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Investigating forward scatter radar for maritime target detection using statistical and comparative study

22 February 2012

Saumil Desai

This research analyses the electromagnetic signal scattered from the target crossing the baseline of the Forward Scatter Radar (FSR) technique. The aim of this research is to investigate this system using statistical methods for radar detection and determine the target cross – section and compare and validate the FSR model with Computer Simulation Technique (CST) results using optimisation technique. Furthermore, this research is useful in detecting small maritime targets for deterring maritime piracy.

Statistical signal analysis for radar detection was preliminary calculated. In addition, two methods, CST 3D Electromagnetic (EM) Simulation and FSR Analytical model in MATLAB were used for investigation. The results gathered from the statistical analysis proved that the targets can be detected when signal to noise ratio (SNR) is above a threshold limit and the probability of false alarm, P_fa is decreasing with increasing SNR. The detectors performance analysis calculated the probability of detection for coherent and non – coherent detectors changes with non – fluctuating and fluctuating targets when applied with different Swerling models.

The detection capability improves with higher SNR values typically within the region of 10 – 15dB, with decreasing, P_fa. However, the probability density function (PDF) demonstrates that the probability of target is relatively low within the FSR region even with high RCS although the detection could be the result of high signal to clutter ratio. 

Furthermore, the targets cross-section was calculated using FSR equations in MATLAB. The results proved that radar cross-section (RCS) values are higher within the forward scatter (FS) region, which is typically between ± 10 - 20°. To validate this result, CST 3D EM simulations were used for modelling small maritime targets and the RCS calculated were compared with the MATLAB Analytical RCS data using optimisation technique. A reasonable fit was obtained with appropriate length and height of the aperture for analytical model calculated.