The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, has developed a radar filter method that can significantly improve detection of targets in cluttered environments.
The filtering technique may reduce clutter by 10 dB or more and is most beneficial when detecting targets whose Doppler frequencies are similar to the clutter Doppler spectrum.
The Navy’s solution is simple and elegant, employing the radar’s own two-way antenna pattern gain characteristics in combination with the clutter-to-noise ratio to maximize the signal to interference ratio for slow-moving targets in the clutter spectrum. The necessary calculations can easily be made with a few lines of code on existing hardware platforms. Competing systems are complicated, resource intensive, and require training data to compensate for non-stationary clutter.
The Navy’s filtering technique enhances the effectiveness of a wide range of weather, aviation, and military radar systems and requires only minimal changes to software or firmware once the system’s antenna pattern is assessed. The improvements are attractive for weather applications where clutter is the Achille’s heel of modern Doppler imaging. The largest amplitude clutter interference for weather radars is created by the ground, and accuracy is further degraded by birds, insects, and various debris, such as dust, in the air. Military platforms, such as the AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR and the 3-D Expeditionary Long-Range Radar, may realize significant gains by employing the Navy’s solution.
- Effective: 10 dB or more reduction in clutter more readily identifies targets with frequencies near the clutter Doppler spectrum
- Simple upgrade to existing radars: Implementation requires minimal modifications to existing software or firmware
- Efficient operation: Functions with existing processing systems and does not require training data or extensive computational resources
- US patent 9,857,455 available for license
- Potential collaboration with Navy researchers to adapt this filtering technique to existing or planned radar platforms
- Additional clutter modeling tools and techniques potentially available for commercialization or use in collaboration with Navy researchers