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In this article we evaluate the use of predictive coding for compression of SAR phase history data. We first show that the data are mainly correlated along range lines. Then, we exploit this result to define a new DPCM-based compression algorithm named RDPCM-BAQ. The performance of this algorithm is compared with that of BAQ on SIR-C/X-SAR data, showing a significant improvement in signal-to-noise ratio of up to 2 dB with respect to BAQ.