Towards the Performance Assessment of aMapdrift Autofocus for a P-Band SARMission Implementation
Abstract: In the context of the ESA BIOMASS mission in which for the first time, a P-Band SAR sensor isgoing to be mounted into a spaceborne system. With its penetration capability, it will contributeto the measurement of the biomass and carbon content in the Earth’s forests. An autofocusalgorithm is needed for the correction of phase errors introduced by the changing diffraction indexin the ionosphere. Because of the quickly changing nature of the ionosphere, defocusing has to bemeasured and corrected locally over several sections of a SAR capture.In this thesis, a deep introduction into phase errors is made having in mind that the ionosphereis expected to introduce time varying low frequency errors that can be constructed as a series ofquadratic curves. These quadratic phase errors introduce defocusing that is seen as blur and lossof contrast. An algorithm is proposed and tested for measuring this defocusing, while its strengthsand weaknesses are discussed.The idea of measuring defocusing is to try to recover the temporal phase function that introduceddefocusing in the first place. Here a method to recover this temporal phase function is introduced,and a thorough performance assessment of this retrieval is carried out. The variables involved thequality and reliability of this retrieval are studied one by one.
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