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SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR

Radar Principle
The electronic principle on which radar operates is very similar to the principle of soundwave reflection. If you shout in the direction of a sound-reflecting object (like a rocky canyon
or cave), you will hear an echo. If you know the speed of sound in air, you can then estimate
the distance and general direction of the object. The time required for an echo to return can
be roughly converted to distance if the speed of sound is known.
Radar uses electromagnetic energy pulses in much the same way. The radio-frequency (rf)
energy is transmitted to and reflected from the reflecting object. A small portion of the
reflected energy returns to the radar set. This returned energy is called an ECHO, just as it is
in sound terminology. Radar sets use the echo to determine the direction and distance of
the reflecting object.
The following figure shows the operating principle of a primary radar set. The radar antenna
illuminates the target with a microwave signal, which is then reflected and picked up by a
receiving device. The electrical signal picked up by the receiving antenna is called echo or
return. The radar signal is generated by a powerful transmitter and received by a highly
sensitive receiver.

Transmitter
The radar transmitter produces the short duration high-power rf pulses of energy
that are into space by the antenna.

Duplexer
The duplexer alternately switches the antenna between the transmitter and receiver
so that only one antenna need be used. This switching is necessary because the highpower pulses of the transmitter would destroy the receiver if energy were allowed to
enter the receiver.

Receiver
The receivers amplify and demodulate the received RF-signals. The receiver provides
video signals on the output.

Radar Antenna
The Antenna transfers the transmitter energy to signals in space with the required
distribution and efficiency. This process is applied in an identical way on reception.

Synthetic Aperture Radar


A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or SAR, is a coherent mostly airborne or
spaceborne sidelooking radar system which utilizes the flight path of the platform to
simulate an extremely large antenna or aperture electronically, and that generates highresolution remote sensing imagery. Over time, individual transmit/receive cycles are
completed with the data from each cycle being stored electronically. The signal processing
uses magnitude and phase of the received signals over successive pulses from elements of a
synthetic aperture. After a given number of cycles, the stored data is recombined to create a
high resolution image of the terrain being over flown.
How does SAR works?
he SAR works similar of a phased array, but contrary of a large number of the parallel
antenna elements of a phased array, SAR uses one antenna in time-multiplex. The different
geometric positions of the antenna elements are result of the moving platform now.
The SAR-processor stores all the radar returned signals, as amplitudes and phases, for the
time period Tfrom position A to D. As the line of sight direction changes along the radar
platform trajectory, a synthetic aperture is produced by signal processing that has the effect
of lengthening the antenna. Making T large makes the synthetic aperture large and hence
a higher resolution can be achieved.
As a target first enters the radar beam, the backscattered echoes from each transmitted
pulse begin to be recorded. As the platform continues to move forward, all echoes from the

target for each pulse are recorded during the entire time that the target is within the beam.
The point at which the target leaves the view of the radar beam some time later, determines
the length of the simulated or synthesized antenna. The synthesized expanding beamwidth,
combined with the increased time a target is within the beam as ground range increases,
balance each other, such that the resolution remains constant across the entire area.