Auroral clutter in over-the-horizon radar

  1. Ravan, M.
  2. Adve, R.S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN);Toronto Univ, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) is designed to detect targets at ranges of up to several thousand kilometers. This type of radar uses the ionosphere as a reflecting surface to detect aircraft beyond the line-of-sight horizon of the earth. However, at northern latitudes, the radar experiences intense radar clutter from the earth’s aurora, which can mask aircraft echoes. Thus one is motivated to investigate signal processing strategies to mitigate this auroral clutter. This report presents results of the Space- Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) of auroral clutter data. The STAP processing is realized by a previously published Fast Fully Adaptive (FFA) scheme, whereby the appropriate processor weights are established by a multistage partitioning of the observed data cube. The STAP results show that using temporal adaptivity in addition to spatial adaptivity increases the target signature relative to surrounding clutter by an average of 5 dB compared to spatial-only adaptive processing. Furthermore, it is shown that this level of performance is observed with three degrees of freedom but not with five degrees of freedom. It is hypothesized that the inhomogeneity of the clutter impacts the ability to accurately estimate the clutter covariance in the case of larger numbers of degrees of freedom.

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Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-CR-2010-266 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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