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A credible method of calculating the detection threshold is presented for the multiple target situations, which appear frequently in the lower Doppler velocity region during the surveillance of sea with HF ground wave radar. This method defines a whole-peak-outlier elimination (WPOE) criterion, which is based on in-peak-samples correlation of each target echo spectra, to trim off the target signals and abnormal disturbances with great amplitude from the complex spectra. Therefore, cleaned background noise samples are obtained to improve the accuracy and reliability of noise level estimation. When the background noise is nonhomogeneous, the detection samples are limited and often occupied heavily with outliers. In this case, the problem that the detection threshold is overvalued can be solved. In applications on experimental data, it is verified that this method can reduce the miss alarm rate of signal detection effectively in multiple target situations as well as make the adaptability of the detector better.