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Multibaseline interferometric SAR at millimeterwaves test of an algorithm on real data and a synthetic scene

: Essen, H.; Brehm, T.; Böhmsdorff, S.


Notarnicola, C. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Europe, Cardiff:
SAR image analysis, modeling, and techniques IX. Proceedings : 18 September 2007, Florence, Italy
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2007 (SPIE Proceedings 6746)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-6904-5
Paper 67460B
Conference "SAR image analysis, modeling, and techniques" <9, 2007, Florence>
Fraunhofer FHR

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar has the capability to provide the user with the 3-D-Information of land surfaces. To gather data with high height estimation accuracy it is necessary to use a wide interferometric baseline or a high radar frequency. However the problem of resolving the phase ambiguity at smaller wavelengths is more critical than at longer wavelengths, as the unambiguous height interval is inversely proportional to the radar wavelength. To solve this shortcoming, a multiple baseline approach can be used with a number of neighbouring horns and an increasing baselength going from narrow to wide. The narrowest, corresponding to adjacent horns, is then assumed to be unambiguous in phase. This initial interferogram is used as a starting point for the algorithm, which in the next step, unwraps the interferogram with the next wider baseline using the coarse height information to solve the phase ambiguities. This process is repeated consecutively until the interferogram with highest precision is unwrapped. On the expense of this multi-channel-approach the algorithm is simple and robust, and even the amount of processing time is reduced considerably, compared to traditional methods. The multiple baseline approach is especially adequate for millimeterwave radars as antenna horns with relatively small aperture can be used, while a sufficient 3-dB beamwidth is maintained. The paper describes the multiple baseline algorithm and shows the results of tests on real data and a synthetic area. Possibilities and limitations of this approach are discussed. Examples of digital elevation maps derived from measured data at millimeterwaves are shown.