MIMO SAR FORMATIONS: ORBITAL DIAMETER AND SYNCHRONIZATION TOLERANCES
Multiple-Input-Multiple Output (MIMO) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) along-track formations can be used to fraction the power resources into compact, lightweight and cost-effective satellites, or to extend the swath coverage beyond the limit provided by a small antenna. In this second case, the Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) is kept low by implementing an inversion that solves up to N−1 ambiguities, given N observations. The simultaneous illumination – that allows for the N² gain due to the coherent combination of the N transmitters and the N receivers, is analyzed and shown not to be critical, as the more than N=2 sensors are assumed. Performance is evaluated for the N=2 and N=3 cases and compared with the Single Input Multiple Output formations, where one sensor is transmitting, and all are receiving. Finally, the impact of the across-track deviation from the orbit is modeled and evaluated.