A Real-Time Unified Focusing Algorithm (RT-UFA) for Multi-Mode SAR via Azimuth Sub-Aperture Complex-Valued Image Combining and Scaling

Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can operate at various modes, including stripmap mode, spotlight mode, sliding spotlight mode, and Terrain observation by progressive scans (TOPS) mode. These four imaging modes can be regarded as unified, differing in rotation-center ranges. To uniformly focus the data of these four imaging modes in real-time, this article proposes a real-time unified focusing algorithm (RT-UFA) for the multi-mode SAR via azimuth sub-aperture complex-valued image combining and scaling. The imaging processing can be performed while the data are being recorded. In the first stage of imaging, sub-aperture complex-valued images with relative low-resolution can be obtained by the cascade of the extended chirp scaling (ECS) and azimuth dechirp. Then, these complex-valued images are coherently combined by shifting the integer number of pixels, and thus the full-resolution image of all the recorded data can be obtained. The azimuth scaling and the pixels shifting in the RT-UFA are analyzed in detail. Simulation and SAR data results are presented to validate the analysis and RT-UFA.
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