SAR processing usually requires very accurate navigation data, i.e. to form a focused image. The track must be measured within fractions of the centre wavelength. For high frequencies (e.g. X-band) this condition is too strict. Even with a cutting-edge motion measurement system, autofocus is a necessity. For low frequencies (e.g. VHF-band) a differential GPS (DGPS) is often an adequate solution (alone). However, for this case, it is actually conceivable to rely on autofocus capability over the motion measurement system. This paper describes how to form a SAR image without support from navigation data. That is within the scope of factorized geometrical autofocus (FGA). The FGA algorithm is a base-2 fast factorized back-projection realization with six free geometry parameters (per sub-aperture pair). These are tuned step-by-step until a sharp image is obtained. This procedure can compensate for an erroneous geometry (from a focus perspective). The FGA algorithm has been applied successfully on an ultra-wideband (UWB) data set, acquired at VHF-band by the CARABAS 3 system. The track is measured accurately by means of a DGPS. We however adopt and modify a basic geometry model. A linear equidistant flight path at fixed altitude is assumed and adjusted at several resolution levels. With this approach, we emulate a stand-alone processing chain without support from navigation data. The resulting FGA image is compared to a reference image and verified to be focused. This indicates that it is feasible to form a VHF-band SAR image without a motion measurement system.
Jan Torgrimsson, Patrik Dammert, Hans Hellsten, Lars M. H. Ulander, and Anders Åhlander, "SAR processing UWB VHF data without a motion measurement system," Proc. SPIE 10647, Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery XXV, 106470F (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 19, 2018; Published: 27 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2304615.
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