Sub-Nyquist SAR via Fourier Domain Range-Doppler Processing

Kfir Aberman*, Yonina C. Eldar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conventional synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems are limited in their ability to satisfy the increasing requirement for improved spatial resolution and wider coverage. The demand for high resolution requires high sampling rates, while coverage is limited by the pulse repetition frequency. Consequently, sampling rate reduction is of high practical value in SAR imaging. In this paper, we introduce a new algorithm, equivalent to the well-known range-Doppler method, to process SAR data using the Fourier series coefficients of the raw signals. We then demonstrate how to exploit the algorithm features to reduce sampling rate in both range and azimuth axes and process the signals at sub-Nyquist rates, by using compressive sensing (CS) tools. In particular, we demonstrate recovery of an image using only a portion of the received signal's bandwidth and also while dropping a large percentage of the transmitted pulses. The complementary pulses may be used to capture other scenes within the same coherent processing interval. In addition, we propose exploiting the ability to reconstruct the image from narrow bands in order to dynamically adapt the transmitted waveform energy to vacant spectral bands, paving the way to cognitive SAR. The proposed recovery algorithms form a new CS-SAR imaging method that can be applied to high-resolution SAR data acquired at sub-Nyquist rates in range and azimuth. The performance of our method is assessed using simulated and real data sets. Finally, our approach is implemented in hardware using a previously suggested Xampling radar prototype.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8004458
Pages (from-to)6228-6244
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive radar (CR)
  • compressive sensing
  • sparse recovery
  • sub-Nyquist sampling
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sub-Nyquist SAR via Fourier Domain Range-Doppler Processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this