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Velocity estimation for radar systems with staggered pulse repetition frequency

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1 Author(s)
L. T. Younkins ; Appl. Phys. Lab., Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD, USA

The availability of low-cost, high-performance signal processing hardware can be used to significant advantage in enhancing the performance of older radar systems. Key performance areas such as detection and tracking ability may be dramatically improved without modifying the core components of the radar system. The tracking process is an ideal candidate for improvement through the use of an adjunct high-performance signal processor. As target threats minimize radar cross section, detecting and tracking them in dense clutter backgrounds becomes a challenging task. Conventional tracking systems initiate tracks by associating signal detections in a spatial window. The size of this window is necessarily large to accommodate the fastest target of interest. Often, spurious detections from clutter will be associated and result in the formation of false tracks. In addition, target detections may be erroneously associated with clutter and cause an actual target track to be dropped. The use of additional discriminants in the track formation process can mitigate these effects resulting in improved tracking performance. Velocity estimates, generated by observing the signal phase progression over a series of transmitted pulses, can provide additional discrimination ability against clutter. This paper examines the development and implementation of a velocity estimator for a radar system with staggered pulse repetition frequency. Key design issues are discussed and results are presented to exemplify the improvement in tracking performance

Published in:

Radar 97 (Conf. Publ. No. 449)

Date of Conference:

14-16 Oct 1997