Title: Large Aperture, Scanning, L-Band SAR
Author: Alina Moussessian
Organization: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Co-Authors: Linda Del Castillo, Vinh Bach, Maurio Grando, Ubaldo Quijano, Phil Smith, Mark Zawadzki, Dave Murphy, Greg Compton

This paper reports on the development of the first L-band membrane-based active phased array. The antenna is a 16x16 element patch array with dimensions of 2.3m x 2.6m. We developed membrane-compatible Transmit/Receive modules and the technology to integrate these modules with the membrane. In addition, we addressed seaming technology to integrate smaller membrane panels to achieve large phased arrays. We will present the antenna measurements results demonstrating beam steering achieved by the Transmit/receive modules in the phased array. We will report on various studies for the membrane antenna deployment system, radiation environment and the radar performance based on this array.

We need increased accessibility and surface coverage to improve the science return of the next-generation Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) missions. This requires operation from higher orbits. However, operation at higher orbits requires many new capabilities such as very large (>400m2) lightweight antennas with distributed electronics and that are currently not possible. Using membrane-based phased arrays we expect to achieve a mass density of 2kg/m2 compared to State of the Art mass density of 8-15kg/m2. L-band InSAR is critical for surface deformation such as seismic and volcanic measurements, and hazard monitoring. It also has broad application to other high-priority science including soil moisture, biomass, glaciology and cold land process measurements.