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The Prediction of Geometric Distortions in Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery from Autofocus Measurements

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4 Author(s)
Blacknell, D. ; GEC Research Limited, Marconi Research Centre, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8HN, England ; Freeman, A. ; White, R.G. ; Wood, J.W.

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is an imaging system that achieves high azimuthal resolution by tracking individual point scatterers using their phase histories, with the expected phase history of a particular point scatterer being derived from the assumed motion of the airborne SAR platform. Normally, it is assumed that the platform travels along a straight line path and that the radar pulses are emitted at equal spatial intervals. However, the aircraft carrying the SAR will be susceptible to extraneous across tracl motions and errors in the pulse spacing also may occur. These errors manifest themselves. as two forms of image degradation in the final image. Firstly, the image will be defocused due to an error in the expected quadratic phase history, and secondly, the image will contain geometric distortions due to an error in the linear phase history. An autofocus technique can be used to focus the image and produce a measure of the quadratic phase error that in turn can be used to estimate the geometric distortions that will be present in the final image. These distortions can be independently measured by direct comparison with a map of the imaged area. This paper describes the application of these methods to some real SAR data and discusses the results of the comparison of the measurements of autofocus and geometric distortions in terms of both the likely platform motions present and the viability of predicting geometric distortion using the autofocus measurements.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:GE-25 ,  Issue: 6 )