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Journal Articles IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing Year : 2016

Phase Calibration of Airborne Tomographic SAR Data via Phase Center Double Localization


Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data collected over a 2-D synthetic aperture can be processed to focus the illuminated scatterers in the 3-D space, using a number of signal processing techniques generally grouped under the name of SAR tomography (TomoSAR). A fundamental requirement for TomoSAR processing is to have precise knowledge of the platform position along the 2-D synthetic aperture. This requirement is not easily met in the case where the 2-D aperture is formed by collecting different flight lines (i.e., 1-D apertures) in a repeat-pass fashion, which is the typical case of airborne and spaceborne TomoSAR. Subwavelength platform position errors give rise to residual phase screens among different passes, which hinder coherent focusing in the 3-D space. In this paper, we propose a strategy for calibrating repeat-pass tomographic SAR data that allows us to accurately estimate and remove such residual phase screens in the absence of reference targets and prior information about terrain topography and even in the absence of any point- or surface-like target within the illuminated scene. The problem is tackled by observing that multiple flight lines provide enough information to jointly estimate platform and target positions, up to a roto-translation of the coordinate system used for representing the imaged scene. The employment of volumetric scatterers in the calibration process is enabled by the phase linking algorithm, which allows us to represent them as equivalent phase centers. The proposed approach is demonstrated through numerical simulations, in order to validate the results based on the exact knowledge of the simulated scatterers, and using real data from the ESA campaigns AlpTomoSAR, BioSAR 2008, and TropiSAR. A cross-check of the results from simultaneous P- and L-band acquisitions from the TropiSAR data set indicates that the dispersion of the retrieved flight trajectories is limited to a few millimeters
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hal-01331278 , version 1 (13-06-2016)



S. Tebaldini, F. Rocca, M. Mariotti d'Alessandro, Laurent Ferro-Famil. Phase Calibration of Airborne Tomographic SAR Data via Phase Center Double Localization. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2016, 54 (3), pp.1775--1792. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2015.2488358⟩. ⟨hal-01331278⟩
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