Multi-Beam Focal Plane Arrays with Digital Beamforming for High Precision Space-Borne Remote Sensing
Journal article, 2017
The present-day ocean remote sensing instruments that operate at low microwave frequencies are limited in spatial resolution and do not allow for monitoring of the coastal waters.
This is due the difficulties of employing a large reflector antenna on a satellite platform, and generating high-quality pencil beams at multiple frequencies. Recent advances in digital beamforming focal-plane-arrays (FPAs) have been exploited in the current work to overcome the above problems.
A holistic design procedure for such novel multi-beam radiometers has been developed, where (i) the antenna system specifications are derived directly from the requirements to oceanographic surveys for future satellite missions; and (ii) the numbers of FPA elements/receivers are determined through a dedicated optimum beamforming procedure minimizing the distance to coast.
This approach has been applied to synthesize FPAs for two alternative radiometer systems: a conical scanner with an off-set parabolic reflector, and stationary wide-scan torus reflector system; each operating at C, X and Ku bands. Numerical results predict excellent beam performance for both systems with as low as 0.14% total received power over the land.