The Cassini RADAR instrument is a multimode 13.8 GHz multiple-beam sensor that can operate as a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imager, altimeter, scatterometer, and radiometer. The principal objective of the RADAR is to map the surface of Titan. This will be done in the imaging, scatterometer, and radiometer modes. The RADAR altimeter data will provide information on relative elevations in selected areas. Surfaces of the Saturn’s icy satellites will be explored utilizing the RADAR radiometer and scatterometer modes. Saturn’s atmosphere and rings will be probed in the radiometer mode only. The instrument is a joint development by JPL/NASA and ASI. The RADAR design features significant autonomy and data compression capabilities. It is expected that the instrument will detect surfaces with backscatter coefficient as low as -40 dB.
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