This paper utilizes a combination of theory and simulations to examine
synthetic aperture imaging across a wide range of turbulence
conditions. Extensive wave optics simulations are used to validate
existing theory and to investigate the use of a common measurement
technique. It demonstrates the applicability of earlier synthetic
aperture laser radar (ladar) (SAL) research across a wide range of
turbulence conditions, and examines the metric approaches and
limitations for the imaging conditions normally seen in practical SAL
systems. To examine the full impact of turbulence on SAL, the
derivations, simulations, and analyses include three different
resolution metrics as well as a commonly used contrast metric: the
integrated sidelobe ratio. This paper demonstrates the integrated
effects of turbulence on SAL imaging. Finally, suggestions are given
for measuring the true resolving power of operational SAL systems.
© 2017 Optical Society of
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