FOPEN SAR Enhancements
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
One of the most promising approaches to alleviating the limitations of detecting and targeting time-critical, fixed and mobile ground targets that use CC&D techniques, is the use of FOPEN radars. These radars, which operate in the VHF/UHF bands using UWBtechniques, can obtain high-resolution (~ 0.5 m) SAR images of concealed targets. However, using these FOPEN SAR images to detect man-made targets distributed over vast areas in deep forest cover or other camouflage, has long been recognized as importantbut difficult. The foliage complicates the detection process in a number of ways, but the most challenging is the backscatter from the tree trunks and areas adjacent to the targets - often indistinguishable from the target returns.To enhance target detection - and subsequent tracking and recognition - TSC is proposing a novel approach that exploits the image recovery attributes of auto-regressive (AR) techniques, such as the Burg algorithm. The technique holds great promise inproviding a means to discriminate true target returns from discrete tree trunks and other clutter.During Phase I, TSC will investigate the feasibility of exploiting FOPEN SAR image notching and AR recovery techniques to enhance the detection and eventual track and recognition of ground targets moving in forested areas.The technology developed in this project will result in a robust method for the detection - and eventual track and recognition - of true ground target returns amid myriad returns from tree trunks and other clutter, with low false-alarm and missed targets.The technology is expected to substantially improve the military's effectiveness in targeting concealed fixed and mobile ground targets. In addition, it has civilian applications which include forestry monitoring by environmental services for compliancewith logging restrictions as well as forest fire fighting, and law enforcement and drug traffic interdiction in heavily forested regions like South America.
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