This paper presents a fast factorized back-projection (FFBP) algorithm that can satisfactorily process real P-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data collected from a spiral flight pattern performed by a drone-borne SAR system. Choosing the best setup when processing SAR data with an FFBP algorithm is not so straightforward, so predicting how this choice will affect the quality of the output image is valuable information. This paper provides a statistical phase error analysis to validate the hypothesis that the phase error standard deviation can be predicted by geometric parameters specified at the start of processing. In particular, for a phase error standard deviation of ~12°, the FFBP is up to 21 times faster than the direct back-projection algorithm for 3D images and up to 13 times faster for 2D images.
Keywords: 3D imaging; drone; fast factorized back-projection (FFBP); synthetic aperture radar (SAR).