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Challenges in very high resolution imaging of satellites and objects in space
Author(s): M. Jirousek; S. Anger; S. Dill; M. Peichl
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Paper Abstract

Space debris nowadays is one of the main threats for satellite systems especially in low earth orbit (LEO). More than 700,000 debris objects with potential to destroy or damage a satellite are estimated. The effects of an impact often are not identifiable directly from ground. High-resolution radar images are helpful in analyzing a possible damage. Furthermore investigations on unknown space objects or satellites can be performed. Therefor DLR is currently developing a radar system called IoSiS (Imaging of Satellites in Space), being based on an existing steering antenna structure and our multipurpose high-performance radar system GigaRad for experimental investigations. GigaRad is a multi-channel system operating at X band and using a bandwidth of up to 4.4 GHz in the IoSiS configuration, providing fully separated transmit (TX) and receive (RX) channels, and separated antennas. For the observation of small satellites or space debris a high-power traveling-wave-tube amplifier (TWTA) is mounted close to the TX antenna feed. For the experimental phase IoSiS uses a 9 m TX and a 1.8 m RX antenna mounted on a common steerable positioner. High-resolution radar images are obtained by using Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) techniques. The guided tracking of known objects during orbit pass allows here wide azimuth observation angles. Thus high azimuth resolution comparable to the range resolution can be achieved. This paper outlines technical main characteristics of the IoSiS radar system. It shows the main error sources and solutions as well as the calibration effort to generate the first centimeter-resolution radar image observed with IoSIS.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 11003, Radar Sensor Technology XXIII, 1100312 (3 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2518632
Show Author Affiliations
M. Jirousek, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
S. Anger, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
S. Dill, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
M. Peichl, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11003:
Radar Sensor Technology XXIII
Kenneth I. Ranney; Armin Doerry, Editor(s)

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