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FM airborne passive radar

Brown, JWA; (2013) FM airborne passive radar. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The airborne application of Passive Bistatic Radar (PBR) is the latest evolution of the now established international interest in passive radar techniques. An airborne passive system is cheaper to construct, easier to cool, lighter and requires less power than a traditional active radar system. These properties make it ideal for installation on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), especially for the next generation of Low Observable (LO) UAVs, complementing the platforms LO design with an inherently Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) air-to-air and air-to-ground sensing capability. A comprehensive literature review identified a lack of practical and theoretical research in airborne passive bistatic radar and a quantitative model was designed in order to un- derstand the theoretical performance achievable using a hypothetical system and FM as the illuminator of opportunity. The results demonstrated a useable surveillance volume, assuming conservative estimates for the receiver parameters and allowed the scoping and specification of an airborne demonstrator system. The demonstrator system was subsequently designed and constructed and flown on airborne experiments to collect data for both air-to-air and air-to-ground operation analysis. Subsequent processing demonstrated the successful detection of air targets which correlated with the actual aircraft positions as recorded by a Mode-S/ADS-B receiver. This is the first time this has been conclusively demonstrated in the literature. Doppler Beam Sharpening was used to create a coarse resolution image allowing the normalised bistatic clutter RCS of the stationary surface clutter to be analysed. This is the first time this technique has been applied to an airborne passive system and has yielded the first quantitive values of normalised bistatic clutter RCS at VHF. This successful demonstration of airborne passive radar techniques provides the proof of concept and identifies the key research areas that need to be addressed in order to fully develop this technology.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: FM airborne passive radar
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Passive Radar, Bistatic Radar, Doppler Beam Sharpening, Airborne Radar
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1397756
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