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Efficient synthetic aperture radar (SAR) processing algorithms are unable to exactly implement the aperture- and topography-dependent motion compensation due to the superposition of the synthetic apertures of several targets having different motion errors and potentially different topographic heights. Thus, during motion compensation, a reference level is assumed, resulting in residual phase errors that impact the focusing, geometric fidelity, and phase accuracy of the processed SAR images. This letter proposes a new short fast Fourier transform-based postprocessing methodology capable of efficient and precise compensation of these topography- and aperture-dependent residual phase errors. In addition to wide beamwidth (very high resolution) SAR systems, airborne repeat-pass interferometry especially benefits from this approach, as motion compensation can be significantly improved, especially in areas with high topographic changes. Repeat-pass interferometric data of the E-SAR system of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed approach.
Date of Publication: April 2005