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Inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging of air, space or ship targets with complex motion has attracted the attention of many researchers in the past decade. Complex motion of targets induce cross-range scatterer-variant quadratic phase terms, which will degrade the cross-range resolution and affect focusing quality. A new algorithm is proposed for the ISAR imaging of complex moving targets. First, conventional range alignment, phase compensation and range compression are performed over the raw phase history data such that each range bin can be modelled as the sum of several linear frequency modulation or chirp signals. Secondly, a modified-Wigner-Ville distribution (referred to as M-WVD) approach is proposed, which is based on a scale transform in the time-frequency distribution plane and can effectively suppress the troublesome cross-term interference associated with WVD via coherent integration. Finally, the azimuth ISAR image can be obtained via a simple maximisation projection from the two-dimensional accumulated plot to the azimuth dimension. Compared with existing WVD-based ISAR imaging algorithms, the proposed method has the following features: better cross-term interference reduction achieved at no resolution loss, computationally more efficient with no expensive two-dimensional parameter search, and higher signal processing gain because of coherent integration during the whole imaging time. Both numerical and experimental results are provided to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method.
Date of Publication: February 2009