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Summary form only given. Thales Alenia Space have strongly pursued COSMO-SkyMed System image quality and processing tuning by developing, in parallel to the nominal program activities, all SAR image engineering processors from RAW data up to level 1D. Since summer 2006 all existing processors developed in the frame of X-SAR MPOS, X-SAR/STRM and Envisat-1 ASAR program frames have been re-adapted and extended to the need of COSMO-SkyMed SAR operational and support modes. Born with the only aim to have engineering tools capable to achieve a better understanding of the true SAR payload in-flight behaviour, such software have allowed the identification and subsequent solution of a variety of issues concerning both data and physical phenomena related especially to high resolution through active antenna arrays. This paper describes some relevant data characteristics and algorithm optimizations defined not only to meet required image quality performance in each instrument operative mode (achieved within four months since PFM launch) but to get over toward the performance frontier especially in the field of high resolution imaging where no satellite experience was available in Europe. This has been achieved thanks to the integration into a single software suite of all the instrument design and mission knowledge together with all algorithms necessary to handle COSMO-SkyMed radar data according the fundamental burst organization approach. A highly sophisticated processor suite has been finally accomplished to fully support next generation systems in terms of performance, stateof-the-art focusing algorithms, code modularity and functional expandability.
Date of Conference: 26-30 Sept. 2011