Tomographic 3D reconstruction from airborne circular SAR
ABSTRACT The study of data acquired over a circular trajectory has raised an increasing interest in the SAR community. Two main reasons summarize the interest in such geometry. First, sub-wavelength resolution can be achieved, as the targets in the spotted area are observed under a 360o aperture. Second, the use of the information from different azimuthal directions allows one to obtain information of the scene in the third dimension, making possible a 3D target reconstruction. In any case, both applications require certain target reflectivity homogeneity. This paper shows several processing results and analyzes the potentials and limitations of circular SAR to perform tomography of semi-transparent media. Special processing aspects, like the estimation of residual motion errors due to inaccuracies in the navigation data, are also addressed. Data acquired at L-band by DLR's E-SAR system are used to demonstrate the high resolution and tomographic imaging capabilities of circular SAR. The results include the tomogram of a Luneburg lens, as well as preliminary results over man-made targets and vegetation.