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Sensors 2009, 9(9), 7250-7265; doi:10.3390/s90907250

Bistatic Radar Configuration for Soil Moisture Retrieval: Analysis of the Spatial Coverage

1, 1,*  and 2
1 Department of Electronic Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy 2 Space Engineering S.p.A., 91, Via dei Berio, Rome 00155, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2009 / Revised: 8 September 2009 / Accepted: 9 September 2009 / Published: 10 September 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Configuration and Smart Sensors)
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Some outcomes of a feasibility analysis of a spaceborne bistatic radar mission for soil moisture retrieval are presented in this paper. The study starts from the orbital design of the configuration suitable for soil moisture estimation identified in a previous study. This configuration is refined according to the results of an analysis of the spatial resolution. The paper focuses on the assessment of the spatial coverage i.e., on the verification that an adequate overlap between the footprints of the antennas is ensured and on the duty cycle, that is the fraction of orbital period during which the bistatic data are acquired. A non-cooperating system is considered, in which the transmitter is the C-band Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar aboard Envisat. The best performances in terms of duty cycle are achieved if the transmitter operates in Wide Swath Mode. The higher resolution Image Swath Modes that comply with the selected configuration have a duty cycle that is never less than 12% and can exceed 21%. When Envisat operates in Wide Swath Mode, the bistatic system covers a wide latitude range across the equator, while in some of the Image Swath Modes, the bistatic measurements, collected from the same orbit, cover mid-latitude areas. In the latter case, it might be possible to achieve full coverage in an Envisat orbit repeat cycle, while, for a very large latitude range such as that covered in Wide Swath Mode, bistatic acquisitions could be obtained over about 65% of the area.
Keywords: bistatic radar; sensors configuration; soil moisture; mission analysis bistatic radar; sensors configuration; soil moisture; mission analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pierdicca, N.; De Titta, L.; Pulvirenti, L.; Della Pietra, G. Bistatic Radar Configuration for Soil Moisture Retrieval: Analysis of the Spatial Coverage. Sensors 2009, 9, 7250-7265.

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