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Tracking of Metallic Objects Using a Retro-Reflective Array at 26 GHz

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3 Author(s)
Jacquelyn A. Vitaz ; Electrical Engineering Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Amelia M. Buerkle ; Kamal Sarabandi

The detection and tracking of targets in highly cluttered environments often poses a difficult engineering challenge as the strong clutter backscatter contained in the scene makes it difficult to distinguish the target of interest. A design concept to aide in standoff detection and tracking of large metallic objects in a warehouse setting is presented. This includes the design and implementation of an active retro-reflective array system that is able to determine the precise location and identification of an object. To accomplish this, a unique series fed grounded coplanar waveguide patch antenna is designed and implemented with minimal cross coupling among elements. This compact array has a relatively large radar cross-section (RCS) while maintaining the desired retro-reflectivity. Additionally, a tilted beam is incorporated in the linear series-fed array to isolate the large RCS of the planar array structure at boresight from the desired modulated, retro-reflective RCS. This method for enhanced detection is implemented at 26 GHz. The incorporation of the high-speed PIN switches into the array structure provide the tag with a unique identification. Measurement results for the modulated RCS from such an array in a cluttered environment are presented.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 11 )