on small aircraft or drones flying at low altitude. Such aircraft do not fly along straight tracks, but the trajectory depends on topography, influences of weather and wind, or the shape of areas of interest such as rivers or traffic routes. Two potential approaches for processing SAR data from such highly nonlinear flight tracks are proposed, namely, a patchwise frequency-domain processing and mosaicking technique and a time-domain back-projection-based technique. Both are evaluated with the help of experimental data featuring tracks with altitude changes, a double bend, a 90$^{circ}$ curve, and a linear flight track. In order to assess the quality of the focused data, close-ups of amplitude images are compared, impulse response functions of a point target are analyzed, and the coherence is evaluated. The experimental data were acquired by the German Aerospace Center's E-SAR L-band system.

Abstract

Standard focusing of data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) assumes a straight recording track of the sensor platform. Small nonlinearities of airborne platform tracks are corrected for during a motion-compensation step while maintaining the assumption of a linear flight path. This paper describes the processing of SAR data acquired from nonlinear tracks, typical of sensors mounted on small aircraft or drones flying at low altitude. Such aircraft do not fly along straight tracks, but the trajectory depends on topography, influences of weather and wind, or the shape of areas of interest such as rivers or traffic routes. Two potential approaches for processing SAR data from such highly nonlinear flight tracks are proposed, namely, a patchwise frequency-domain processing and mosaicking technique and a time-domain back-projection-based technique. Both are evaluated with the help of experimental data featuring tracks with altitude changes, a double bend, a 90$^{circ}$ curve, and a linear flight track. In order to assess the quality of the focused data, close-ups of amplitude images are compared, impulse response functions of a point target are analyzed, and the coherence is evaluated. The experimental data were acquired by the German Aerospace Center's E-SAR L-band system.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:10 Jun 2009 11:05
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 19:50
Publisher:IEEE
ISSN:0196-2892
Additional Information:© 2009 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TGRS.2008.2007591
Official URL:http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4812049&isnumber=4939375

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