Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Program Achievements

Program Achievements Timeline

Sandia has developed several impactful system solutions in the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) program. A selection of its achievements is listed below.


First vertical Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) (also known as a precision directional altimeter)


First real-time 1-meter resolution strip mapping Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)


First use of phase gradient auto focus in a real-time Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) (revolutionized image quality and is now commonly used in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems)First near-real-time aided target recognition system with Tera-OP (1 trillion operations) computational throughput provided in partnership with DARPA. First real-time 1-foot resolution strip mapping Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)


First 100-pound real-time processed Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) deployed operationally


First real-time digital terrain-elevation mapping done at Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) Level 4/5 with a Ku-band Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR)


First real-time, <6 inch resolution, sub 30lbs Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to fly on an Unmanned Aerial Vehichle (UAV)


First real-time, fine resolution, imaging of Antarctic crevasses using miniature Synthetic Aperture (SAR) systems


First real-time, <6 inch resolution, strip mapping coherent change detection Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)


First ever non-beta-zero bistatic radar images of the moon, mapping about two-thirds of the lunar surface from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) with the Mini-RF; also the first conversion of an orbiting Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to a spacecraft uplink and downlink communications system, able to transmit and receive modulated signals from Earth, a technology that could allow future missions to save mass and power


First 60-pound, real-time processed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) deployed for Counter-IED (C-IED) missionsFirst real-time processed VideoSAR operationally deployed system


First real-time processed VideoCCD operationally deployed system