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A space-based microwave radar concept

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1 Author(s)
Chakraborty, D. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA

A space-based microwave radar (SBR) concept is defined using a tether trans/receive antenna supported between two gravity gradient low Earth-orbiting satellites. A cluster of four tether antennas, each of 6 km maximum length and 1.5 km separation between tethers, constitutes a radar. A system of 8 to 11 such clusters constitutes the overall radar scheme, which will cover approximately one third of the Earth's surface for detecting sea-based targets. Issues identified are the array structure, the coherence of tethered arrays, grating lobe energy clamping, clutter effects, communications, system requirements, and the overall radar system concept, including stability considerations. The baseline definition of an alternate space-based radar scheme is presented. A significant amount of R&D efforts will be required to derive practical solutions of the proposed scheme

Published in:

Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 6 )