Ground-Based Radar Performance Improvements

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$99,905.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
FA8718-06-C-0056
Solitcitation Year:
2006
Solicitation Number:
2006.1
Branch:
Air Force
Award Year:
2006
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
F061-207-1194
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF06-207
Small Business Information
NORTHWEST RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, INC.
P.O. Box 3027, Bellevue, WA, 98009
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
151471349
Principal Investigator
 Lyn Nickisch
 Senior Research Scientist
 (831) 582-4905
 lj@nwra.com
Business Contact
 Joan Oltman-Shay
Title: President
Phone: (425) 644-9660
Email: contracts-grants@nwra.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Ground-based radars operating in the naturally or nuclear disturbed ionospheric environment can be subjected to high levels of clutter and returns from countermeasures. Effective clutter mitigation and false alarm control is required to maintain performance in high sensitivity applications such as ballistic missile or Re-entry Vehicle (RV) detection, tracking, and discrimination. We propose a performance-enhancing algorithm that mitigates clutter and false alarms while actually increasing radar sensitivity. This method is called SIFTER, for Signal Inversion For Target Extraction and Registration. Our team has already successfully applied SIFTER to radars operating in the HF band (ROTHR over-the-horizon radar and CODAR HF surface wave radar). In this proposed effort we will extend the benefit of SIFTER processing to Air Force ground-based radars. SIFTER operates by solving the inverse problem of finding the distribution of scatterers (target and clutter sources) that best reproduces the radar measurements. The inverse problem is solved using Tikhonov Regularization, a smoothing constraint that works to suppress clutter sources in the scattering volume while maintaining target returns. As the SIFTER solutions are evolved in time, spurious noise peaks that do not evolve in a way consistent with their Doppler velocity are quickly smoothed away, exposing even quite weak targets.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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