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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

Demonstration of Interferometric SAR Onboard Processing for Planetary Mapping Missions

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Project Introduction

Demonstration of Interferometric SAR Onboard Processing for Planetary Mapping Missions

This task is developing new method for reducing onboard data by using self focusing and fully processing the images within the instrument itself, thereby reducing the burden on the spacecraft and the downlink network by orders of magnitude.

This task will enable future planetary mapping missions through a technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar, using microwave and triangulation to create very high precision maps of extra- terrestrial bodies by orbiting spacecraft. One of the key challenges of any mapping mission is the amount of data generated by the spacecraft, and the difficulty of returning that data to earth. This task will  develop new methods to reduce data processing onboard the spacecraft by using self focusing and fully processing the images  within the instrument itself, thereby reducing the burden on the spacecraft and the down link network by orders of magnitude. This can significantly reduce  mission duration and thus mission cost, enabling these mapping techniques for planetary bodies.

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