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Radar sensor using low probability of interception SS-FH signals

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4 Author(s)

One of the best known weakness of radar sensors in defense and security applications is the necessity to radiate a signal, which can be detected by the target, so being possible (easy in fact) that the target is alerted about the presence of a radar before the radar is alerted about the presence of a target. In this context, Low Probability of Interception (LPI) Radars try to use signals that are difficult to intercept and/or identify. Spread spectrum signals are strong candidates for this application, and systems using special frequency or polyphase modulation schemes are being exploited. Frequency hopping, however, has not received much attention. The typical LPI radar at this moment of the technology is a CW-LFM radar. The simplicity of the technology is its best point. Polyphase codes, on the other hand have the inherent advantage of high instantaneous bandwidth regardless of observation time. But the complexity of the hardware is also higher. FH signals have traditionally been considered of lower performance but higher complexity, due to the difficulties to compensate the individual dopplers for the individual range cells in the receiver. One important point is that an FH radar must be clearly distinguished from an agile frequency radar. In the latter, a pulsed signal is transmitted using different frequencies from pulse to pulse. In an FH radar the frequency changes must be during the pulse. In fact, in an LPI FH radar, a CW frequency hopped signal is used. A radar system concept is proposed in which it shows how these problems can be overcome in a tracking application. Also, the signal format is analyzed under the scope of future decade digital interceptors, showing that, in fact, this kind of signal exhibits improvement in some performances and requires a hardware that is only slightly more complex than that needed for CW-LFM systems

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 4 )