Remote. Sens. | 2021
A Waveform-Encoded SAR Implementation Using a Limited Number of Cyclically Shifted Chirps
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) provides high-resolution images of the Earth’s surface irrespective of sunlight and weather conditions. In conventional spaceborne SAR, nadir echoes caused by the pulsed operation of SAR may significantly affect the SAR image quality. Therefore, the pulse repetition frequency (PRF) is constrained within the SAR system design to avoid the appearance of nadir echoes in the SAR image. As an alternative, the waveform-encoded SAR concept using a pulse-to-pulse variation of the transmitted waveform and dual-focus postprocessing can be exploited for nadir echo removal and to alleviate the PRF constraints. In particular, cyclically shifted chirps have been proposed as a possible waveform variation scheme. However, a large number of distinct waveforms is required to enable the simple implementation of the concept. This work proposes a technique based on the Eulerian circuit for generating a waveform sequence starting from a reduced number of distinct cyclically shifted chirps that can be effectively exploited for waveform-encoded SAR. The nadir echo suppression performance of the proposed scheme is analyzed through simulations using real TerraSAR-X data and a realistic nadir echo model that shows how the number of distinct waveforms and therefore the system complexity can be reduced without significant performance loss. These developments reduce the calibration burden and make the concept viable for implementation in future SAR systems.