Bistatic SAR for urban environments, final report


  • Lars Ulander

Publish date: 2011-12-31

Report number: FOI-R--3341--SE

Pages: 21

Written in: Swedish


  • Radar
  • SAR
  • bistatic
  • ground surveillance


The research project Bistatic SAR for urban environments has studied and investigated an imaging radar system for ground surveillance during 2009-2011. The system is based on using two separated platforms, one for transmission and one for reception. SAR ("Synthetic Aperture Radar") is used for generating high-resolution radar images of the ground which has been generalised in the project to bistatic geometries. The project has, in a bilateral research cooperation with France, developed and evaluated bistatic SAR through airborne experiments with ground target deployments. The report describes the principles of the system and how it can be used for ground surveillance. Both advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional (monostatic) SAR are discussed. An advantage of bistatic SAR is that the receiver is passive which reduces the risk of being detected and subject to counter measures. The transmitter, however, is subject to such risk but it can be moved away and positioned at a large distance from the theatre. A disadvantage with bistatic SAR which is pointed out is that coordination and synchronisation between platforms is required and must be handled in an operational scenario. An important research result is that we have been able to show that the bistatic geometry can be used to improve ground target detection. Examples in the report are given for urban and forest-covered terrain. The project has participated in an initial development of a radar system for a small helicopter together with industry. The radar has been verified on the ground and during flight tests. A further development of the system would make it suitable as a receiver in a bistatic system. The report also discusses the need for future research within the area of bistatic radar with applications to ground, sea and air surveillance.