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A Study of Target Variability and Exact Signature Reproduction Requirements for Ka-Band Radar Data

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A variety of ATR algorithms have promised improved performance, not yet realized operationally. Typically, good results have been reported on data sets of limited size that have been tested in a laboratory environment, only to see the performance degrade when stressed with real-world target and environmental variability. To investigate exact signature reproduction requirements along with target and environment variability issues for stressing new ATR metrics, the U.S. Army s National Ground Intelligence Center NGIC and Targets Management Office TMO originated, sponsored, and directed a signature project plan to acquire multiple target full-polarimetric Ka-band radar signature data at Eglin AFB, as well as its submillimeter-wave compact radar range equivalent using high-fidelity exact 116th scale replicas fabricated by the ERADS program. To effectively understand signature reproduction requirements through the variability of multiple target RCS characteristics, TMO and NGIC sponsored researchers at U Mass Lowell s Submillimeter-Wave Technology Laboratory STL and Simulation Technologies SimTech to analyze the intra-class and inter-class variability of the fullscale Ka-band turntable signature data. NGIC, TMO, STL and SimTech researchers then traveled to the location of the vehicles measured at Eglin AFB and conducted extensive documentation and mensuration on these vehicles. Using this information, ERADS built high fidelity, articulatable exact replicas for measurement in the NGIC s compact radar ranges. Signal processing software established by STL researchers in an NGIC directed signature study was used to execute an HRR and ISAR cross-correlation study of the field and scale-model signature data. The signature-to-signature variability quantified is presented, along with a description and examples of the signature analysis techniques exploited.

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  • Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment

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