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The J 2 invariant relative configuration of spaceborne SAR interferometer for digital elevation measurement


A 3-craft formation configuration is proposed to perform the digital elevation model (DEM) for the distributed spaceborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), and it is optimized by the modified ant colony algorithm to have the best compatibility with J 2 invariant orbits created by differential correction algorithm. The configuration has succeeded in assigning the across-track baseline to vary periodically and with its mean value equal to the optimal baseline determined by the relative height measurement accuracy. The required relationship between crafts’ magnitudes and phases is formulated for the general case of interferometry measure from non-orthographic and non-lateral view. The J 2 invariant configurations created by differential correction algorithm are employed to investigate their compatibility with the required configuration. The colony algorithm is applied to search the optimal configuration holding the near-constant across-track baseline under the J 2 perturbation, and the absolute height measurement accuracy is preferable as expected.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ming Xu.

Additional information

The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (10702003).

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Xu, M., Jia, YH. & Xu, SJ. The J 2 invariant relative configuration of spaceborne SAR interferometer for digital elevation measurement. Acta Mech Sin 26, 643–651 (2010).

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  • InSAR
  • Digital elevation model (DEM)
  • J2 invariant orbit
  • Differential correction algorithm
  • Formation flying