DOI: 10.3390/rs16010126 ISSN: 2072-4292

A Novel Intrapulse Beamsteering SAR Imaging Mode Based on OFDM-Chirp Signals

Shenjing Wang, Feng He, Zhen Dong
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

The multiple-input multiple-output synthetic aperture radar (MIMO SAR) system has developed rapidly since its discovery. At the same time, the low-disturbance and high-gain requirements of the MIMO system are continuing to increase. Through the application of digital beamforming (DBF) techniques, the multidimensional waveform encoding (MWE) technique can play a key role in MIMO systems, which can greatly improve the system’s performance, especially the multi-mission capability of radar. Intrapulse beamsteering in elevation is a typical form of multi-dimensional waveform encoding which can greatly improve the transmitting efficiency and multi-mission performance of radar. However, because of the high sensitivity of the DBF technique to height, there is significant deterioration in performance in the presence of terrain undulations. The OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technique is widely used in communication. Due to the similarity of radar and communication systems and the great waveform diversity of OFDM signals, the OFDM radar has recently begun to emerge as a new radar system, simultaneously, the orthogonality of OFDM signals is in the time and frequency domains, and is not affected by terrain undulation. So, this paper proposes a novel radar mode combining intrapulse beamsteering in elevation and OFDM-Chirp signals, that is, the combination of “beam orthogonality” and “waveform orthogonality”, which can greatly improve the performance and fault tolerance to interference signals. In this manuscript, the system working mode and signal processing flow are introduced in detail, and simulations for both point targets and distributed targets are carried out to verify the feasibility of the proposed mode. Simultaneously, a comparison experiment is carried out, which shows the high level of fault tolerance to terrain undulation and the high potential of the proposed radar mode in Earth observation.

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