Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Michael Bryant (Committee Member), John Emmert (Committee Member), Fred Garber (Committee Member), Randolph Moses (Committee Member), Brian Rigling (Advisor)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


With new advances in digital signal processing technology, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems are capable of collecting high resolution data over very large scenes. Well known image formation algorithms such as the polar format algorithm (PFA) create image artifacts in large images due to phase errors introduced by the algorithm. In this dissertation, we analyze the nature of these artifacts by comparing PFA to an exact imaging algorithm, the backprojection algorithm (BPA). First, we perform a novel phase error analysis by decomposing the PFA phase errors into constant, linear, and quadratic terms for arbitrary flight paths. Second, we utilize the expressions for PFA phase errors to accurately determine scene size limitations, with examples provided for linear and circular flight paths. Third, we develop a novel adaptation of PFA which corrects a significant amount of the phase errors, thereby greatly increasing the allowable scene size of the algorithm. These results are demonstrated using both simulated and measured SAR data sets.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Engineering Commons