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Signal Processing for Airborne Passive Radar : Interference Suppression and Space Time Adaptive Processing Techniques for Transmissions of Opportunity

Abstract : The novel concept for the airborne passive radar is to have multiple passive receiving arrays covering a 4 steradian angle around the platform which makes use of the ground-based stationary transmitter as the illuminator of opportunity. This challenging passive radar configuration would well find application for localized covert surveillance on an airborne platform such as an unmanned aerial vehicle, helicopter, etc. For the airborne passive radar, during moving target detections, it encounters the effects of strong interfering signal returns against the weak target returns where this severe interfering environment is usually characterized by the high levels of direct path and clutter against the thermal noise background. Due to the continuous wave, random and aperiodic nature of the passive signal and given the strong direct path and clutter signals, their random range sidelobes couplings into further range cells will seriously exacerbate the background interference, making target detections a big challenge. Moreover, owing to the platform motion, the clutter received by the airborne passive radar is not only extended in both range and angle, it is also spread over a region in Doppler frequency which further complicates the problem.This research work is focused on identifying and analyzing the critical issues faced by the airborne passive radar on moving target detections and to develop effective signal processing schemes for improved performance. As a first step, it is important to accurately derive the model for the received passive signals and consequently, efficient signal processing schemes can be studied to mitigate and to improve detections performance. The signal processing schemes for the airborne passive radar can be segregated into a two-step interference cancellation process where the direct path and strong clutter coupling components (and their corresponding random range sidelobes) present in the received signal at each antenna element can first be effectively suppressed by the adaptive interference cancellation algorithm prior to matched filter processing. Further cancellation on the residual random range sidelobes couplings and on the spatial-Doppler dependent clutter can be achieved using reduced-dimension STAP. Trials based on the ground-based moving passive radar experiments are conducted as the final part of this research work to validate and evaluate the signal processing schemes which is a major progress towards implementing an operational airborne passive radar.
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Danny Kai Pin Tan. Signal Processing for Airborne Passive Radar : Interference Suppression and Space Time Adaptive Processing Techniques for Transmissions of Opportunity. Other. Supélec, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012SUPL0021⟩. ⟨tel-00795191⟩

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