Phase synchronization and doppler centroid estimation in fixed receiver bistatic SAR systems

Paco López-Dekker*, Jordi J. Mallorquí, Pau Serra-Morales, Jesús Sanz-Marcos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses temporal and phase synchronization in bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems that use orbital sensors as coherent sources of opportunity and receivers at a fixed location. The discussion is particularized to SAR Bistatic Receiver for INterferometric Applications (SABRINA), a ground-based bistatic receiver that uses ENVISAT and ERS-2 as transmitters. Transmitter-receiver synchronization is hindered by the presence of independent reference oscillators at the transmit and receive end and by the lack of a common time frame. Phase synchronization and pulse alignment are achieved using a dedicated channel that receives a clean signal directly from the satellite. How to align the acquired data with the satellite orbit and how to estimate the Doppler centroid (DC) are studied. It is shown that in the bistatic configuration considered, the receiver provides an implicit control point which limits the negative impact of a DC misestimation on the resulting images. An algorithm to achieve this temporal alignment using the apparent phase history of the received pulses is proposed. Finally, this algorithm is validated through Monte Carlo simulations and experimental data acquired by SABRINA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4685944
Pages (from-to)3459-3471
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Bistatic radar
  • Phase synchronization
  • Synchronization
  • Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


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