In synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ocean remote sensing, it is very difficult to estimate an accurate azimuth antenna pattern (AAP) from low-scattering SAR images without strong scattering targets. Therefore, an azimuth antenna pattern estimation method based on Doppler spectrum in SAR ocean images is proposed in this paper. In order to preserve the complete AAP information, an azimuth unweighted matched filter is used to re-image the SAR raw data in the proposed method. Then, the shape factor of AAP can be obtained by linear statistics of the relationship between Doppler center and edge frequency spectrum in Doppler spectrum of each distance gate. In addition, the impact of the uniformity and signal-to-noise ratio of SAR ocean images on the estimation results are also analyzed by simulation. Finally, the feasibility of proposed method is verified by data from ERS-2 (European remote sensing satellite (ERS) was the European Space Agency’s first Earth-observing satellite). Experimental results show that the AAP estimated by proposed method has a good estimation result.
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