Bistatic forward-looking SAR: Results of a spaceborne-airborne experiment
Forward-looking radar imaging continues to gain in significance due to a variety of convenient applications, like landing assistance for aircraft in poor visibility conditions. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) techniques are typically used to achieve a high azimuth resolution, but conventional monostatic SAR is not applicable in forward direction because of azimuth ambiguities and poor Doppler resolution. To improve the Doppler resolution and to avoid azimuth ambiguities, bistatic SAR configurations can be used to obtain high-resolution radar images. This is demonstrated for the first time in a spaceborneairborne SAR experiment by using TerraSAR-X as the illuminator and the Phased Array Multifunctional Imaging Radar as the receiver. For convenience, the receiver's SAR antenna was mounted on the aircraft's loading ramp and looked backward. Due to identical image properties and the same challenges for forward- and backward-looking sensors, this configuration also demonstrat es the feasibility of forward-looking bistatic SAR. This letter describes the experimental setup, analyzes the performance, and presents the imaging results.