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Coherent high-resolution synthetic-aperture radar systems achieve their range resolution by pulse compression and azimuth resolution by compression of naturally generated FM coding due to Doppler shifts as the aircraft flies by the target. If the data is left unprocessed, it is, in effect, a defocused map of the terrain. As such, it should exhibit less dynamic range than if the data is compressed. This paper describes an experimental study to verify the above conjecture. The results of this study indicate that if dynamic range of the data link is a problem, the radar data should be transmitted in its unprocessed form. This might very well be the case for planetary mapping by means of satellites.