A Novel Three-Step Image Formation Scheme for Unified Focusing on Spaceborne SAR Data
Current advanced spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems may operate at multiple imaging modes, including conventional modes as stripmap, ScanSAR and spotlight, as well as the state-of-the-art SAR modes, e.g., sliding spotlight, TOPS (Terrain Observation by Progressive Scans) and inverse TOPS, etc. A novel image formation scheme for unified processing spaceborne SAR data was proposed, which significantly simplified complexity of SAR processor sub-system. The unified-model-coefficient (UMC) was defined for modeling all SAR modes by means of analyzing both imaging geometry and time-frequency diagram corresponding to each imaging mode, respectively. The unified mathematical formula for modeling all SAR modes echo signal was derived as a function of UMC. Consequently, a unified image formation scheme for accurately focusing spaceborne SAR data in an arbitrary mode was proposed, which integrates all of SAR image formation procedures into a standard three-step processing framework, namely, de-rotation, data focusing and re-sampling, which evidently improve efficiency and robustness of data processing sub-system. Computer simulation experiment results verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.