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The polarisation-space-time processing technique performs significantly better than the space-time processing technique, as it makes use of the polarisation information as well as the angle and Doppler information of radar returns when the secondary data set is large enough to overcome the detection loss. However, considering the degree of freedom of the polarisation-space-time processor, it is rarely possible to obtain such a large set of secondary data vectors, especially in an airborne radar target detection where clutter is inhomogeneous and/or non-stationary. Here, two adaptive polarisation-space-time localised processors, which are of significant use in limited secondary data environments, are developed by efficiently combining the space-time localised processor and the polarisation processor. The authors first analyse the performance potential of the polarisation-space-time processors with different configurations because selecting a processor configuration is a critical issue that should be solved prior to developing adaptive algorithms. The detection performance of the adaptive processors developed by considering the performance potential is then derived analytically in terms of the probabilities of detection and false alarm, and a performance comparison is made for limited secondary data environments.