The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a widely used instrument for high-resolution imaging from aircraft or satellite platforms. In the paper, the problem of the defocusing of multi-look SAR images by uncompensated phase errors presented in the received data is analyzed. It is shown that the phase errors on a multi-look processing interval can be effectively described in terms of local quadratic and local linear phase errors. Approximate analytical expressions are derived to describe the azimuth resolution degradation. Criteria for acceptable phase errors are given. The obtained results are verified by numerical simulations. The approach is illustrated by two typical motion errors: slow deflections of a SAR platform trajectory from a reference flight line and periodic trajectory deviations.

Effects of Local Phase Errors in Multi-Look SAR Images