paper// IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems

Depth of Field for SAR with Aircraft Acceleration

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Processing synthetic array radar (SAR) data is difficult if the depth of field is small. Aircraft acceleration can severely reduce the depth of field and thereby increase the processing. The effects of aircraft acceleration on the depth of field for three types of SAR processing are analyzed: (1) conventional processing (range-Dopper processing), (2) variable pulse-repetition frequency (PRF) (PRF changes to compensate for aircraft acceleration), and (3) polar format. Polar format is a technique for processing high resolution SAR which has a much larger depth of field in the ground plane than conventional processing. On the other hand, aircraft acceleration will limit the vertical depth of field for polar format to about the same value as for conventional processing. In addition, for polar format, the only component of aircraft acceleration that limits the vertical depth of field is the component normal to the slant plane containing the velocity and range vectors. Vector notation is used to graphically show the effects of aircraft acceleration. In addition to better insight, the vector notation gives equations for SAR compensation that do not depend on a specific coordinate system.iee