The FOPEN SAR is an ultrawide-band (UWB) system that uses low frequencies to achieve foliage penetration. The system has a very high frequency (VHF) frequency range of approximately 20-70 MHz and ultra high frequency (UHF) range of approximately 200-500 MHz. Its basic operating principle involves transmitting of pulsed radio frequency waves and receiving the echoes scattered from targets and the ground surface. The echoes are subjected to
analog preprocessing, digitized, and further digitally processed to produce the final imagery.
The primary advantage of using an airborne-based system is the ability to acquire a large amount of data covering a wide area in a relatively short period of time. To the untrained eye, FOPEN generated maps may look like a bird's-eye view of a city at night; however, these images contain useful intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information that reveal concealed objects by penetrating foliage, buildings and some terrain while overcoming camouflage, concealment and deception techniques.
FOPEN has been in the field since the late-90s and is the result of a joint Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, U.S. Air Force and Army Advanced Technology Development program. FOPEN was originally used to demonstrate low frequency radar's ability to penetrate, but its proven success allowed it to be used for a variety of mission
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