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Analysis of the Side Clutter Echoes of the Space-Borne Subsurface Radar Using the High Resolution Images


Ya.A. Ilyushin

Orbiting radar sounders are the promising tool for exploration of the planetary interiors. In particular, the great achievements in the Mars exploration have been made with the MARSIS and SHARAD radar instruments. The side clutter echoes, coming from the rough planetary surface, are the most significant factor limiting the instrument capabilities. Known models of the side clutter are mostly based on the topographic data base provided by the MOLA instrument, the lateral resolution of which is on the order of several hundred meters. This prevents retrieval of any information about the smaller surface features, which have size from up to several tens of the radar instrument wavelengths. High performance optical instruments of the new generation (MOC, CTX, HiRise etc.) provided huge sets of the high resolution surface images. Immediate retrievals of the surface roughness parameters from them are difficult for many reasons. The objective of this study is to incorporate the high resolution surface images into the subsurface radar data processing algorithms. In the present paper, the possible approaches to estimate the statistical parameters or the rough planetary surface are discussed. Some images of high polar regions of Mars are analyzed, and the corresponding radar signal simulations have been performed. Thus, the possibility of incorporation of the high resolution planetary surface images in the radar signal processing schemes has been established in the present paper.
June 24, 2020
May 29, 2020

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