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Proceedings Paper

Millimeter-wave interferometric SAR and polarimetry
Author(s): Stephan Boehmsdorff; Helmut Essen; Hartmuf Schimpf; Alfred Wahlen
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Paper Abstract

Using synthetic aperture radars with appropriate signal processing algorithms is a recognized technique for remote sensing applications. A wide spectrum of radar frequencies is used and a high degree of sophistication implies polarimetric and further multichannel approaches. Each frequency band used, exhibits special sensitivities to features of the earth's surface or man-made targets. This is mostly due to the coupling of the electromagnetic waves to backscattering geometries which are related to the radarwavelength. A part of the spectrum which has been covered not very intensely is the millimeterwave region. This may be mostly due to the relatively high atmospheric absorption at millimeterwaves which obstructs the use of such sensors for long range applications. On the other hand for military applications IR-imaging sensors are widely used which suffer even more from adverse transmission properties of the atmosphere. Application of multichannel techniques as polarimetry, multifrequency techniques and interferometry are also done with more ease due to compactness of the hardware and simplicity of processing. As there exist no data which would allow to investigate the potential of multifrequency polarimetric and interferometric mmW-SAR the Millimeterwave Experimental Multifrequency Polarimetric High Resolution Interferometric Imaging System was installed into an aircraft C-160 `Transall' to gather respective data over different land scenarios. The off-line evaluation of the radar data starts with off-line track, calibration and reformatting procedures. Afterwards synthetic aperture processing is applied to these data to generate radar images for co- and cross-polarization at 35 GHz and 94 GHz. As already mentioned above, SAR-processing at millimeterwavelengths requires a considerable lower amount of sophistication in comparison with algorithms applied at lower radar-frequencies. This can mainly be attributed to the short aperture length at mm-wave frequencies. Taking this into account, the SAR-algorithm used here is relatively simple although fully automatic autofocussing is applied, using only radar-data without supply of external INS information. The interferometric evaluation uses phase unwrapping techniques tailored to the high resolution achieved at mm-waves. The paper describes experiments with the interferometric 35/94-GHz-SAR, describes the IFSAR and phase unwrapping algorithms as well as polarimetric segmentation approaches and shows respective results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3375, Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation IV, (7 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.327173
Show Author Affiliations
Stephan Boehmsdorff, FGAN Research Institute for High-Frequency Physics (Germany)
Helmut Essen, FGAN Research Institute for High-Frequency Physics (Germany)
Hartmuf Schimpf, FGAN Research Institute for High-Frequency Physics (Germany)
Alfred Wahlen, FGAN Research Institute for High-Frequency Physics (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3375:
Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation IV
Wendell R. Watkins; Dieter Clement, Editor(s)

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