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Proceedings Paper

Optical SAR processor for space applications
Author(s): Pascal Bourqui; Bernd Harnisch; Linda Marchese; Alain Bergeron
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Paper Abstract

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems typically generate copious amounts of data in the form of complex values difficult to compress. Processing this data provides real-valued images that are easier to compress, however comprehensive processing capabilities are required. Optical processor architectures provide inherent parallel computing capabilities that could be used advantageously for SAR data processing. Onboard SAR image generation would provide local access to processed information paving the way for real-time decisions. This could also provide benefits to navigation strategy or automatic instruments orientation. Moreover, for interplanetary missions or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), onboard analysis of images could provide important feature identification clues and could help select the appropriate images to be transmitted to the ground (Earth). This would reduce the data throughput requirements and the related transmission bandwidth. This paper reviews the preliminary work performed for the analysis of SAR image generation using an optical processor and describes the set-up of an optical SAR processor prototype. Results of optical reconstruction of SAR signals acquired with a state-of-the-art SAR satellite are presented. Real-time processing capabilities and dynamic range calculations for a tracking optical processor architecture are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6958, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications II, 69580J (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778047
Show Author Affiliations
Pascal Bourqui, INO (Canada)
Bernd Harnisch, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Linda Marchese, INO (Canada)
Alain Bergeron, INO (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6958:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications II
Richard T. Howard; Pejmun Motaghedi, Editor(s)

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