Formation design for single-pass GEO InSAR considering earth rotation based on coordinate rotational transformation

Zhiyang Chen, Xichao Dong, Yuanhao Li*, Cheng Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


The single-pass geosynchronous synthetic aperture radar interferometry (GEO InSAR) adopts the formation of a slave satellite accompanying the master satellite, which can reduce the temporal decorrelation caused by atmospheric disturbance and observation time gap between repeated tracks. Current formation design methods for spaceborne SAR are based on the Relative Motion Equation (RME) in the Earth-Centered-Inertial (ECI) coordinate system (referred to as ECI-RME). Since the Earth rotation is not taken into account, the methods will lead to a significant error for the baseline calculation while applied to formation design for GEO InSAR. In this paper, a formation design method for single-pass GEO InSAR based on Coordinate Rotational Transformation (CRT) is proposed. Through CRT, the RME in Earth-Centered-Earth-Fixed (ECEF) coordinate system (referred to as ECEF-RME) is derived. The ECEF-RME can be used to describe the accurate baseline of close-flying satellites for different orbital altitudes, but not limited to geosynchronous orbit. Aiming at the problem that ECEF-RME does not have a regular geometry as ECI-RME does, a numerical formation design method based on the minimum baseline error criterion is proposed. Then, an analytical formation design method is proposed for GEO InSAR, based on the Minimum Along-track Baseline Criterion (MABC) subject to a fixed root mean square of the perpendicular baseline. Simulation results verify the validity of the ECEF-RME and the analytical formation design method. The simulation results also show that the proposed method can help alleviate the atmospheric phase impacts and improve the retrieval accuracy of the digital elevation model (DEM) compared with the ECI-RME-based approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number573
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Coordinate Rotational Transformation (CRT)
  • Earth rotation
  • GEO InSAR formation design
  • Minimum Along-track Baseline Criterion (MABC)
  • Relative Motion Equation in ECEF coordinate system (ECEF-RME)


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