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Employing the 3-D mapping and projection algorithm (MPA), an imaging simulation of bistatic synthetic aperture radar (BISAR) observation over a complex scenario is developed. Based on the explicit expression of the point target response of stripmap BISAR imaging, raw data are efficiently generated from the scattering map precalculated by MPA. Some examples of BISAR image simulation are studied. The polarimetric characteristics of a BISAR image are then discussed. It is found that some typical polarimetric parameters such as Cloude's alpha, beta and gamma and might become unable to describe the scattering mechanism under bistatic observation. A transform of unified bistatic polar bases for a BISAR image is proposed. The parameters alpha, beta and gamma and are modified to retain the property of orientation independence in the bistatic circumstance. Analysis of simulated images shows that the redefined alpha, beta and gamma and after the unified bistatic polar bases transform well describe different scattering mechanisms in BISAR imaging. It provides a primary tool for BISAR image interpretation and terrain classification.