Feasibility Study on SAR Systems on Small Satellites
Tutor / director / evaluatorLópez Dekker, Francisco J.
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessOpen Access
The design of an orbital SAR mission is the result of a number of trade-offs. For example, a higher resolution requires more transmitted power, or an increase in the strip-map azimuth resolution results in a smaller possible swath. In the following sections the most relevant parameters of a SAR system are discussed and the inter-relation between different parameters is explored. It is important to emphasize right away that the most critical trade-offs are not technological but are, instead, fundamental in nature. For example, while the transmitted power may be increased through technological improvement, the dimensions of an antenna, given some basic specifications, are lower bounded by first principles. It is also worth noting that the scope of this study is limited to currently operational SAR configurations, as the goal of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of an operational SAR mission on a compact platform, and not to propose novel SAR concepts. Where necessary in our analysis we have chosen the option most compatible with the nature of a small mission. For example, within the margin of possible orbital altitudes, the lower range is assumed since it reduces the required power.