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Hybrid synthetic/real aperture antenna for high resolution microwave imaging

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2 Author(s)
Doiron, T.A. ; Microwave Instrum. Technol. Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Piepmeier, J.R.

Observations of key hydrological parameters at the spatial and temporal scales required in the post-2002 era face significant technological challenges. These measurements are based on relatively low frequency thermal microwave emission (at 1.4 GHz for soil moisture and salinity, 10 GHz and up for precipitation, and 19 and 37 GHz for snow). The long wavelengths at these frequencies coupled with the high spatial and radiometric resolutions required by the various global hydrology missions necessitate the use of very large apertures. Two-dimensional Synthetic Thinned Array Radiometry (2-D STAR), though promising in the long term, has many technical challenges in the areas of power, and sensitivity for very large apertures (i.e. greater than 300 wavelengths). This paper will discuss an alternative approach to the pure 2-D STAR, which uses an offset parabolic cylinder reflector fed by multiple elements to form a 1-D STAR. In essence a single STAR element is composed of a feedhorn and parabolic cylinder reflector. The elements are sparsely arrayed and thus can share a single reflector. This antenna would have no moving parts once deployed, have much higher sensitivity than a Y-shaped 2-D STAR of equivalent size, many fewer receivers than that 2-D STAR, and the reflector could be made of a thin film and lightweight deployment system for high packing density. The instrument using this approach would be a cross track push broom imager. An overview of the design parameters, potential deployment mechanisms and applications will be presented.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2003. IGARSS '03. Proceedings. 2003 IEEE International  (Volume:7 )

Date of Conference:

21-25 July 2003