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CLUSIM: A Synthetic Aperture Radar Clutter Simulator for Planetary Exploration

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journal contribution
posted on 23.01.2018, 14:58 by Ya. A. Ilyushin, R. Orosei, O. Witasse, B. Sánchez-Cano
In this paper we present the CLUtter SIMulator (CLUSIM), a special program simulating radar side echoes from rough planetary surfaces using realistic topography data sets. A numerical model of realistic topography of the Martian surface, based on Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data, is developed. A specially developed computer routine for evaluation of wideband radar echoes reflected from rough surfaces, capable of aperture synthesis simulation, is described. A synthetic radargram for a portion of Mars Express (MEX) orbit 9466 is computed and validated against experimental data obtained by the MARSIS radar instrument. Finally, a previously developed ionospheric phase correction procedure is numerically tested with new simulated echo signals. Impact of the surface clutter on the ionospheric correction procedure is investigated with a direct numerical comparison to a known benchmark result, which shows robustness of the correction algorithm with respect to the surface clutter.


This work was supported by ESA-ESTEC Faculty and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) through contract I/032/12/1. Support from Russian Fundamental Research Fund with the grant 15-02-05476 and Russian Science Foundation with the grant 17-77-20087 is also kindly acknowledged. B. S. -C. acknowledges support through STFC grants ST/K001000/1 and ST/N000749/1. Y. I. is grateful to the administration of the Scientific Research Computing Center of the Moscow State University for granting the access to the computational resources of the parallel computing systems SKIF-GRID “Tchshebyshev” and “Lomonosov.”



Radio Science, 2017, 52 (9), pp. 1200-1213

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley, International Union of Radio Science





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MARSIS subsurface sounding data can be accessed through the Planetary Science Archive of ESA ( or the PDS Geosciences Node of NASA ( Laser altimetry data from MOLA instrument are available from the archive Requests for any other data should be sent directly to the corresponding author (Ya, I.)