Zan, Francesco De (Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Standard ScanSAR operation is usually multi-look in order to avoid annoying quality variations along the track for SNR and ambiguity level. This strategy entails an undesired resolution reduction (many looks with low resolution). This paper presents a novel technique intended to enable single-look ScanSAR acquisition with uniform along-track quality. The technique consists in steering the antenna beam during each burst in a similar fashion to a SPOT-light, but in the opposite direction (hence the TOPS acronym). Fundamental relations are established, to link the performances obtained with the new technique and the equivalent strip-map mode. Such relations allow to optimise the multiple-swath ScanSAR timeline and provide a reasonable performance bound.