This thesis presents a design methodology for continuous wave (CW) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems. The focus is on design considerations specific to small, low-power systems suitable for operation on small aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Well-known results which have been derived in other works, such as the radar equation, are explained in the context of low-power, CW systems. Additionally, design issues unique to CW SAR are addressed and the results generalized. A method for controlling feedthrough between antennas is developed, and the resulting limitations on swath width are discussed. Methods are developed which allow an engineer to design a CW SAR system to obtain a given swath width, resolution, and data rate, and necessary tradeoffs are discussed. Using the proposed methodology, designs for two specific SAR systems are developed. Example sections outline the design of two small SAR systems called microASAR and microBSAR. These sections present a real-world application of the methodology and offer explanations of the rationale behind many of the design choices. Straightforward methods for testing different aspects of a completed SAR system are developed and presented. These procedures are carried out using microASAR hardware, and the results are used to validate the design methodology.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





synthetic aperture radar, SAR, continuous wave, CW, LFM-CW, design, methodology, dechirp, feedthrough removal, validation