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Proceedings Paper

Exploitation Of Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery
Author(s): L. C. Graham
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Paper Abstract

Synthetic aperture radars are now operational in both military and commercial applications. They provide detailed images of terrain, regardless of cloud cover and natural illumination, and in an electromagnetic spectrum not exploited by other high-resolution sensors. Because synthetic aperture radar is a microwave range-measuring sensor, the imagery is basically a two-dimensional record of the microwave backscattering strength of the terrain surface and objects placed on it. The two dimensions are distance along and from the flightpath of the aircraft carrying the radar. Elevation displacements parallel those of optics but are different in magnitude and direction, particularly from objects with arbitrarily oriented surfaces. Longer wavelengths than those used in optical and infrared sensors cause more specular reflection effects in radar imagery. Exploitation begins by understanding these unique image characteristics and applying them to recognizing or inferring the nature of the objects and surfaces which scattered or reflected the radar illuminating energy back to the sensor. Special techniques used in radar image exploitation include detection theory, digital and optical image formation, wide dynamic range displays through color and hologram viewing, shadow analysis, stereo viewing, dichotomous keys, change detection, synergistic fusion with other sensor data, and the application of earth sciences fundamentals.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 1976
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0079, Aerial Reconnaissance Systems: Pods/Aircraft I, (8 September 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.954809
Show Author Affiliations
L. C. Graham, Goodyear Aerospace Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0079:
Aerial Reconnaissance Systems: Pods/Aircraft I
Ed Shea, Editor(s)

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