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The paper provides a review into the steps involved in acquiring and processing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data transmitted by the European remote sensing (ERS) satellites. The paper reports on a simple MATLAB-based SAR processing system, that reads the image out of the complex SAR data files and that is suitable for use in the classroom to demonstrate one of the procedures used in SAR data processing. The paper can also help a beginner in the field of SAR signal processing to get information and understand the basics that are necessary to acquire and process a SAR image. The data, provided by the Alaskan Satellite Facility (ASF), is categorized into different levels and the paper describes the process of obtaining the level-1 basic image from the level-0 raw data file provided by ASF.