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GMTI Data Exploitation for SWAP Limited Radar Systems


OBJECTIVE: Develop advanced ground moving target indicator (GMTI) signal processing algorithms for use on airborne SWAP (size, weight and power) limited radar systems, for improved capability to detect, geo-locate, and characterize moving targets on the ground. DESCRIPTION: Ground surveillance radar is an established component of the DoD"s battlefield awareness strategy, providing persistent surveillance during day or night, and during all-weather conditions. Advanced radar systems are capable of suppressing stationary clutter in order to detect and characterize slowly moving and low observable targets, as well as providing estimates of target locations in range and cross-range. The use of tier II unmanned air vehicles (UAV) is increasing for both the military and homeland security. They are assuming roles of combat, intelligence and reconnaissance. However, the payloads of these aircraft are limited in terms of size, weight, and power (SWAP), which in turn limits the data acquisition and signal processing capability of ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radars. SWAP limitations also affect the achievable signal to noise ratio due to the size of the antenna aperture. These restrictions make it difficult to detect and classify targets with small radar cross-sections such as dismounts. The complexity of GMTI radar systems on tier II UAVs may also be restricted to two channels. Having only two channels makes it challenging to mitigate ground clutter for detecting slowly moving targets during persistent, wide-area searches, i.e., when the antenna beams are broadside or squinted, while also providing accurate geo-location estimates of the targets. Innovative GMTI signal processing approaches are needed to extend the capabilities of SWAP-limited systems and improve the state-of-the-art for target detection, localization, and classification. The goals of this SBIR are to develop and demonstrate advanced GMTI signal processing algorithms which address SWAP issues. Specifically, (i) detecting weak target signatures in clutter; (ii) robust feature extraction and target classification technique for dismounts, vehicles, livestock, low-flying aircraft, etc.); and (iii) simultaneous clutter suppression and target geo-location for systems having a small number of receive channels. Special emphasis will be given to difficult scenarios when performing surveillance over mountainous and/or urban environments where clutter is non-stationary, and SWAP limitations are even more problematic. Both broadside and squint modes will be considered. PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate GMTI signal processing algorithms for SWAP-limited radar systems. Validate algorithms using modeling, simulation, and analysis tools. Conduct system trade studies, identify SWAP limited systems, and SWAP constraints on the radar processor. Create appropriate objective/threshold performance parameters for GMTI metrics which may include SINR, SINR loss, MDV, Pd, or Pfa. PHASE II: Demonstrate and validate detection, geo-location, and characterization capability of the algorithm on airborne radar data. The data and its documentation (format, collection geometries, ground scenarios, etc) may be provided by the government or the contractor. The data must contain operationally relevant clutter environments to include urban areas and mountainous regions. The algorithms will be evaluated against developed metrics from Phase 1. Create a transition plan for this technology. PHASE III: Military Application: Transition algorithms to medium altitude, long endurance UAV radar system(s) under development or currently in the DoD inventory. Commercial Application: GMTI capabilities have application for homeland security including counter-drug and border control. REFERENCES: 1. Richards, Mark A.,"Fundamentals of Radar Signal Processing,"McGraw-Hill, 2005. 2. Soumekh, Mehrdad,"Synthetic Aperture Radar Signal Processing with Matlab Algorithms,"Wiley, 1999. 3. Ender, J. H. G.,''Space-time processing for multichannel synthetic aperture radar,"Electronics and Communication Engineering Journal (February 1999), pp.29-38.
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