Compensating Earth Ionosphere Phase Distortion in Spaceborne VHF Radar Sounders for Subsurface Investigations
T. Scuccato ; L. Carrer ; F. Bovolo ; et al. ; - ASI Sponsor
Jul - 2018
DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2018.2854930

journal : IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters

Volume : 15 ; Issue : 11
type: Article Journal

Spaceborne low-frequency and wide bandwidth radar sounders are a promising technology to regularly investigate at global-scale Earth’s icy and arid regions. However, Earth ionosphere distorts the radar signal impacting performance parameters, such as subsurface resolution, of the radar system. One of the most relevant distortions that a sounder signal in the lower part of the very high-frequency (VHF) band (e.g., 40–50 MHz) encounters is the distortion of the phase component that could become mission critical if not properly compensated. Low-frequency and high fractional bandwidth radar systems are particularly affected by this issue. Previous works on radar sounder ionosphere phase distortion compensation addressed the Martian ionosphere and used techniques based on the Taylor series expansion. In this letter, we focus on the Earth ionosphere and we exploit a recently proposed ionosphere compensation technique based on the Legendre orthogonal polynomials expansion, which proved to be more accurate than the compensation based on Taylor expansion. Simulations show that the method allows a nominal compensation of the phase distortions under realistic ionosphere scenarios expected during the acquisitions. Furthermore, it proved to be accurate and robust for total electron content conditions expected during nighttime for all the geomagnetic latitudes. The results confirm that the method can accurately compensate the distorting effects on the phase component of a spaceborne VHF radar sounder.

keywords : Ionosphere , Legendre orthogonal polynomials , radar sounding , very high frequency (VHF)

Notes : Research funded by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI n. 2016-14-U.O)