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Antenna Design and Signal Processing for Mechanical FMCW Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems

Basuki, Jasni E.; (2019) Antenna Design and Signal Processing for Mechanical FMCW Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The demand for highly sophisticated radar systems to be implemented along the coastal waters of the Strait of Malacca for the surveillance and tracking of vessels that travels through this narrow Strait has risen rapidly over the last few decades. Along with the technological advancements in radar systems, the increased demand is in response to the success that radars have introduced in significantly reducing some of the biggest problems contributed from security and weather condition perspectives. The existing radars implemented by Indonesian authorities to fulfil the surveillance requirements of the Strait mainly comprises of electronic scanning systems. Nonetheless, several allocated radar sites along the Strait inevitably lacks the basic infrastructure and accessibility required to install more complex systems (i.e. electronic scanning radars) that are prone to higher maintenance. This have favoured authorities to opt for the use of mechanical scanning radars, which, unlike phased array systems, are simpler, less complex, and significantly more affordable systems. The resolution performance alongside the accuracy of the positional information of a detected target provided by the radar is highly dependent on the angular resolution of the antenna. For mechanically scanning radars, a highly directional beam is commonly produced by employing conventional parabolic reflector antennas. Reflector antennas are a popular choice for surveillance and tracking applications as it is known for producing beams with very high gain and narrow beamwidths in both planes. However, this is usually achieved by employing an undesirably large reflector, which tends to significantly increase the cost of the radar system, and most importantly its size and weight, which is critical especially for applications that highly values compact and mobile systems. To overcome this issue faced in many similar situations, several angle measurement techniques have been introduced to improve the detection performance of radars without increasing the physical size of the antenna, with the most notable and highly successful one being monopulse technique. This research project proposes a model of a reflector antenna design for a mechanical scanning radar that is suitable to provide coastal surveillance and monitoring of vessels and low flying objects. The objective of the antenna design is to significantly improve the resolution and accuracy for target detection without utilizing a larger dish, but instead through the implementation of amplitude monopulse and a novel post-detection processing technique that allows for the design of a more compact and cost-effective antenna system. The proposed reflector antenna system that achieves these objectives comprises of a dual-horn feed and a vertically truncated reflector of an optimal aperture shape and dimension to create a pair of simultaneous overlapping fan-shaped beams that is narrow in azimuth and several times wider in elevation. The design of the monopulse feed is modelled and simulated on a CEM tool (CST) to evaluate the monopulse patterns produced in the horizontal plane of the radar, which are optimized towards the requirements of the application. In addition, this thesis introduces a novel post-detection signal processing technique that uses priori information of the antenna response pattern to offer a substantial enhancement on the resolution and clutter resilience of any new or existing radar antenna system at a very low cost, which is especially likely to make a significant contribution to the safety at sea. In addition to limiting the size of the antenna as much as possible while fulfilling the requirements of the application in hand, employing the proposed antenna system along the coastal shores of the Strait of Malacca would largely prioritize on keeping the effective weight and cost of the antenna to a minimum. This is achieved by manufacturing the reflector through 3D printing technology and coating its surface with a copper compound spray to achieve the properties of a metal. A prototype of the reflector antenna is manufactured accordingly using the proposed method of fabrication in order to provide an assessment of the practical antenna performance. The radiation properties of the antenna pattern are measured in an outdoor range test facility, and the measurement results allows for an accurate validation of the electromagnetic (EM) simulations of the corresponding antenna design obtained on CST. Finally, in order to assess the enhancing effect of the proposed signal processing technique on the resolution performance of an existing antenna, MATLAB based codes have been developed to demonstrate the technique on several simulated far-field patterns of antennas with common line source distributions before it is applied on the sum pattern output of the monopulse antenna designed in this project.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Antenna Design and Signal Processing for Mechanical FMCW Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request. Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070163
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