A method and apparatus for improving the performance of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems by reducing the effect of "edge losses" associated with nonuniform receiver antenna gain. By moving the receiver antenna pattern in synchrony with the apparent motion of the transmitted pulse along the ground, the maximum available receiver antenna gain can be used at all times. Also, the receiver antenna gain for range-ambiguous return signals may be reduced, in some cases, by a large factor. The beam motion can be implemented by real-time adjustment of phase shifters in an electronically-steered phased-array antenna or by electronic switching of feed horns in a reflector antenna system.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.