Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:First Digitally Processed Image from a Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. None Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. If the answer to any of the following questions is "no", the proposal cannot proceed further. Contact us at email@example.com if you are unable to answer "yes" to all of the following and would still like to proceed. Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes No Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes No Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes No Was it of at least regional importance? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. In November 1978, a team from MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) became the first to use a digital processor to reconstruct an image from Seasat-A, the first civilian spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). MDA engineers subsequently developed three of the four most important SAR digital processing algorithms that replaced the optical processing methods used previously. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address. 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A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Also, please Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). (e.g. Is it corporate buildings? Historic Site? Residential? Are there other historical markers already at the site?) Are the original buildings extant? Please provide the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. How is the intended plaque site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public? If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give details as well as the contact information visitors will need in order to arrange to visit the plaque. Who is the present owner of the site(s)? In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? From the time that Carl A. Wiley of Goodyear Aircraft Co. introduced the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) concept in 1951, optical correlators based upon various combinations of exotic lenses and optical film had been used to reconstruct synthetic aperture radar imagery. While reconstruction could be accomplished in reasonable time using such techniques, the results suffered from various artifacts associated with slight physical imperfections in the optical system and the limited dynamic range of the optical system. While the possibility of using digital technology to process SAR data had been recognized early on, the processing requirements greatly exceeded the capabilities of the general purpose computers available to researchers in the 1950's and 1960's. The state of the art as of 1970 is summarized in . At the same time, it had been recognized that a synthetic aperture radar carried by an orbiting satellite would offer many important advantages over airborne SARs. First, orbiting Earth observation satellites can achieve worldwide coverage with an ease that airborne platforms cannot match. Second, orbiting SARs are not buffeted by the atmospheric turbulence that shakes airborne SARs; the path that they take through airless space is ultra smooth and highly predictable. These advantages are only partially offset by the reduced resolution and lower signal-to-noise ratio achievable with orbital SAR imagery due to their much greater height above the Earth's surface. Tremendous advances in minicomputer technology during the early 1970's renewed interest in the possibility of placing a synthetic aperture radar in low earth orbit and using general purpose computers to produce high quality imagery from the downlinked data. Seasat-A. the world's first orbital SAR, was launched by NASA in 1978. Although it failed within 90 days of achieving orbit due to a power system defect, Seasat-A demonstrated the enormous potential of orbital SARs and ushered in three decades of innovation that saw orbital SARs of ever increasing power and capability launched by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Several teams competed to be the first to reconstruct a scene by digitally processing Seasat-A SAR data. However, the general purpose minicomputers available to engineers in the late 1970's were only barely capable of supplying the enormous processing power required. It was widely expected that a large, well-funded team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory would prevail. Instead, a small, upstart team from Canada's MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates that had begun their task two years earlier won the race in November 1978 . So significant was the accomplishment that this first image was featured in the 26 February 1979 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology . Details were reported at several conferences early in 1979 ,. JPL was behind and as recently as 1980 was still reporting results that had been processed using the less capable optical techniques . What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? MDA's accomplishment underscored a lesson that would be repeated many times as the digital revolution progressed. Other teams had access to the same SEASAT data and similar general purpose digital computers. However, it was the MDA team's careful mastery of algorithm design and software engineering that allowed them to win the race to become the first to produce a digitally processed data from Seasat-A data. MDA exploited their early success to become one of the most influential and prolific developers of digital SAR processing algorithms and digital SAR processors in the world. Teams at MDA developed three of the four common SAR processing algorithms in use today: Range/Doppler, Chirp Scaling, and SPECAN. MDA also developed the digital SAR processors used by such notable NASA, ESA and CSA programs as SIR-B, SIR-C, ERS-1, J-ERS-1. RADARSAT-1, ENVISAT and, most recently, RADARSAT-2 . What features set this work apart from similar achievements? The events of November 1978 marked a turning point in the history of synthetic aperture radar. Demonstration that data from spaceborne SARs could be digitally processed using general purpose digital computers helped to dramatically reduce the cost of SAR imagery and make it much more widely available for civilian applications. Until 1978, military applications of SAR were predominant. Since 1978, civilian applications of SAR have assumed steadily increasing importance. The reputation that MDA earned from this accomplishment fuelled its rapid growth into the world's largest supplier of SAR processors and Canada's largest space technology company. Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.  R. O. Harger, "Synthetic Aperture Radar Systems: Theory and Design." Academic Press, New York, 1970.  Herbert J. Kramer, "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors," 4th ed., Springer, 2002, p. 32.  "Seasat Imagery Shows St. Lawrence," Aviation Week and Space Technology, 26 Feb. 1979. [Clipping Available Online.] http://rsl.ece.ubc.ca/AWST-Seasat-26Feb1979.png  I. Cumming and J. Bennett, "Digital processing of Seasat SAR data," in Proc. IEEE ICASSP '79, Apr 1979, pp. 710-718. [Available Online.] http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1170630  John R. Bennett and Ian G. Cumming, "A Digital Processor for the Production of Seasat Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery," LARS Symposia, Purdue Univ., 1979, Paper 316. [Available Online.] http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/lars_symp/316  R. L. Jordan, "The Seasat-A synthetic aperture radar system," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 154-164, Apr. 1980. [Available Online.] http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1145451  I. G. Cumming and F. H. Wong, “Digital Processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar Data”, Artech House, 2005. [Summary Available Online.] http://www.artechhouse.com/Main/Books/Digital-Processing-of-Synthetic-Aperture-Radar-Dat-643.aspx Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to email@example.com with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished Summary: This is a minor edit Watch this page Cancel Retrieved from "http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/Milestone-Proposal:First_Digitally_Processed_Image_from_a_Spaceborne_Synthetic_Aperture_Radar"