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European microwave signature laboratory

A European microwave signature laboratory (EMSL) has been established. The first experiments were carried out on different types of metallic and dielectric targets. They were aimed at the validation of theoretical models and at understanding of the dominant scattering mechanisms in relatively simple targets. Next, several types of extended targets were measured by using a linear displacement of the scene with respect to the sensor to simulate the operation of air space borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors. The excellent results obtained alter processing confirmed the high quality of the microwave measurements and the accuracy of the mechanical movements. Time was devoted to the construction of special target adapters and the acquisition of instrumentation for measuring soil moisture and surface roughness in preparation for future experiments. 3 major upgrades were carried out during 1993. The microwave measurement system was upgraded to increase the measurement speed. A monitoring system was installed, giving complete representation on a monitoring screen of control and environmental parameters. A video grabber was installed to digitize the video signals from the cameras installed on sleds beside the sensors. Several study contract were placed in relation to the activity of the EMSL with outside companies and institutions. The analysis of the data on the EMSL quiet zone test has led to an initial characterization of the spatial antenna response of the sensors. Further analysis has been undertaken on the polarimetric characteristics of the antennae. Among the data acquired on several types of objects, a detailed analysis has been undertaken for collections of dielectrical cylinders and sections of tree branches.

Following preliminary assessment of the compatibility of the laboratory data with an operational SAR processor, the first interferogram was produced using two SAR images taken over a flat gravel surface. Several 2-dimensional imaging experiments were undertaken to compare different types of processing methods and using both the linear and the rotational target motion.

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Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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