Basics of Space Based Radar

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Basics of Space Based Radar

Course Description

The course, Fundamentals of Space-Based Radar, explores theory, applications, and orbital considerations for both synthetic aperture radar and moving target indication modes. Engineers, scientists, and managers working with space-based radar will benefit by examining space-based radar technology issues, including electronically scanned antennas, waveforms, and on-board processing. 

Course Content

Radar Principles  

  • Radar Range Equation 

  • Pulse Doppler Processing 

SBR Waveform Trades 

  • Radar Principles – Pulse Doppler Processing 

  • Pulse Compression Waveforms  

Radar Principles – Pulse Doppler Processing 

SBR Clutter and Interference 

  • Types of Interference 

  • Land, Sea, and Atmospheric Clutter 

  • Modeling Clutter 

  • Platform Induced Doppler Shifts 

Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar 

  • Principles and Relationships 

  • SAR PRF and Coverage 

  • Image Quality 

  • SAR from Space 

Introduction to SAR Signal Processing 

  • Signal Characteristics 

  • Range Doppler Algorithm 

  • Attitude Control and Doppler Estimation 

  • Image Processing Issues 

Digital Terrain Models and 3D Interferometric SAR 

  • Measuring Height 

  • Concepts and Processing Steps 

SBR Signal Processing 

  • Moving Target Detection 

  • Clutter and Interference Rejection 

Orbital Considerations for SAR 

  • LEO, MEO, GEO, and Walker Constellation 

  • Tradeoffs with SNR, etc. 

Brief Survey of SBR Systems, including SAR, Rendezvous Radars, Altimeters and Scatterometers 

Satellite System Engineering 

  • Power 

  • Telemetry 

  • Attitude and Orbit Control 

  • Propulsion 

  • Structure 

  • Thermal Management 

  • Functions, Architectures, and MMIC Technologies 

  • Efficiency and Power Conditioning 

  • Microwave Power Modules (MPMs) 

  • Reliability and Production Considerations 

Space Antenna Technology 

  • Parabolic Reflectors versus Phased Arrays 

  • Antenna Performance Estimation 

  • Phased Array Design Constraints 

  • Basic Phased Array Analysis 

  • Phased Array Transmit/Receive Modules 

  • Beamwidth and Bandwidth 

  • Special Considerations for Space 

Satellite Tool Kit (STK) Demonstration 

  • Key Features, Tutorial 

Fundamentals of Adaptive Radar  

  • Multichannel Sensors and Digital Beamforming 

  • Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) 

Adaptive Detection Techniques for Space-Based Radar  

  • Sample Matrix Inversion (SMI) Adaptive Filtering 

  • Clutter Range Dependence and Heterogeneity 

  • Adaptive SBR Signal Processing Architecture 

Bistatic Radar in Space  

  • Bistatic and Monostatic Comparison 

  • Bistatic Radar Operation and Geometry 

  • Bistatic SBR Deployments 

  • Bistatic SBR Systems, Concepts, and Example 

  • Bistatic Clutter Mitigation for MTI Radar 

GMTI and SAR Performance Prediction 

Requirements & Materials


Principles of Modern Radar



Digital presentation slides (in-person and virtual courses) 

Notebook of presentation slides (in-person only) 

Session Details

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for engineers, scientists, and managers with a desire to understand the special considerations inherent with space-based radar.  Some prior familiarity with basic radar concepts is recommended. 

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What You Will Learn

  • Radar principles and pulse-Doppler processing. 
  • Orbital considerations for space-based radar. 
  • Space-based radar clutter and interference. 
  • Introduction to synthetic aperture radar and signal processing. 
  • Digital terrain models and 3D interferometric synthetic aperture radar. 
  • Space antenna technology. 
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How You Will Benefit

  • Understand design constraints for space-based radar. 
  • Be able to predict performance for the synthetic aperture radar mode. 
  • Know how to predict performance for ground-moving target indication radar. 
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    Taught by Experts in the Field

The course schedule was well-structured with a mix of lectures, class discussions, and hands-on exercises led by knowledgeable and engaging instructors.

- Abe Kani


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