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A technique for compressing synthetic aperture radar raw data using multiresolution representations and subband coding is considered. In particular, we present the performance of a transform coding compression method using wavelet basis, coupled with a threshold quantizer optimized for Gaussian statistics, as well as a proper subband bit allocation strategy. The performances achieved in terms of bit rate reduction and certain quality parameters computed on the images obtained by compressed data have been evaluated. These show an increased performance in the compression method with respect to conventional methods, albeit with a slightly increased complexity in the algorithm implementation.