A method is provided for detecting a target signal of a specific known form in the presence of clutter. The method includes dividing a set of initial training data, derived from returns from a burst of identical pulses, into a set of censored data and a set of uncensored data. A covariance matrix estimate, based on the uncensored data, is used to compute adaptive coherence estimate values, and an average adaptive coherence estimate threshold level is computed for each Doppler band to obtain a corresponding threshold. The censored data and the covariance matrix estimate are used to compute adaptive coherence estimate values for the uncensored data for each Doppler band, and these values are compared with the respective thresholds to determine the presence or absence of the target signal.
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