11 January 2005 UAV-based L-band SAR with precision flight path control
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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is currently implementing a reconfigurable polarimetric L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), specifically designed to acquire airborne repeat track interferometric (RTI) SAR data, also know as differential interferometric measurements. Differential interferometry can provide key displacement measurements, important for the scientific studies of Earthquakes and volcanoes1. Using precision real-time GPS and a sensor controlled flight management system, the system will be able to fly predefined paths with great precision. The radar will be designed to operate on a UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) but will initially be demonstrated on a minimally piloted vehicle (MPV), such as the Proteus build by Scaled Composites. The application requires control of the flight path to within a 10 m tube to support repeat track and formation flying measurements. The design is fully polarimetric with an 80 MHz bandwidth (2 m range resolution) and 16 km range swath. The antenna is an electronically steered array to assure that the actual antenna pointing can be controlled independent of the wind direction and speed. The system will nominally operate at 45,000 ft. The program started out as a Instrument Incubator Project (IIP) funded by NASA Earth Science and Technology Office (ESTO).
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Soren N. Madsen, Soren N. Madsen, Scott Hensley, Scott Hensley, Kevin Wheeler, Kevin Wheeler, Gregory A. Sadowy, Gregory A. Sadowy, Tim Miller, Tim Miller, Ron Muellerschoen, Ron Muellerschoen, Yunling Lou, Yunling Lou, Paul A. Rosen, Paul A. Rosen, } "UAV-based L-band SAR with precision flight path control", Proc. SPIE 5659, Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (11 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.578373; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.578373

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