SAR experiments using a conformal antenna array radar demonstrator
Conformal antenna arrays have been studied for several years but only few examples of applications in modern radar or communication systems may be found up to date due to technological difficulties. The objective of the "Electronic Radar with Conformal Array Antenna" (ERAKO) demonstrator system which has been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) is to demonstrate the feasibility of an active electronically scanned antenna for conformal integration into small and medium sized airborne platforms. For practical trials the antenna has been adapted for operation with the Phased Array Multifunctional Imaging Radar (PAMIR) system developed at the institute. The antenna in combination with the PAMIR front-end needed to undergo a special calibration procedure for beam forming and imaging post-processing. The present paper describes the design and development of the conformal antenna array of the demonstrator system, its connection to the PAMIR system and results of recently conducted synthetic aperture radar (SAR) experiments.