Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


John Saghri


Conventional Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) offers high-resolution imaging of a target region in the range and cross-range dimensions along the ground plane. Little or no data is available in the range-altitude dimension, however, and target functions and models are limited to two-dimensional images. This thesis first investigates some existing methods for the computation of target reflectivity data in the deficient elevation domain, and a new method is then proposed for three-dimensional (3-D) SAR target feature extraction.

Simulations are implemented to test the decoupled least-squares technique for high-resolution spectral estimation of target reflectivity, and the accuracy of the technique is assessed. The technique is shown to be sufficiently accurate at resolving targets in the third axis, but is limited in practicality due to restrictive requirements on the input data.

An attempt is then made to overcome some of the practical limitations inherent in the current 3-D SAR methods by proposing a new technique based on the direct extraction of 3-D target features from arbitrary SAR image inputs. The radar shadow present in SAR images of MSTAR vehicle targets is extracted and used in conjunction with the radar beam depression angle to compute physical target heights along the range axis. Multiple inputs of elevation data are then merged to forge rough 3-D target models.

The project is a continuation of prior SAR research at Cal Poly under Dr. John Saghri with the sponsorship of Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems.