The scanning pencil-beam Scatterometer configuration is pretty effective in covering a large ground-swath by rotating a moderately sized paraboloid dish at a moderate speed. For example, Oscat (Oceansat-II Scatterometer) did cover a ground-swath of 1550km using a 1m diameter reflector that was rotated at 20.5 rpm. The decade-long service (1999-2009) provided by the Seawinds instrument onboard the Quikscat mission followed by an almost half-a-decade (2009-2014) service of Oscat has made this configuration tremendously popular with the global user community. A major drawback of conventional pencil-beam systems like Seawinds and Oscat is the relatively poor spatial resolution. The ground-resolution is beamwidth-limited azimuthally while, in elevation, the resolution is improved by engaging pulse-compression and range-binning. Oscat’s Instantaneous Field of View (IFOV) was 25km wide in azimuth (az) and 50km in elevation (el) at 49° incidence angle. The range-compressed resolution bins had dimensions of 6km (el) x 25km (az). Therefore, qualified wind products could be generated upon square grids no finer than 25km x 25km resolution. According to recommendations of International Ocean Vector Wind Science Team (IOVWST) and Oscat user community, high-resolution scatterometry is the requirement of the day with wind-vector cell-size dimension of 5km or better. One way to improve the resolution is to adopt the SAR principle of Range-Doppler discrimination in the scanning pencil-beam configuration. The footprint can be resolved simultaneously in range as well as in azimuth, thus significantly improving the size of the combined Range-Doppler resolution bin (~ 1km). However, the addition of Doppler filtering to conically scanning radar brings with it its own disadvantages e.g. the limitations of dwell time and the constant change in orientation of isodop lines. This paper presents the constraints in system design of high-resolution scanning systems, the design trade-offs, the methods of handling high PRF, the radar pulsing scheme and the achievable resolution.
This paper reports the development of a millimeter-wave space-borne atmospheric Temperature Sounding Unit (TSU) in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). This is ISRO’s first leap towards millimeter-wave technology. The sensor has several new accomplishments to its credit which include among others, the philosophy of sounding channel selection, the new assortment of temperature sounding channels, simultaneous observation of both polarizations of all channels, compact dual-band scanning Gregorian reflector antenna, indigenously developed black-body target for in-orbit calibration, in-house developed millimeter-wave RF front-end and pre-detection automatic gain control method. The prime feature of this instrument is its unique set of channels which can profile the earth’s atmosphere from surface to 40 km altitude with vertical resolution ranging from less than a km near surface to ±2.5 km at 30km altitude. The channels are predominantly off-resonant frequencies in the 50―60 GHz O<sub>2</sub> absorption spectrum which offer near-uniform attenuation and hence more channel-bandwidth and better temperature sensitivity and yet have adequate overlap of their weighting functions to achieve the desired vertical resolution. These channels are different and have fewer bands from what has been flown in all earlier sounding missions worldwide e.g. AMSU-A, SSMIS, ATMS etc. The TSU radiometer has been characterized thoroughly using ingenious methods such as low-power active RF energizing along with frequency sweep. This is a compact, low-mass, low-power instrument and has been configured for the ISRO mini-satellite (IMS-2) bus. The flight model with improved hardware performance is being built and a suitable opportunity of flying it is being explored.