Microwave staring correlated imaging (MSCI) can achieve ultra-high resolution in real aperture staring radar imaging using the correlated imaging process (CIP) under all-weather and all-day circumstances. The CIP must combine the received echo signal with the temporal-spatial stochastic radiation field. However, a precondition of the CIP is that the continuous imaging region must be discretized to a fine grid, and the measurement matrix should be accurately computed, which makes the imaging process highly complex when the MSCI system observes a wide area. This paper proposes an adaptive imaging approach for the targets in discrete clusters to reduce the complexity of the CIP. The approach is divided into two main stages. First, as discrete clustered targets are distributed in different range strips in the imaging region, the transmitters of the MSCI emit narrow-pulse waveforms to separate the echoes of the targets in different strips in the time domain; using spectral entropy, a modified method robust against noise is put forward to detect the echoes of the discrete clustered targets, based on which the strips with targets can be adaptively located. Second, in a strip with targets, the matched filter reconstruction algorithm is used to locate the regions with targets, and only the regions of interest are discretized to a fine grid; sparse recovery is used, and the band exclusion is used to maintain the non-correlation of the dictionary. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate that the proposed approach can accurately and adaptively locate the regions with targets and obtain high-quality reconstructed images.
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