Because the nearspace slow-moving platform borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can realize high resolution imaging using low pulse repetition frequency (PRF), a full-aperture ScanSAR (FA-ScanSAR) operation, which switches the range beam pulse by pulse, was proposed for wide swath imaging. This operation separates the wide swath into several sub-swaths, and each of which can be illuminated by a narrow range beam. The SAR antenna switches the range beam to point at each of the sub-swaths in turn, transmits pulses and receives echoes pulse by pulse. The design method of main system parameters and the calculating expressions of the performance indexes are addressed in the paper. A design example is given to compare the performance of the conventional strip operation, ScanSAR and FA-ScanSAR operation. The results show that FA-ScanSAR operation can obtain high resolution by full aperture accumulation in wide swath and improve the signal-to-noise ratio of SAR images for the nearspace slow-moving platform borne SAR.
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