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Modeling and Quantitative Analysis of Tropospheric Impact on Inclined Geosynchronous SAR Imaging

School of Information and Electronics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Key Laboratory of Electronic and Information Technology in Satellite Navigation (Beijing Institute of Technology), Ministry of Education, Beijing 100081, China
Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 803;
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
PDF [5340 KB, uploaded 9 April 2019]


Geosynchronous orbit synthetic aperture radar (GEO SAR) has a long integration time and a large imaging scene. Therefore, various nonideal factors are easily accumulated, introducing phase errors and degrading the imaging quality. Within the long integration time, tropospheric status changes with time and space, which will result in image shifts and defocusing. According to the characteristics of GEO SAR, the modeling, and quantitative analysis of background troposphere and turbulence are conducted. For background troposphere, the accurate GEO SAR signal spectrum, which takes into account the time-varying troposphere, is deduced. The influences of different rates of changing (ROC) of troposphere with time are analyzed. Finally, results are verified using the refractive index profile data from Fengyun (FY) 3C satellite and the tropospheric zenith delays data from international GNSS service (IGS). The time–space changes of troposphere can cause image shifts which only depend on the satellite beam-foot velocity and the linear ROC of troposphere. The image defocusing is related to the wavelength, resolution requirement, and the second and higher orders of ROC. The short-wavelength GEO SAR systems are more susceptible to impacts, while L-band GEO SAR will be affected when the integration time becomes longer. Tropospheric turbulence will cause the amplitude and phase random fluctuations resulting in image defocusing. However, in the natural environment, radio waves are very weakly affected by turbulence, and the medium-inclined GEO SAR of L- to C-band will not be affected, while the X-band will be influenced slightly. View Full-Text
Keywords: Geosynchronous SAR; troposphere; turbulence; phase screen theory Geosynchronous SAR; troposphere; turbulence; phase screen theory

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dong, X.; Hu, J.; Hu, C.; Long, T.; Li, Y.; Tian, Y. Modeling and Quantitative Analysis of Tropospheric Impact on Inclined Geosynchronous SAR Imaging. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 803.

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