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Radically new design of SAR satellite: short vertical antenna approach

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1 Author(s)
Aguttes, J.-P. ; CNES, Toulouse, France

The idea of this work is the use of a vertical antenna (antenna placed in the orbit plane) for a spaceborne radar. This surprising geometry is proven to work properly and to simplify the design of the instrument, particularly when it is associated with a short antenna length (<5 m, along speed vector). The number of antenna control points is greatly reduced, which saves cost and mass of an active antenna. A single pencil beam allows all the incidences and modes to be achieved. Viewing on both sides of the satellite track is enabled. Spotlight mode is no longer needed and therefore most of the operational constraints attached to high resolution are removed. Merits of the geometry are not limited to the instrument, a cascade of other innovations converges into a radically new design of the whole satellite for an ultimate goal of simplification and cost reduction, this is radar SAIL concept. The merits and cost savings of short vertical antenna are illustrated with a 1 m resolution X band mission, and the extra merits of the integrated SAIL architecture with respect to the standard satellite architecture are discussed

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2001

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