Theory and simulation of ionospheric effects on synthetic aperture radar

Belcher, David and Rogers, Neil (2009) Theory and simulation of ionospheric effects on synthetic aperture radar. IET Radar Sonar and Navigation, 3 (5). pp. 541-551. ISSN 1751-8784

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Space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) necessarily involves imaging through the ionosphere. At low frequencies (VHF, UHF and L-band) the ionosphere will degrade the SAR image. Previous work has shown that the amount of image degradation strongly depends on the integrated strength of ionospheric turbulence, C k L. The focusing, sidelobes and integrated sidelobe ratio all depend on C k L in a manner that can be directly predicted by a simple analytic theory, which is reviewed and extended to cover any synthetic aperture length. Simulations of the ionosphere, using a thin phase screen parabolic equation approach, are performed under different ionospheric conditions for a number of possible SAR systems and the results compared with the analytic theory. It is concluded that, provided that the scattering is weak, the theory represents a good predictor of SAR performance, even at UHF. The known statistics of C k L can therefore be used to predict the performance of any trans-ionospheric SAR without performing a simulation.

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Journal Article
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IET Radar Sonar and Navigation
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Deposited On:
11 Oct 2013 10:30
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 00:33