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Ground target tracking with STAP radar

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2 Author(s)
Koch, W. ; FGAN-FFM, Wachtberg, Germany ; Klemm, R.

The problem of tracking ground moving targets by a moving radar (airborne, spaceborne) is addressed. Tracking of low Doppler targets within a strong clutter background is of special interest. The motion of the radar platform induces a spreading of the clutter Doppler spectrum so that low Doppler target echoes may be buried in the clutter band. Detection of such targets can be much alleviated by space-time adaptive processing (STAP), which implicitly compensates for the Doppler spread effect caused by the platform motion. Even if STAP is applied, low Doppler targets can be masked by the clutter notch. This physical phenomenon is frequently observed and results in a series of missing detections which may seriously degrade the tracking performance. A new sensor model adapted to STAP is proposed and its benefits to tracking well-separated targets are discussed. By exploiting a priori information on the sensor specific clutter notch, the model in particular provides a more appropriate treatment of missing detections. In this context, the minimum detectable velocity (MDV) proves to be an important sensor parameter, explicitly entering into ground moving target indication (GMTI) tracking

Published in:

Radar, Sonar and Navigation, IEE Proceedings -  (Volume:148 ,  Issue: 3 )