A Real Aperture, Sidelooking, Ocean Surveillance, Space-based Radar


  1. Martin, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
A result of global warming is the opening of passageways through previously ice-jammed arctic waterways. Consequently, the ability to monitor sea traffic through these regions is gaining in importance. Options for achieving this goal include reconnaissance with long range patrol aircraft, the use of surface wave radars strategically located in the north and surveillance from space platforms. This report discusses the latter solution. A relatively inexpensive space-based radar has be proposed that can provide detection, finger-printing and tracking of ships as small as corvette-sized naval craft. The Rf power requirements, based on a target of 1000 m cubic square radar-cross-section, are quite modest, being 157 watts of average power. A four-fold increase in RF power to 628 watts would allow detection, in thermal noise at least, of fast patrol boat-sized craft having cross sections down to 250 m cubic square. The problem is not, however, detection in thermal noise but against the sea clutter which may limit the detection of smaller craft to relatively low sea state conditions (sea state 3 or less).

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RADARSAT;Incoherent integration
Report Number
DREO-TM-2001-064 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Aug 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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