Detection and Tracking of Small Boats and Semi-Submersibles in the Littoral
Detection of small boats and semi-submersibles in the littoral environment is very challenging as a result of the very strong and persistent backscatter from the ocean surface. Detection modes that employ long dwell coherent processing are a promising approach to achieving reliable low false alarm rate detection of this class of surface vessels in a littoral environment. A penalty of utilizing long coherent dwell detection modes is a reduction in area coverage rate. The reduction in area coverage rate can be minimized by careful mode design/parameterization that is well matched to exploit environmental and look direction dependent scattering phenomenology based on the use of in-situ sensor measurements. It is envisioned that this overall capability would be kernelled within a sensor resource manager for use in the field. A related critical aspect that conditions the design space is the architecture of the sensor. The sensor architecture may be mechanically scanned single or dual phase center (monopulse), or a multi-phase center fixed or mechanically scanned AESA. Since the azimuth antenna baseline dimension and number of phase centers play an important role in establishing endoclutter performance in some processing schemes, its impact will also be considered as part of this SBIR effort.
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