PREFACE

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is one of the most advanced engineering inventions of the twentieth century. SAR is an airborne or satellite-borne radar system that provides high-resolution maps of remote targets on a terrain, a planet, and so forth. The E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) airplanes that are used extensively in surveillance missions in the Persian Gulf region to detect and track maritime and airborne targets, the E-8C Joint STARS (Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) airplanes that were used to detect and locate ground targets in the Gulf War, and the NASA space shuttles are equipped with this radar system. SAR systems are a highly developed combination of precision hardware and electronic design for data acquisition, and advanced theoretical principles of mathematics and physics to convert the acquired data to high-resolution images. The origin of the SAR theoretical principles can be traced back to Gabor’s theory of wavefront reconstruction [gab]; this theory is also the foundation of many other coherent imaging systems in diverse fields such as geophysical exploration and diagnostic medicine [s94].

The utility of the wavefront reconstruction theory in SAR was recognized during the inception of this imaging system in the 1950s and 1960s. However, the lack of fast computing machines and advanced digital information (signal) processing algorithms at that time prevented the development of wavefront reconstruction-based SAR imaging methods. ...

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