One of the prospective research topics in radar remote sensing technology is the methodology for designing an optimal radar system for high-precision two-dimensional and three-dimensional image acquisition of the Earth’s surface with minimal hardware requirements. In this study, we propose a single-pass interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging technique with only a single antenna for the estimation of the terrain height. This technique enabled us to obtain terrain height information in one flight of the carrier, on which only one receiving antenna was mounted. This single-antenna single-pass interferometry required a squint angle look geometry and additional image synthesis processing. The limiting accuracy of the terrain height measurement was approximately 1.5 times lower than that of the conventional two-pass mode and required a longer baseline than two-pass interferometry to have an equivalent accuracy performance. This imaging method could overcome the temporal decorrelation problem of two-pass interferometry due to a short time gap in the radar echo acquisitions during two sub-aperture intervals. We compared the accuracy performance of the terrain height measurements of our method with the conventional two-pass interferometry. This comparison was carried out at various spectral bandwidths, degrees of surface roughness, and baseline lengths. We validated our idea with numerical simulations of a digital elevation map, and showed real extracted data of the terrain heights in the Astrakhan and Volga regions of the Russian Federation, obtained from airborne SAR with our single-antenna single-pass interferometry technique.
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