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Radar signal design for target resolution

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1 Author(s)
Rihaczek, A.W. ; Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.

Target resolution involves the recognition of a particular target in an arbitrary target environment. While pulse compression methods have solved the problem of separating two closely spaced targets of about the same cross section, this separation is usually accomplished at the expense of introducing "sidelobes" in the matched filter response, which may mask weak targets and prevent their detection altogether. The paper investigates the nature of the constraints on combined range and range rate resolution in a matched filter radar and establishes a clear tie between the uncertainty relation and the practical limitations on the resolution performance of radar. It is found that, in general, an optimum radar waveform for target resolution cannot exist. Radar signal design for target resolution consists of matching the waveform to the characteristics of the target environment, and a signal can be optimum only in that it achieves the best match. These findings are illustrated by examples of matching the radar waveform to a given target environment.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 2 )