Angular resolution of two-dimensional, hexagonally sampled interferometric radiometers
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A theoretical analysis of the angular resolution of two-dimensional interferometric radiometers for Earth observation from low-orbit satellites and its degradation due to spatial decorrelation effects is presented. The analysis extends basic effects known in the context of radio astronomy (application with narrow field of view, very few baselines) and in one dimension (ESTAR L band, few baselines interferometric radiometer) to the wide-field-of-view, many-baseline, high-resolution two-dimensional system required by Earth observation applications and computes beam width, encircled energy (or main beam efficiency), and side lobe level as a function of windowing (apodization) to allow for an optimum angular versus radiometric resolution trade-off. It is found that the extension of the Barlett window (which has a poor performance in one dimensional signal processing) to two dimensions produces high-quality results, comparable or better than those of Gaussian and Blackmann windows. Theory is extended to hexagonally sampled systems based on a ¿ or Y-shaped instrument, with hexagonal- and star-shaped support regions in the visibility space, respectively. The superior performance of the latter over the former for the same number of antennas and correlators is quantified and details of the angular resolution of one instrument of this kind, MIRAS, under development by the European Space Agency, are presented. For this radiometer Gaussian or Barlett windows should be used for good radiometric sensitivity or spatial resolution, respectively. In both cases the effects of decorrelation within the small alias-free field of view are negligible. It is also found that the impact of hardware imperfections which exist within the strict requirements of the specifications have a negligible effect on the angular resolution. Finally, experimental angular resolution results with a laboratory breadboard in a focused near-field setup are presented and compared to the theoretical predictions.
CitationBara, F., Camps, A., Torres, F., Corbella, I. Angular resolution of two-dimensional, hexagonally sampled interferometric radiometers. "Radio science", Setembre 1998, vol. 33, núm. 5, p. 1459-1473.