Enhanced inverse synthetic aperture radar
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Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is an imaging technique based on the radio reflectivity of the target being imaged. SAR instruments offer many advantages over optical imaging due to the ability to form coherent images in inclement weather, at night, and through ground cover. High resolution is achieved in azimuth through a synthesized aperture much larger than the physical antenna of the imaging device. Consequently, proper focusing requires accurate information about the relative motion between the antenna phase center and the scene. Any unknown target velocity, acceleration, rotation, or vibration will introduce errors in the image. This work addresses a novel method of focusing a moving target in a SAR image through the estimation of various motion parameters. The target azimuth position is determined through monopulse radar, at which point range velocity and acceleration are estimated across a series of overlapping sub-apertures. Cross-range velocity is then estimated through a search to optimize an image quality metric such as entropy or contrast. A final focused image is then generated based on this velocity vector. Methods of extending this work for a single phase center system are considered. This technique is demonstrated with real radar data from an experimental system, and the performance of this technique is compared both subjectively and with a variety of image metrics to the MITRE keystone technique. Finally, extensions to this current line of research are considered.