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Instrument: SAR : Synthetic Aperture Radar
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Synthetic Aperture Radar(SAR)provides the capability of acquiring imagery inclement weather or during night as well as day. SAR systems take advantage of the long-range propagation characteristics of radar signals and the complex information processing capability of modern digital electronics to provide high resolution imagery. Synthetic aperture radar complements photographic and other optical imaging capabilities because of the minimum constraints on time-of-day and atmospheric conditions and because of the unique responses of terrain and cultural targets to radar frequencies.

Synthetic aperture radar technology has provided terrain structural information to geologists for mineral exploration, oil spill boundaries on water to environmentalists, sea state and ice hazard maps to navigators, and reconnaissance and targeting information to military operations. There are many other applications or potential applications. Some of these, particularly civilian, have not yet been adequately explored because lower cost electronics are just beginning to make SAR technology economical for smaller scale uses.

Sandia has a long history in the development of the components and technologies applicable to Synthetic Aperture Radar -- 40 years in radar, antenna, and miniature electronics development; 30 years in microelectronics; and 25 years in precision navigation, guidance, and digital-signal processing. Over the last decade, we have applied these technologies to imaging radars to meet the needs of advanced weapon systems; verification and nonproliferation programs; and environmental applications. Sandia's expertise in electromagnetics, microwave electronics, high-speed signal processing, and high performance computing and navigation, guidance and control have established us as world leaders in real-time imaging, miniaturization, processing algorithms, and innovative applications for SAR.

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Instrument Owner: Sandia National Laboratories