Ka-band RADAR frequency range has not yet been used for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from space so far,
although this technology may lead to important applications for the next generation of SAR space sensors. Therefore,
feasibility studies regarding a Ka-band SAR instrument have been started , for the next generation of SAR space
sensors. In spite of this, the lack of trusted references on backscatter at Ka-band revealed to be the main limitation for the
investigation of the potentialities of this technology.
In the framework of the ESA project “Ka-band SAR backscatter analysis in support of future applications”, this paper is
aimed at the study of wave interaction at Ka-band for a wide range of targets in order to define a set of well calibrated
and reliable Ka-band backscatter coefficients for different kinds of targets. We propose several examples of backscatter
data resulting from a critical survey of available datasets at Ka-band, focusing on the most interesting cases and
addressing both correspondences and differences. The reliability of the results will be assessed via a preliminary
comparison with ElectroMagnetic (EM) theoretical models. Furthermore, in support of future technological applications,
we have designed a prototypal software acting as a “library” of earth surface radar response. In our intention, the output
of the study shall contribute to answer to the need of a trustworthy Ka-Band backscatter reference. It will be of great
value for future technological applications, such as support to instrument analysis, design and requirements’ definition
(e.g.: Signal to Noise Ratio, Noise Equivalent Sigma Zero).