First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[70/83]  ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING [83/00 - Ord. 2010]  PERCORSO COMUNE 7 70


The main objective of this course is to describe the fundamentals of the most popular microwave remote sensing systems, starting from the interaction between EM field and the environment, the hardware structure of such systems to conclude with some info on the data processing.

Very few systems are described in great details, so that a student learns to evaluate how all part of such a system affect the filan performances. And how such performances can be improved.

The examples, and exercises, help the student to acquire the skills needed to perform a system-level design od a remote sensing system.


A good knowledge of Appled Electromagnetics topics, in particular thore related to antennas and plane-wave propagation, is required. A knowledge of the fundamentals of signal theory and random signal theory is needed, togheter with college math and physics topics, in particular thore related to vectors and matrices.


The syllabus is as follows.

Polarization of electromagnetic field (lectures: 8h, numerical applications 4h): sinusoidal, narrowband deterministic and random EM field;

Radiometry (lectures: 11h, numerical applications: 6h): Black and gray bodies, spectral brightness, radiative transfer in homogeneous and stratified environments, radiometric receivers;

Surfaces (lectures: 6h, numerical applications: 2h): specular and rough surfaces, coherent and diffuse component;

Imaging RADAR (lectures: 9h, numerical applications: 5h): resolution, received power and equivalent noise cross section, chirp, focussed and unfocussed SAR, image distortions, speckle;

SAR Processing (lectures: 5h, numerical applications: 1h): range-Doppler description, SAR transfer function, interferometric SAR;

Volume scattering (lectures: 5h, numerical applications: 2h): Rayleigh scattering, direct and diffuse component;

Inverse problems (lectures: 5h, numerical applications: 1h): least square solution, TSVD, Backus-Gilbert method.

Teaching Methods

The development of classroom lectures will be organized so that all topics will be connected in an unique discourse. In this way, the reasoning abilities of the students will be developed. The connections with other courses, or with the professional activities, will be enlighted.

In the development of the radiometric applications, the lectures follow the "signal", starting from the production of the radiometric signal and its interaction with the medium. Then the antenna and RF subsystems will be described, and finally the estimation of the signal parameters will be discussed.

In the imaging radar part, on the other hand, the approach will be a top-down one. First a simplified, 1D model will be discussed in detail. Then, its limitation will be discussed, and the full 2D processing described. Then the complete prerformances will be evaluated, and a few state-of-the-art applications will be described.

The numerical part will be devoted to the oslution of simple exercises, useful not onluy to better understand the system behavior and the interrelation of the various parameters, but also to know the order of magnitudes of those parameters in real systems.

Verification of learning

The main verification is based on an oral exam. In this exam the teacher will first evaluate knowledge and abilities of the student. These skills are enough to pass the exam, with a low or intermediate mark. To get an high mark, it is also required to show the ability to solve some simple numerical exercises, and to show their competencies. To test the former, the student must pass, before the oral exam, a written test on simple numerical execises, like the one developed during classroom. As long as the student has passed the test, and showed good knowledge and abilities, its competencies are verified, to determine the final mark.


Course notes;
C. ELACHI: Spaceborne Radar Remote Sensing: Applications and Techniques - IEEE PRESS 1988

An in-depth treatment of the course topics can be found in:
F.T. ULABY-D. LONG:Microwave Radar and Radiometric Remote Sensing - Artech House 2014;
G. FRANCESCHETTI-R. LANARI: Synthetic Aperture Radar Processing - CRC Press 1999;
F.T. ULABY-R.K. MOORE-A.K. FUNG: Microwave remote sensing (3 vols.) - Artech House 1986.

More Information

All the lecture notes will be available, togheter with the numerical exercises developed. The latter are normally derived by the exam tests.

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