In this paper we study the impact of sparse aperture data collection of a SAR sensor on reconstruction quality of a scene of interest. Different mono and multi-static SAR measurement configurations produce different Fourier sampling patterns. These patterns reflect different spectral and spatial diversity trade-offs that must be made during task planning. Compressed sensing theory argues that the mutual coherence of the measurement probes is related to the reconstruction performance of sparse domains. With this motivation we compare the mutual coherence and corresponding reconstruction behavior of various mono-static and ultra-narrow band multi-static configurations, which trade-off frequency for geometric diversity. We investigate if such simple metrics are related to SAR reconstruction quality in an obvious way.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.