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Processing & Applications

ATI's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar course

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

    This course is designed for those who have already taken a basic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) class and/or have working experience with SAR systems design and applications technologies. With this as a point of departure, the course will introduce advanced systems design and associated signal processing concepts and implementation details. The course will emphasize advanced SAR processing systems and operations. How equipment specifications and operating modes are selected. The course will provide detailed coverage of interferometic, spotlight and polarmetric SAR, covering the principles and signal processing algorithms.


Mr. Richard Carande. From 1986 to 1995 Mr. Carande was a group leader for a SAR processor development group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena California). There he was involved in developing an operational SAR processor for the JPL/NASA’s three-frequency, fully polarimetric AIRSAR system. Mr. Carande also worked as a System Engineer for the Alaska SAR Processor while at JPL, and performed research in the area of SAR Along-Track Interferometry. Before starting at JPL, Mr. Carande was employed by a technology company in California where he developed optical and digital SAR processors for internal research applications. Mr. Carande has a BS & MS in Physics from Case Western Reserve University.

Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

What You Will Learn:

  • SAR system design and performance estimation
  • Interactive SAR design session illustrating design tradeoffs
  • SAR Polarimetry
  • Advanced SAR Interferometry including PS InSAR.
  • Survey of future applications and system

Course Outline:

  1. SAR Review: A brief review of SAR technology, capabilities and terminology will set the stage for this Advanced SAR Class.

  2. SAR System Engineering and Performance Prediction: The factors that control the quality of SAR imagery produced from a given system will be developed and presented. This includes noise-equivalent sigma zero (sensitivity) calculations, trade-offs in terms of resolution verses coverage, and the impact of hardware selection including radar echo quantization (ADCs), antenna area and gain. Parameters that affect PRF selection will be described and a nomogrammatic approach for PRF selection will be presented. Specialized techniques to improve SAR performance will be described.

  3. Design-A-SAR: Using an ideal implementation of the radar equation, we will design a simplified SAR system and predict its performance. During this interactive session, the students will select radar “requirements” including radar frequency, coverage, resolution, data rate, sensitivity, aperture size and power; and the system performance will be determined. This interactive presentation of design trade-offs will clearly illustrate the challenges involved in building a realistic SAR system.

  4. SAR Polarimetry: We will first review polarimetric SAR principles and described single-pol, dual-pol and quad-pol SAR systems and how they operate. Hybrid and compact polarimetry will also be described. Polarization basis will be presented and we will discuss why one basis may be more useful than another for a particular application. Examples of using polarimetric data for performing SAR image segmentation and classification will be presented including decomposition approaches such as Cloud, Freeman-Durden and Yamaguchi. Polarimetric Change detection will be introduced.

  5. Advance SAR Interferometry: Techniques that exploit mutually coherent acquisitions of SAR data will be presented. We will first review two-pass interferometric SAR for elevation mapping and land movement measurements. This will be expanded to using multiple observations for obtaining time series results. Model-based methods that exploit redundant information for extracting unknown tropospheric phase errors and other unknown noise sources will be presented (e.g. Permanent Scatterer Interferometry). Examples of these data products will be provided, and a description of new exploitation products that can be derived will be presented.

  6. Future and potential applications and systems: A survey of current work going on in the SAR community will be presented, and indications as to where this may lead in the future. This will include an overview of recent breakthroughs in system design and operations, image/signal processing, processing hardware, exploitation, data collection and fusion.


    Tuition for this two-day course is $1290 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to