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An Array Error Estimation Method for Constellation SAR Systems

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4 Author(s)
Aifei Liu ; Key Lab. for Radar Signal Process., Xidian Univ., Xi''an, China ; Guisheng Liao ; Lun Ma ; Qing Xu

In practice, unavoidable array errors, consisting of phase and position errors, significantly degrade the performance of constellation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems. Therefore, methods are required to estimate these errors. In constellation SAR systems, the clutter spectrum components within a Doppler bin can be used as calibration sources with known directions. In this letter, it is observed that the steering vectors of the spectrum components in one Doppler bin are conjugate with those of the spectrum components in its contrary Doppler bin on condition that each SAR operates in side-looking mode and its nominal left coordinate is zero, which is easy to realize. We obtain a new phase error estimation method based on this observation. An array error estimation method, which estimates phase and position errors simultaneously, is proposed via combining the new phase error estimation method with the least squares method for estimating position errors. The advantages of the proposed method include its capability to directly estimate phase and position errors without joint iteration between the estimations of phase and position errors; thus, it performs well, while the conventional method behaves unstably because it may converge to a local optimal solution, when position errors are large. Furthermore, mathematical analysis indicates that the proposed method has less computational load. In addition, computer simulations show that it performs better than the conventional method. The only cost is that it employs twice as many Doppler bins as the conventional method does, which is endurable because there are numerous Doppler bins.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2010

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