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Kick off Presentation

Giorgio Franceschetti, Università Federico II di Napoli (Italy) and UCLA (USA), May 23, 2003


Imaging From Space: A Real-Time Processing Experiment

The Space Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is a NASA space mission aimed at generating the Earth’s 3-dimensional map from 60°N to 60°S latitude by means of a two antennas Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operating from the shuttle.The mission took place in the year 2000 and was a joint venture between NASA, DLR (German Space Agency) and ASI (Italian Space Agency). The two antennas, necessary to implement the interferometric configuration, were spaced of 60m by means of a boom which was displaced in space during the shuttle flight.

A real time processing of SAR raw data was performed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) during the mission. The basic idea underlying the experiment is to code both the raw data and the filter function at a single bit. This simple coding, together with use of an innovative processing architecture operating in time-domain, allows to comply with real time operation requirements.

The experiment is the first step towards on board processing and exhibits a number of attractive features that suggest its use also for deep space exploration.

The seminar presents the full theory of one-bit processing and its attainable accuracy, supported by comparison between conventionally and one-bit processed imaged. In addition, a NASA short movie of SRTM space operation is displaced.

Essential Biography of Giorgio Franceschetti

Giorgio Franceschetti was born and educated in Italy. Winner of a nationwide competition, he was appointed professor of Electromagnetic Theory at the University of Napoli, Italy in 1969, position that he holds since then. He has been Fulbright Scholar and Research Associate at Caltech, Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois, at UCLA, at the Somali University (Somalia) and at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). He is currently Adjunct Professor at UCLA and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at JPL. Author of over 140 (refereed) papers and five books, and recipient of several awards, he is active in research in Electromagnetic Theory and Applications, Signal Processing and Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging. He is Life Fellow of IEEE and Member of the Electromagnetic Academy. He recently received the gold medal from the President of the Italian Republic for his achievements in culture and science.


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