Next Generation Beamforming Synthetic Aperture Radar Architectures

R. Rincon
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, United States

Keywords: Software Defined SAR, Digital Beamforming, interferometry, InSAR, MIMO.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is an indispensable tool in the observation of Earth and Planetary physical properties, as well as in the detection and identification of natural and man-made structures and objects. SAR’s unique ability to provide high resolution images in two or three dimensions over large areas, day or night, and under different weather conditions makes it very suitable for remote sensing. Applications of SAR span a wide range of disciplines, including scientific, commercial, and military. Next Generation Beamforming (DBF) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a technological area being pursued at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) and digital beamforming (DBF) SAR techniques have been developed to overcome limitations of conventional SAR systems, resulting in enhanced sensor performance, and opening a new set of capabilities for future SAR systems. Two such systems – DBSAR-2 (L-band) and EcoSAR (P-band) – have been developed and tested. The new instruments employ advanced multi-channel architectures characterized by software defined waveform generation, digital beamforming, configurable radar parameters, and multi-mode operation. The instruments have been developed to support several disciplines in Earth and Planetary sciences. This presentation will describe EcoSAR’s and DBSAR-2’s architectures, features, data processing, and calibration.