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15 October 2013 Investigation of synthetic aperture ladar for land surveillance applications
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Abstract
Long-range land surveillance is a critical need in numerous military and civilian security applications, such as threat detection, terrain mapping and disaster prevention. A key technology for land surveillance, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) continues to provide high resolution radar images in all weather conditions from remote distances. Recently, Interferometric SAR (InSAR) and Differential Interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) have become powerful tools adding high resolution elevation and change detection measurements. State of the art SAR systems based on dual-use satellites are capable of providing ground resolutions of one meter; while their airborne counterparts obtain resolutions of 10 cm. DInSAR products based on these systems can produce cm-scale vertical resolution image products. Certain land surveillance applications such as land subsidence monitoring, landslide hazard prediction and tactical target tracking could benefit from improved resolution. The ultimate limitation to the achievable resolution of any imaging system is its wavelength. State-of-the art SAR systems are approaching this limit. The natural extension to improve resolution is to thus decrease the wavelength, i.e. design a synthetic aperture system in a different wavelength regime. One such system offering the potential for vastly improved resolution is Synthetic Aperture Ladar (SAL). This system operates at infrared wavelengths, ten thousand times smaller radar wavelengths. This paper discusses an initial investigation into a concept for an airborne SAL specifically aiming at land surveillance. The system would operate at 1.55 μm and would integrate an optronic processor on-board to allow for immediate transmission of the high resolution images to the end-user on the ground. Estimates of the size and weight, as well as the resolution and processing time are given.
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Simon Turbide, Linda Marchese, Marc Terroux, and Alain Bergeron "Investigation of synthetic aperture ladar for land surveillance applications", Proc. SPIE 8897, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications VII; and Military Applications in Hyperspectral Imaging and High Spatial Resolution Sensing, 889709 (15 October 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2029829
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