Digital beamforming (DBF) on receive in elevation with a large receiving antenna will be widely adopted in future spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) missions to improve system performances. Furthermore, DBF can be used to separate echoes corresponding to different sub-pulses in some novel spaceborne SAR imaging modes. This paper proposes an improved DBF processor with a large receiving antenna for separating echoes. The proposed DBF processor includes three important parts: multiples sharp receiving beam generation, range compression and null steering. Compared with the conventional DBF processor in spaceborne SAR, the proposed DBF processor can separate echoes with better performances. Simulation results on point targets demonstrate the validity of the proposed DBF processor.
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