Developing a model of space radar bistatic interferometer basic parameters

Radiolocation and radio navigation


Zanin K. A.

Lavochkin Research and Production Association, NPO Lavochkin, 24, Leningradskay str., Khimki, Moscow region, 141400, Russia



The article introduces a mathematical model of basic parameters of the bistatic space interferometer with two synthetic aperture radars. The space interferometric survey consists in obtaining a digital model of the terrain relief. Bistatic (tandem) interferometric survey implies simultaneous operation of the two spacecraft. In this mode, two synthetic aperture radars form interferometer defining the phase difference of the signal incoming from the Earth surface. However, high accuracy of defining space vehicles position and phase stability of the radio electronic path is required.

At present, several commercial digital relief models exist in the world. The most complete in coverage and best in accuracy is the DLR model obtained by “Terrasar-X” – “Tandem-X” spacecraft in bistatic mode of radar operation.

Relief height definition in bistatic interferometric mode requires minimum amount of a priori information, though it requires high accuracy of defining space vehicles position and phase stability of the radio electronic path.

The article analyses selection of the interferometer basic parameters with account for the requirements of the relief height determining accuracy. The impact of position determination errors of space vehicles in space on measurement errors is being evaluated. As an example, the analysis of the requirements to navigational and ballistic provision of interferometric tandem spacecraft “Terrasar-X” and “Tandem-X” is presented.


space synthetic aperture radar, digital elevation model, bistatic interferometer, precision


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