Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a powerful tool capable of producing high-resolution imagery day or night and in all weather conditions.
It is the only 24/7 remote sensing imaging system. Unlike with conventional imaging tools, SAR systems require data processing to form the final image.
We have developed a compact, lightweight, real-time, optronic synthetic aperture radar processor that combines optical and digital techniques for ultrafast generation of SAR images. The optronic processor operates at a speed that is faster than the rate of data acquisition, so there is no bottleneck, and SAR images can be generated in real time. What’s more, it has the smallest power consumption to processing speed ratio of any digital SAR processor. All these factors combine to make it ideal for on-board processing of SAR data. The optronic processor is not only the best choice for spaceborne and airborne platforms that have restrictions on downlink bandwidth, but also for operational missions where image timeliness is critical.
By combining our expertise in the optical and digital domains, we can provide the fastest processing rate while maintaining excellent image quality:
Optronic SAR processing also provides the final image with higher spatial sampling, but without slowing down processing time. Higher image sampling means easier image interpretability and feature detection.
Extended capabilities of optronic processing include look-angle adaptability, higher-order phase correction, and interferometric processing, all performed in real time using the same SAR processor without moving parts. What’s more, optronic processing can be adapted to other synthetic aperture imaging systems.