Doppler frequency estimation of point targets in the single-channel SAR image by linear least squares

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This paper presents a method and results for the estimation of residual Doppler frequency, and consequently the range velocity component of point targets in single-channel synthetic aperture radar (SAR) focused single-look complex (SLC) data. It is still a challenging task to precisely retrieve the radial velocity of small and slow-moving objects, which requires an approach providing precise estimates from only a limited number of samples within a few range bins. The proposed method utilizes linear least squares, along with the estimation of signal parameters via rotational invariance techniques (ESPRIT) algorithm, to provide optimum estimates from sets of azimuth subsamples that have different azimuth temporal distances. The ratio of estimated Doppler frequency to root-mean square error (RMSE) is suggested for determining a critical threshold, optimally selecting a number of azimuth subsample sets to be involved in the estimation. The proposed method was applied to TerraSAR-X and KOMPSAT-5 X-band SAR SLC data for on-land and coastal sea estimation, with speed-controlled, truck-mounted corner reflectors and ships, respectively. The results demonstrate its performance of the method, with percent errors of less than 5%, in retrieved range velocity for both on-land and in the sea. It is also robust, even for weak targets with low peak-to-sidelobe ratios (PSLRs) and signal-to-clutter ratios (RCSs). Since the characteristics of targets and clutter on land and in the sea are different, it is recommended that the method is applied separately with different thresholds. The limitations of the approach are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1160
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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