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TOPS Imaging With TerraSAR-X: Mode Design and Performance Analysis

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5 Author(s)
Meta, A. ; German Aerosp. Center, Wessling, Germany ; Mittermayer, J. ; Prats, P. ; Scheiber, R.
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This paper reports about the performed investigations for the implementation of the wide-swath TOPS (Terrain Observation by Progressive Scan) imaging mode with TerraSAR-X (TSX). The TOPS mode overcomes the limitations imposed by the ScanSAR mode by steering the antenna along track during the acquisition of a burst. In this way, all targets are illuminated with the complete azimuth antenna pattern, and, thus, scalloping is circumvented, and an azimuth dependence of signal-to-noise ratio and distributed target ambiguity ratio (DTAR) is avoided. However, the use of electronically steered antennas leads to a quantization of the steering law and a nonideal pattern for squinted angles (grating lobes and main lobe reduction). The former provokes spurious peaks, while the latter introduces slight scalloping and DTAR deterioration. These effects are analyzed and quantified for TSX, and a TOPS system design approach is presented. Next, the requirements concerning interferometry are investigated. Finally, several results are shown with the TSX data, including a comparison between the TOPS and the ScanSAR modes and the reporting of the first TOPS interferometric results.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 2 )