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Proceedings Paper

X-SAR as high-performance interferometric SAR
Author(s): Marian U. Werner; Josef Schandl
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Paper Abstract

In April and October 1994 the X-SAR radar has been flown twice onboard the Space Shuttle, as part of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1 and SRL-2). This radar payload is the first synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system of its kind in space, with three frequencies, multi- polarization, variable incidence angle and variable modes of operation. SIR-C/X-SAR, the new generation of imaging microwave remote sensing sensors from space, demonstrated successfully repeat pass interferometry in all three frequencies with a one day repeat as well as a six month repeat orbit. The major problems with the repeat orbit interferometry are the temporal target decorrelation, unsuitable baseline and different squint angles for the two passes to be processed. Therefore, for the third mission of the Space Radar Lab which shall be called SRTM (shuttle radar topographic mapper), single pass interferometry with a second receive antenna is proposed to generate a topographic map of all land surfaces between +60 degrees and -56 degrees latitude. X-SAR's 12 meter long and 40 cm wide main transmit and receive antenna is mounted directly to a tiltable part of the SIR-C antenna truss structure in the Shuttle cargo bay. The second receive antenna is 6 meters long and is mounted together with the second C-band antenna to a 31 meter long deployable boom structure perpendicular to the velocity direction to build the baseline. X-SAR is not capable of operating in a scan SAR model like SIR-C to allow continuous coverage, but will operate in a high resolution mode with a swath width of 30 - 35 km. The engineering design of the interferometric configuration for X-SAR, the requirement specifications, and the predicted performance as well as the mission operation aspects are described in this paper. SIR-C/X- SAR is a cooperative project. The SIR-C instrument was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The X-band radar (X-SAR) was developed by the Dornier and Alenia Spazio Companies for the German Space Agency (DARA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), with the Deutsche Forshcungsanstalt fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), as the major partner in science, operations, and data processing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2584, Synthetic Aperture Radar and Passive Microwave Sensing, (21 November 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.227146
Show Author Affiliations
Marian U. Werner, German Aerospace Research Establishment (Germany)
Josef Schandl, German Aerospace Research Establishment (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2584:
Synthetic Aperture Radar and Passive Microwave Sensing
Giorgio Franceschetti; Christopher John Oliver; James C. Shiue; Shahram Tajbakhsh, Editor(s)

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