High-resolution imaging with an airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) calls for precise trajectory measurements that can hardly be achieved with common navigation systems. In this paper, an efficient method called the local-quadratic map-drift autofocus is developed for the estimation of residual (uncompensated) motion errors directly from the received radar data. The map-drift autofocus is applied locally on short time intervals to estimate the cross-track components of the aircraft acceleration. The estimated acceleration is then integrated to evaluate the residual trajectory errors on the whole data frame interval. The method has been successfully tested with an X-band airborne SAR system.

Autofocusing SAR Images via Local Estimates of Flight Trajectory