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Radar Detection of Marine Mammals

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The long-term goal of this work was to develop a radar solution for the detection of marine mammals using shipborne radar, and to demonstrate its performance. In particular, a solution using commercial surface search radars was desired since it would provide a readily accessible technique for commercial shipping entities concerned about ship strike of marine mammals andor detection for compliance with operating permits. The two technical objectives for this work were as follows 2 develop a near-real-time signal processorradar combination that would be suitable for the detection of marine mammals, and 2 assess the performance of such a combination in specific ocean conditionsspecies combinations to establish the systems utility. The first stage was to collect a data set from a fixed location which would allow us to test our radar captureprocessing capabilities and detection algorithms in a less stressing environment than aboard a ship. The dataset should have significant diversity in look directions, range from the radar, and sea conditions. The dataset should also have sufficient animals to make a statement about both the probability of detection PD as well as false alarm rate FAR. Following this, the next task was to make an assessment of the radar data and the performance of the radar plus signal processing algorithm for the detection of marine mammals. The next stage was to refine the radar processing and algorithm for use aboard a ship. Collecting a data set aboard a ship using the newly refined algorithms was the next step which was again followed by further improvements to the detection algorithm. During the period of performance two experiments were successfully completed. The first was conducted as part of the MAST08 experiment. During this experiment a radar was mounted on a cliff to observe the Gray whale migration off the coast of California. The second experiment was an at-sea data collection.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment

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