Contrast-based phase calibration for remote sensing systems with digital beamforming antennas

Gordon Farquharson, Paco López-Dekker, Stephen J. Frasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A contrast-based phase calibration algorithm for digital beamforming remote sensing radars using three contrast metrics is presented. The algorithm corrects time-varying antenna array phase errors that defocus digital beamforming remote sensing radar imagery. Amplitude errors are treated by equalizing the received powers in all elements. As such, the algorithm does not produce an absolute (or radiometric) calibration vector for the array. The performance of the algorithm is studied using a combination of simulated and real radar data under various conditions and is compared with a clutter-based calibration algorithm. An analytical proof showing that maximizing the expected value of the 4-norm metric is equivalent to phase-calibrating the image, except for a linear phase offset, is provided. We find that the clutter calibration algorithm performs best for statistically homogeneous scenes but that the contrast-calibration algorithms perform better with scenes with larger contrast ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6261544
Pages (from-to)1744-1754
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antenna arrays
  • calibration
  • digital beamforming
  • phase estimation
  • radar
  • remote sensing


Dive into the research topics of 'Contrast-based phase calibration for remote sensing systems with digital beamforming antennas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this