DOI: 10.3390/rs15164010 ISSN:

Space-Based THz Radar Fly-Around Imaging Simulation for Space Targets Based on Improved Path Tracing

Qianhao Ning, Hongyuan Wang, Zhiqiang Yan, Xiang Liu, Yinxi Lu
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

Aiming at the space target detection application of a space-based terahertz (THz) radar, according to the imaging mechanism of broadband THz radars, a THz radar imaging simulation method based on improved path tracing is proposed. Firstly, the characterization method of THz scattering characteristics based on Kirchhoff’s approximation method is introduced. The multi-parameter THz bidirectional reflectance distribution function (THz-BRDF) models of aluminum (Al), white-painted Al, and polyimide film at 0.215 THz are fitted according to the theoretical data, with fitting errors below 4%. Then, the THz radar imaging simulation method based on improved path tracing is presented in detail. The simulation method utilizes path tracing to simulate parallelized THz radar echo signal data, considering multi-path energy scattering based on the THz-BRDF model. Finally, we conducted THz radar imaging simulation experiments. The influences in the imaging process of different fly-around motions are analyzed, and a comparison experiment is conducted with the fast-physical optics (FPO) method. The comparative results indicate that the proposed method exhibits richer and more realistic features compared with the FPO method. The simulation experiments results demonstrate that the proposed method can provide a data source for ground algorithm testing of THz radars, particularly in evaluating the target detection and recognition algorithm based on deep learning, providing strong support for the application of space-based THz radars in the future.

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