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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 19, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 2002
  • pp: 946–956

Fundamental radar properties: hidden variables in space–time

Andrew K. Gabriel  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 19, Issue 5, pp. 946-956 (2002)

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A derivation of the properties of pulsed radiative imaging systems is presented with examples drawn from conventional, synthetic aperture, and interferometric radar. A geometric construction of the space and time components of a radar observation yields a simple underlying structural equivalence among many of the properties of radar, including resolution, range ambiguity, azimuth aliasing, signal strength, speckle, layover, Doppler shifts, obliquity and slant range resolution, finite antenna size, atmospheric delays, and beam- and pulse-limited configurations. The same simple structure is shown to account for many interferometric properties of radar: height resolution, image decorrelation, surface velocity detection, and surface deformation measurement. What emerges is a simple, unified description of the complex phenomena of radar observations. The formulation comes from fundamental physical concepts in relativistic field theory, of which the essential elements are presented. In the terminology of physics, radar properties are projections of hidden variables—curved worldlines from a broken symmetry in Minkowski space–time—onto a time-serial receiver.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.1880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Detection
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(280.5600) Remote sensing and sensors : Radar
(280.6730) Remote sensing and sensors : Synthetic aperture radar
(350.5720) Other areas of optics : Relativity

Original Manuscript: March 13, 2001
Revised Manuscript: October 12, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: October 12, 2001
Published: May 1, 2002

Andrew K. Gabriel, "Fundamental radar properties: hidden variables in space–time," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 946-956 (2002)

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