GNSS-based passive radar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is an introduction to passive synthetic aperture radar (SAR) using global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), as illuminators of opportunity. Such systems include the global positioning system (GPS), the Russian GLONASS system, or the forthcoming Galileo constellation. Apart from the traditional benefits of a passive radar system, which include cost efficiency, license-free and covert operation, GNSS-based systems have a number of relative merits compared to passive systems based on terrestrial illuminating sources. One of its most prominent features is the potential for persistent monitoring anywhere in the world due to the global GNSS coverage. In addition, as GNSS guarantee a number of satellites illuminating the same point on Earth from multiple aspect angles simultaneously, this provides an opportunity to enhance radar information space. This can be done either by comparing individual passive SAR images obtained from multiple satellite perspectives, or combining them using multistatic SAR techniques. On the other hand, the relatively low power flux density near the Earth’s surface restricts the field of view of applications for such a system to monitoring local areas. At the same time, and partially due to its rather broad scope, this technology has not yet reached the maturity of terrestrial-based systems. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to present methods and results on the fundamental science and technology behind GNSS-based SAR, as a stepping stone to realizing its full potential. This includes an introduction to the system concept and its fundamental parameters (power budget/resolution), signal processing algorithms for signal synchronization and image formation, as well as proof-of-concept results for advanced techniques such as change detection, multi-perspective and multistatic imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNovel Radar Techniques and Applications
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9781613532256
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2018.


  • Change detection
  • Cost efficiency
  • Covert operation
  • Earth surface
  • Galileo constellation
  • Global navigation satellite systems
  • Global positioning system
  • GNSS-based passive radar
  • GNSS-based SAR
  • GPS
  • Image and video signal processing
  • Image formation
  • License-free operation
  • Low power flux density
  • Multiperspective imaging
  • Multiple satellite perspectives
  • Multistatic imaging
  • Multistatic SAR techniques
  • Optical
  • Passive radar
  • Passive SAR images
  • Passive synthetic aperture radar
  • Radar equipment
  • Radar imaging
  • Radar information space
  • Radar theory
  • Radionavigation and direction finding
  • Russian GLONASS system
  • Satellite communication systems
  • Signal processing
  • Signal synchronization
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • Systems and applications
  • Terrestrial illuminating sources
  • Terrestrial-based systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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