In order to obtain good quality radar terrain images using an aerial-based synthetic aperture radar, a motion compensation procedure must be applied. This procedure can use a precise navigation system in order to determine the aircraft’s position and velocity. A major challenge is to design a motion compensation procedure that can operate in real time, which is crucial to ensure convenient data for a human analyst. The article discusses a possibility of Inertial Measurement System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system usage in such a radar imaging system. A Kalman filter algorithm designed for this system is described herein, and its modifications introduced by the authors allow the use of navigational data not aligned in time and captured with different frequencies. The presented navigation system was tested using measured data. Radar images obtained with the INS/GPS-based motion compensation system were compared to the INS-only results and images obtained without navigation corrections. The evaluation results presented in the paper show that the INS/GPS system allows for better reduction of geometric distortions in images compared to the INS-based approach, which makes it more suitable for typical applications.
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