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Growler detection in sea clutter with coherent radars

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2 Author(s)
Nohara, T.J. ; Raytheon Canada Ltd., Waterloo, Ont., Canada ; Haykin, Simon

Ship navigation through ice-infested waters is a problem of deep concern to the Canadian shipping and exploration industry. Conventional marine radars have difficulty detecting small pieces of glacial ice called growlers which are very hazardous to vessels if struck. In an effort to improve detection performance, X-band radar measurements were collected and analyzed to determine the characteristics of clutter and growler returns that could lead to their separability. These analyses suggested that coherent medium dwell-time processing (i.e., integration times of a fraction of a second) could provide improvement In growler detectability over conventional methods; and long dwell-time processing (i.e., integration times on the order of seconds) could provide even further improvement. We report on the performance of two new coherent, medium dwell-time detectors. A third detector which is representative of conventional marine radar serves as a basis for comparison Although significant improvement in growler detectability is achieved, the two coherent detectors still fall short of operational requirements. This leads to the development of a long dwell-time detector which provides considerably better performance. Empirical results indicate that this new detector could well satisfy stringent operational requirements

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 3 )