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US Army Electronic Proving Ground
The US Army Electronic Proving Ground is in Southeastern Arizona with outlying facilities located throughout Southern Arizona. The Proving Ground is an independent test and evaluation activity under the command of the US Army Test and Evaluation Command. It was established in 1954. EPG’s role in the material acquisition cycle is to conduct development (DT I & II), initial production (first article), and such other engineering (laboratory-type) tests and associated analytical studies of electronic materiel as directed. The results (reports) of these efforts are used by the developer to correct faults, and by Army and DOD decision-makers in determining the suitability of these materiels/systems for adoption and issue. Customer tests to satisfy specific customer requirements and foreign materiel exploitations are also done. EPG is assigned test responsibility for Army ground and airborne (aircraft-mounted) equipment/systems which utilize the electromagnetic spectrum to include: tactical communications; COMSEC (TEMPEST testing included); combat surveillance, and vision equipment (optical, electro-optical, radar, unattended sensors); intelligence acquisition; electronic warfare; radiac; imaging and image interpretation (camera, film, lens, electro-optical); camouflage; avionics; navigation and position location; remotely piloted vehicle; physical security; meteorological; electronic power generation, and tactical computers and associated software. Facilities and capabilities to perform this mission include: laboratories and electronic measurement equipment; antenna pattern measurement’ both free-space and ground-influenced; unattended and physical security sensors; ground and airborne radar target resolution and MTI; precision instrumentation radars in a range configuration for position and track of aerial and ground vehicles; climatic and structural environmental chambers/equipment; calibrated nuclear radiation sources; electromagnetic compatibility, interference and vulnerability measurement and analysis; and other specialized facilities and equipment. The Proving Ground, working in conjunction with a DOD Area Frequency Coordinator, can create a limited realistic electronic battlefield environment. This capability is undergoing significant development and enhancement as a part of a program to develop and acquire the capability to test Army Battlefield Automation Systems, variously called C3I, C4, and/or CCS2 systems. The three principal elements of this capability which are all automated include: Systems Control Facility (SCF), Test Item Stimulator (TIS), and Realistic Battlefield Environment, Electronic (REBEEL). In addition to various instrumentation computers/processors, EPG currently utilizes a DEC Cyber 172, a DEC VAX 11-780, a DEC System 10, and has access to both a CDC 6500 and a 6600. Under the Army Development and Acquisition of Threat Simulators (ADATS) program, EPG is responsible for all non-air defense simulators. The availability of massive real estate in Southern Arizona, which includes more than 70,000 acres on Fort Huachuca, 23,000 acres at Willcox Dry Lake, and 1.5 million acres near Gila Bend, is a major factor in successful satisfaction of our test mission. Fort Huachuca itself is in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet and has an average annual rainfall of less than 15 inches. Flying missions are practical almost every day of the year. The Proving Ground is ideally situated between two national ranges and provides overlapping, compatible instrumentation facilities for all types of in-flight test programs. The clear electromagnetic environment, the excellent climatic conditions, and the freedom from aircraft congestion make this an unusually fine area for electronic testing. The Proving Ground consists of a multitude of sophisticated resources, many of them unique in the United States, which are an integral part of the USAEPG test facility and have resulted from an active local research and development effort over a 28-year period.
High speed measurement receiver
This paper describes a digitally controlled receiver-recorder capable of time division multiplexing in the frequency domain at a 400 KHz rate and in the amplitude domain at a 20 MHz rate. Good sensitivity and interference rejection are other features of this receiver which operates over the 2-18 GHz band. It is utilized to obtain a measure of antennas performance as impacted by air frames upon which the antenna(s) are mounted.
Extraction of narrow band responses for wideband RCS data
Wideband RCS instrumentation systems can provide a high degree of range resolution. By combining wideband RCS data with a synthetic-aperture or Doppler processing, the spatial distribution of radar reflectivity can be determined. These systems provide diagnostic capabilities which are useful for locating scattering sources on complex objects and for assessing the effectiveness of modifications. The Proceedings of the 1983 meeting included a paper which described a linear-FM system operating over a 3 GHz bandwidth capable of measuring RCS vs range, cross range, and frequency using a single measurement set-up. This paper analytically demonstrates a procedure for extracting CW RCS patterns from the wideband data obtained using the linear-FM system. By combining the latter and the former processing, it is possible to obtain from a single data array both wideband responses showing the spatial distribution of scatterers and narrowband responses which are the traditional CW RCS patterns. The paper includes experimental verifications of these assertions by comparing results of CW measured data with data extracted from wideband RCS measurements.
Rolled edge modification of compact range reflector
The compact range is an electromagnetic measurement system used to simulate a plane wave illuminating an antenna or scattering body. The plane wave is necessary to represent the actual use of the antenna or scattering from a target in a real world situation. Traditionally, a compact range has been designed as an off-set fed parabolic reflector with a knife edge or serrated edge termination. It has been known for many years that the termination of the parabolic surface has limited the extent of the plane wave region or, more significantly, the antenna or scattering body size that can be measured in the compact range. For example, the Scientific Atlanta (SA) Compact Range is specified to be limited to four foot long antennas or scattering bodies as shown in their specifications. Note that the SA compact range uses a serrated edge treatment as shown in Figure 1. This system uses a parabolic reflector surface which is approximately 12 square feet so that most of the reflector surface is not usable based on the 4 foot square plane wave sector. As a result, the compact range has had limited use as well as accuracy which will be shown later. In fact, the compact range concept has not been applied to larger systems because of the large discrepancy between target and reflector size. In summary, the target or antenna sizes that can be measured in the presently available compact range systems are directly related to the edge treatment used to terminate the reflector surface.
System-2000 simultaneous dual axis control uses position feedbacks
System-2000 instruments were created for pattern range applications. The SD-2000 Synchro Monitor was developed in 1983, the MC-2000 Motor Controller in 1984, and System-2000 Host Processor in 1985. Dual black and white video monitors are being used both for graphics and closed circuit television. A rigid body motion application written in FORTH includes graphic primitives to simulate range components. In this paper, a simple aircraft model is installed on a model tower. A square hole in the vertical stabilizer simulates where a probe or antenna is to be located. The hole is offset from the inter-section of model and tower rotation axes, for discussion. Raster and spiral scanning are examined. Spiral scanning required simultaneous control o two drive motors. Emphasis is placed on using System-2000 dual axis features for motor control and graphic imaging of successive model positions.
Inverse synthetic aperture imaging radar
The accurate measurement of radar target scattering properties is becoming increasingly important in the development of stealth technology. This paper describes a low cost imaging Radar Cross Section (RCS) instrumentation radar capable of measuring both the amplitude and phase response of low RCS targets. The RCS instrumentation radar uses wideband FM wave-forms to achieve fine range resolution providing RCS data as a function of range, frequency and aspect. With additional data processing the radar can produce fully focused Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) images and perform near field transformations of the data to correct the phase curvature across the target region. The radar achieves a range resolution of 4 inches at S-band and a sensitivity of –70 dBsm at a 30 ft range.
High resolution ISAR imagery for diagnostic RCS measurements
Inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging is used to produce high cross-range and down-range resolution on objects undergoing a change of aspect angle relative to the radar. In this application, the ISAR technique was used on an outdoor ground-bounce radar cross-section (RCS) measurement range. The objective is to locate, identify, and quantify the scattering properties of the target-under-test (TUT). The TUT is mounted well above ground on a target pole and can rotate in azimuth and elevation. The TUT’s rotational motion about an axis perpendicular to the radar line of sight is used to produce the cross-range resolution. For range resolution, a high-bandwidth frequency stepped waveform is used. The data are processed entirely in the digital domain with an algorithm that consists of a procedure to remove the dispersive properties and amplitude variations of the complete end-to-end range response, followed by a two-dimensional, polar-to-rectangular resampling filter and a two-dimensional fast Fourier transform (FFT). The processor has achieved images with amplitude and distortion products that are below the system’s noise floor with up to 48 dB of processing gain. The radar imagery is presented to the RCS engineer on a high-resolution color graphics terminal with true-perspective color-coded RCS displays in logarithmic amplitude or linear phase scales. The design of the ISAR processing algorithm is described in this paper as are the results for both simulated and actual radar data.
Applications of ISAR imaging techniques to near-field RCS measurements
This paper discusses some of the applications of high-resolution coherent radar image processing techniques in unimproved indoor facilities. The techniques are particularly useful in situations where traditional indoor range chambers are unavailable or impractical. Experiments in an 18-foot-high warehouse building have shown that useful measurements can be made at close quarters, in a high-clutter environment.
Evaluation of anechoic chamber absorbers for improved chamber designs and RCS performance
This paper discusses an anechoic chamber absorber evaluation which was conducted for the purpose of improving anechoic chamber and compact range performance through better absorber characterization. This study shows that performance of conventional absorber materials is dependent on selection of the material's shape, size and orientation with respect to the incident energy direction. This, demonstrates the importance of better characterization of the material. Nonhomogeneities in the material composition and physical structure were also found to significantly modify performance; in some cases even improving it. Also shown, is the need for improved evaluation techniques and procedures over conventionally used methods. An evaluation procedure using modern imaging techniques is presented. Several measured results for various absorber types and sizes are presented which show the usefulness of the evaluation technique and demonstrate relative performance characteristics for these materials. Measured reflectivity data on various absorber types, which consistently show better performance than levels specified by the vendors, are also presented.
High resolution three-dimensional imaging of the current distributions on radiating structures
Imaging by microwave holography was initially envisaged as a two dimensional diagnostic technique applicable to a wide variety of objects and environments , , being particularly relevant to reflector antenna metrology . For electrically large paraboloidal reflectors the radiation is well collimated and can be assumed to arise from an effective aperture field at a specified plane within the antenna volume. Fresnel or far field measurements are then restricted to a small angular range around boresight so as not to violate the assumptions made for reconstruction of the aperture field. The processed image represents the aperture illumination function whose phase can be accurately related to feed position and profile error by comparison with 'a priori' knowledge of the ideal reflector shape . Since the aperture field approximation imposes severe restrictions on the data window size the intrinsic depth resolution of the image is characteristically poor, and wide angle scattering from feed support struts for example is not recorded causing the struts to appear as geometric shadows on the image. Regions of the reflector surface lying beneath these blockages cannot therefore be reconstructed. Moreover, the narrow data recording bandwidth also produces inferior transverse resolution of profile perturbations on the reflector surface.
Performance specification for diagnostic radar imaging systems
High resolution radar imaging is becoming an increasingly important component of RCS measurement systems. The primary purpose of radar imaging as applied to RCS measurements is to locate and quantify the various scattering components that contribute to the total RCS of a model under test. The technique when properly applied by trained personnel can greatly improve the productivity of measurement programs by reducing the number of measurements needed to find defects in a model, and by rapid improvement in the understanding of the scattering phenomena itself.
Interpretation of two-dimensional RCS images
The objectives of RCS imaging are to spatially isolate and quantitatively measure the strength of scattering mechanisms on complex objects. Although some isolation can be provided directly by using radars with high spatial resolution, most current RCS systems achieve the required resolution by synthesizing the image from measurements of the object response to variations in frequency and rotation angle.
Modern dynamic RCS and imaging systems
This paper presents a conceptual overview of the instrumentation system and signal processing involved in dynamic RCS and Imaging measurement systems.
Extended bandwidth ISAR imaging using the HP 8510
To construct an image of a complex target, increasingly smaller range cells are desired. To decrease range cell size and improve resolution the bandwidth must be increased. The bandwidth of RCS measurements utilizing an HP8510 based collection system is limited to a maximum of 801 frequency points. This paper will present a technique to extend the bandwidth by using off-line processing to overcome this hardware limitation. Fully focused ISAR images formed at millimeter wave frequencies, with the addition of eternal mixers, will be demonstrated. Bandwidths of 5, 10, and 14 GHz, measured from 7-17 GHz and 26-40 GHz will be shown. The comparison of these focused images, with 3.2 cm, 1.6 cm, and 1.1 cm resolution will illustrate a powerful engineering tool to analyze closely spaced scatterers.
Error analysis in RCS imaging
In the last few years, the interest in Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements has increased rapidly. The development of high-performance Compact Ranges (CR) has made possible measurements on large targets down to very low RCS levels (below -70 dBsm). RCS imaging is a powerful tool to determine the location of scattering sources on a target. The response of the target is measured as a function of the frequency and aspect angle. A two-dimensional Fourier transform then gives the reflection density as a function of down-range and cross-range. If the response is measured vs. azimuth and elevation, even a complete 3-D image is possible. For high-resolution imaging (large bandwidth, wide aspect-angle span) a direct 2-dimensional Fourier transform gives rise to errors caused by the movement of the scatterers during the measurement. These errors can be corrected by applying a coordinate transformation to the measured data, prior to the Fourier transforms. This so called focused imaging allows further manipulation of measured data. However, the measurement accuracy can be a limiting factor in application of these techniques. It will be shown that the Compact Range performance as well as positioning accuracy can cause serious errors in high-resolution imaging and thus in interpretation of processed data.
A Novel approach for two- and three-dimensional imaging
Conventional radar imaging requires large amounts of data over large bandwidths and angular sectors to produce the location of the dominant scattering centers. A new approach is presented here which utilizes only two swept frequency scans at two different look angles for two-dimensional images or three swept frequency scans at three different look angles for three-dimensional images. Each swept frequency scan is the backscattered response of a target. A different plane wave illumination angle can be conveniently obtained by offsetting the feed horn from the focus of a compact range reflector without rotating the target. The two- and three-dimensional target information for the location of the dominant scattering centers is then obtained from the band limited impulse responses of these swept frequency scans.
Calibration and normalization of windowed RCS images
It is common practice to window RCS data prior to inverse Fourier transformation into an image. Windowing reduces image sidelobes at the expense of some loss of resolution. When the window shape is adjusted to give the best resolution-sidelobe tradeoff for the given application, however, the apparent RCS of features in the image varies unless the correct calibration of normalization is applied. This paper discusses the proper calibration and normalization techniques to use with RCS imaging. These techniques permit efficient generation of images that accurately depict the RCS of significant target features, independent of the data window shape.
The Radar image modeling system
The characteristics of a unique indoor RCS modeling facility are described. The David Taylor Research Center (DTRC) has implemented an indoor, over-water radar cross section measurement facility. Major components of the facility are the DTRC Seakeeping Basin, an imaging radar, an underwater target mount and rotator, a calibration system, and video monitoring equipment. Initial operational capabilities include dynamic pulse-to-pulse polarization-agile measurements at X and Ku bands, elevation angles from grazing to 7 degrees, maximum target length of 50 feet, and simulated sea states adjustable between state 0 and state 3. Several data products are available, including high-resolution inverse synthetic aperture radar images. Eventual capabilities will include extended elevation angles up to 30 degrees, frequencies to beyond 100 GHz, and SAR imagery.
Multiple reflections in ISAR images - imaging of an open box
Images of an open box, closed box, and open and closed box on a ground plane were taken at the Hughes/Motorola Compact Range. Comparison of these images show the effect of multiple reflections in the image of an open box. A simple analytic/computer model was developed to interpret these multiple images. Data and analysis are presented on the various mechanisms that come into play in scattering from the open/closed box and the ISAR images generated as a function of the viewing angle for the box.
On the correction of errors due to short measuring distance in inverse synthetic aperture imaging on radar targets
In the theory of inverse synthetic aperture imaging of radar targets the measuring distance is ordinarily supposed to be very much larger than the dimensions of the target. If this is not the case errors are introduced. We study these errors and means to decrease their influence by computation. The result is that the maximum tolerable target dimension can be substantially increased in a plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation if error correction is used.
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