Spectrum analysis of high-resolution SAR data to obtain Bragg signatures of power cables

Ben Willetts, Malcolm Stevens, Marina Gashinova, Andrew Stove

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A spectrum analysis method is presented that can be used on high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements to concentrate the returns from overhead power cables into discrete angles, alongside the resulting images and information obtained by applying the technique to spotlight SAR data obtained at Ka-band. The angular width and position of the specular and Bragg lobes are used to estimate the periodic length of the cable structure. The results presented also show the potential of detecting variations in the tautness of a power line along its length and hence make any vulnerabilities to the supply of electrical power detectable remotely. Detailed high-resolution images constructed also support peculiarities measured in these signatures. The presented results show that the described method has the ability to detect distribution line vulnerabilities and hazards to the surrounding area. As the cable structure is also related to temperature, this technique has the potential to observe changes in the climate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839 – 843
Number of pages5
JournalIET Radar, Sonar and Navigation
Issue number8
Early online date9 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • SAR
  • THz


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