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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of polar formatting and back-projection algorithms for spotlight-mode SAR image formation
Author(s): Charles V. Jakowatz; Neall Doren
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Paper Abstract

The convolution/back-projection (CBP) algorithm has recently once again been touted as the "gold standard" for spotlight-mode SAR image formation, as it is proclaimed to achieve better image quality than the well-known and often employed polar formatting algorithm (PFA). In addition, it has been suggested that PFA is less flexible than CBP in that PFA can only compute the SAR image on one grid and PFA cannot add or subtract pulses from the imaging process. The argument for CBP acknowledges the computational burden of CBP compared to PFA, but asserts that the increased image accuracy and flexibility of the formation process is warranted, at least in some imaging scenarios. Because CBP can now be sped up by the proper algorithm design, it becomes, according to this line of analysis, the clear algorithm of choice for SAR image formation. In this paper we reject the above conclusion by showing that PFA and CBP achieve the same image quality, and that PFA has complete flexibility, including choice of imaging plane, size of illuminated beam area to be imaged, resolution of the image, and others. We demonstrate these claims via formation of both simulated and real SAR imagery using both algorithms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6237, Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery XIII, 62370H (17 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673249
Show Author Affiliations
Charles V. Jakowatz, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Neall Doren, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6237:
Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery XIII
Edmund G. Zelnio; Frederick D. Garber, Editor(s)

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