Investigation of airborne synthetic aperture radar parameters for buried target detection

Colin D. Kelly, Brian R. Phelan, Traian V. Dogaru, Kelly D. Sherbondy, Ram M. Narayanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Explosive hazards pose a threat to both civilians and warfighters in areas of current and past conflict. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) has been exploring the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted ultra-wideband (UWB) radar to image and detect obscured explosive hazards. In a stripmap modality, a synthetic aperture radar system travels in a straight line and takes measurements perpendicular to the platform's direction of travel. The large angular diversity provided by the platform motion yields a fine cross-range resolution of the imaged scene. This problem space is being simulated in MATLAB to determine the feasibility of buried target detection and to identify the optimal parameters of operation on a UAV. Parameters such as platform height, incident angle, and bandwidth are investigated. It is shown that performance at different platform heights is determined by the dependence of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on elevation. Furthermore, a minimum platform height is required to meet the minimum requirements of the time-bandwidth product for pulsed waveforms. An optimal transmit angle can be found by maximizing the target-to-clutter ratio (TCR). The target radar cross section (RCS) is taken from finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) models of targets of interest, and the clutter is simulated using the small perturbation method (SPM) for distributed clutter. Finally, the required resolution and bandwidth of the system are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadar Sensor Technology XXIII
EditorsKenneth I. Ranney, Armin Doerry
ISBN (Electronic)9781510626713
StatePublished - 2019
EventRadar Sensor Technology XXIII 2019 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 15 2019Apr 17 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceRadar Sensor Technology XXIII 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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