Radar Detection and Tracking of Small Maritime Targets at High Grazing Angles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-13-C-0019
Agency Tracking Number: N083-205-0061a
Amount: $1,200,819.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-205
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
3737 Atwell St., Suite 208, Dallas, TX, -
DUNS: 611827812
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Sidney Theis
 President
 (214) 353-8755
 sidtheis@rdrtec.com
Business Contact
 Sidney Theis
Title: President
Phone: (214) 353-8755
Email: sidtheis@rdrtec.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The proposed work further develops and supports transition of a long integration mode for radar detection and tracking of small maritime targets at high grazing angles in the presence of highly variable Doppler spectra characteristics that occur in the littoral sea clutter environment. Radar detection of small maritime targets can be very challenging at high grazing angles because the radar reflectivity is masked by the much stronger reflectivity of the surrounding sea especially. Maritime wide area surface search radars have traditionally operated at low altitudes (=1000 ft ) and short coherent integration times (some non-coherently) which provide for low grazing angles where the mean clutter levels are low but where sea spikes returns may be larger than target returns. Short integration times with Scan-to-Scan integration were a necessity to maintain fast search revisit rates to provide detection of limited exposure targets. For persistently exposed targets like small boats and semi-submersibles, an alternative approach is to use longer coherent processing. Coherent processing adds the dimension of the Doppler spectrum as a radar observable. If the Doppler spectra of the small boat's return can be adequately separated from that of the sea then improved detection performance is possible. The Doppler spectra of the littoral seas varies from being rather homogeneous to being highly inhomogeneous with large discrete Doppler packets associated with free and trapped capillaries riding on surface gravity waves and swell. Likewise the target Doppler spectra of the small boat target set of interest can be highly variable containing relatively narrow Doppler spectra from the vessel itself and a much wider response from the speed dependent boat wake and spray.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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