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Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging is often considered to possess both day/night and all weather operational capabilities. Whereas the first argument is true since we are dealing with an active sensor; the second does not hold in cases for which the operating frequencies are above 3 GHz. Indeed, the SAR performance can be significantly affected by atmospheric effects (losses), especially at unfavourable weather conditions. The principal reasons for the restriction on the use of these higher frequencies can be found in clear air losses (water vapour and oxygen), cloud attenuation and attenuation due to precipitation, primarily rain.
Date of Conference: 7-10 June 2010