Science Service System

Summary of Proposal MTH0081

TitleBistatic exploration using TerraSAR-X and the airborne SAR sensor PAMIR
Investigator Ender, Joachim - FGAN (Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften e.V.), FHR (Forschungsinstitut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik)
Team Members
Dr. rer. nat Klare, Jens - FGAN (Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften e.V.), FHR (Forschungsinstitut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik)
Dipl.-Ing. Walterscheid, Ingo - FGAN (Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften e.V.), FHR (Forschungsinstitut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik)
Dr.-Ing. Weiß, Matthias - FGAN (Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften e.V.), FHR (Forschungsinstitut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik)
Dr.-Ing. Brenner, Andreas - FGAN (Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften e.V.), FHR (Forschungsinstitut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik)
SummaryFuture bi- and multistatic SAR systems will support the scientific community with an additional and powerful tool for imaging and exploring particularly interesting areas on Earth. With the diversity of geometries between transmitters and receivers one can achieve for instance improvements in scene classification, higher azimuth resolution, clutter tuning, and cost reduction. New promising experiments are necessary to take a step forward in order to aid the science community with these powerful instruments in the future.

We propose a challenging bistatic SAR experiment with TerraSAR-X as transmitter and PAMIR (Phased-Array Multifunctional Imaging Radar) of FHR/FGAN as receiver. To our knowledge, this would be the first non-USA spaceborne/airborne SAR experiment in the world. This experiment would be an excellent opportunity to develop and explore new bistatic technologies and algorithms which will result in new findings for possible future bistatic space-based SAR systems like TanDEM-X (DLR and Astrium) or Cartwheel (e.g. DLR and CNES). With results obtained of this experiment, additionally skills of the TerraSAR-X mission might evolve. This could lead to a further enhancement of the scientific output.

TerraSAR-X has the particular feature of high resolution remote sensing using SAR with different modes in combination with frequently imaging of the same areas on Earth. The advanced phased array antenna of TerraSAR-X provides for instance beam steering, high resolution spotlight mode and a wide range of incidence angles. These capabilities in conjunction with an appropriate airborne phased array SAR system encourage the realisation of a challenging bistatic SAR experiment.

An ideal platform to perform the proposed bistatic experiment with TerraSAR-X presents the airborne SAR system PAMIR. Essential properties of PAMIR are its phased array antenna, multi mode ability and ultra high spatial resolution. The proposer keeps already much experience in the design and realisation of airborne bistatic SAR experiments. In 2003, the proposer carried out an extensive airborne/airborne bistatic SAR experiment with PAMIR and its precursor system AER-II. A common bandwidth of 300MHz was used and several bistatic configurations were flown. For this experiment, the proposer developed new technologies and a new bistatic algorithm.

PAMIR can be upgraded in order to match exactly the centre frequency and bandwidth (150MHz and 300MHz) of TerraSAR-X. Extensive investigations concerning achievable bistatic resolution, imaging scene extension and track configurations were already made by the proposer.

Position and attitude of the PAMIR platform will be determined using DGPS, INS and the Transall’s “Attitude and Heading Reference System”. A near real time determination of the TerraSAR-X two-line elements will be carried out with the 34m Tracking and Imaging System TIRA of the FHR. Own adapted active bistatic transponder will be used for calibration. The receiving of the direct TerraSAR-X signal may serve as a synchronisation support of PAMIR and for offline calibration.

We would like to split the experiment in four time slots between spring 2007 and autumn 2008. Each time slot should contain two data acquisitions within two weeks. From time slot to time slot we want to increase the demand and complexity of the experiment, resulting in different bistatic angles, different velocity directions and various scenes.

The proposed experiment will be included in the regular research activities of FHR, and if not supported otherwise, it will be financed by the base funding of the FHR.

Deliverables of this proposal will be the detailed description of the realisation and feasibility of this hybrid bistatic imaging technique. After data acquisition and elaboration of the image formation methods, deliverables are as well bistatic images for sharing with the scientific community.

Back to list of proposals

© DLR 2004-2016