So, I already understand that the maximum resolution of a radar system is λ R / L, where lambda is the wavelength, R is the range to the target, and L is the diameter of the antenna, and that for a phased array, L would be the maximum distance between antennas (correct me if I'm wrong :) ). But there are two things I don't know:
1) How would one go about calculating the maximum bandwidth of a phased-array system? I know that they can be retargetted "in milliseconds" and different portions of the array can be used to track different targets at the same time. But when sweeping across terrain, what determines how many return datapoints you can read per second?
2) How does one calculate / estimate range accuracy when measuring distances to the target? Again the multiple antennas throws me off a bit because I know that in a single antenna system you generally have the antenna switch between pulses and waiting for returns, but I imagine that on a phased array when you have many antennas that it might be different.
This is all concerning terrain mapping from a lighter-than-air vehicle. Just trying to calculate what sort of data quality could be gathered, and it seems that most radar questions on stack exchange are in this section. :)
On that front...
3) Am I wrong that phased array is the ideal radar choice for this application? I know aerial terrain mapping is usually done with SAR, but a) a lighter than air vehicle moves much slower than an airplane or spacecraft (bad for SAR), and 2b) spreads out over a large physical area (good for phased array). Correct me if I'm wrong and SAR or some other type of radar else would be superior from a mass perspective for a given resolution.