AMTA Paper Archive

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Compact Antenna Test Range Built to Meet the Unique Testing Requirements for Active Phased Array Antennas, A
R. Sauerman,C. Stoffels, November 1999

Microwave Instrumentation Technologies (MI Technologies) in cooperation with Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. (Signaal) and the Royal Netherlands Navy has designed and produced a compact antenna test range to specifically address the unique testing requirements imposed in the testing of active phased array antennas. The compact range was built specifically to test Signaal's new Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) prior to introduction into various naval fleets throughout the world. This reversible Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) allows antenna testing in both transmit and receive modes. The measurement hardware is capable of testing both CW and pulsed waveforms with high dynamic range. In addition to conventional antenna pattern measurements the system is capable of measuring EIRP, Gff and G/NF, as well as providing analysis software to provide aperture reconstruction. A special Antenna Interface Unit (AIU) was designed and built to communicate with the Beam Steering Computer which controls the thousands of T/R modules which make up the APAR antenna system. A special high power absorber fence and other safeguards were installed to handle the transmit energy capable of being delivered from the APAR antenna system.

Compact Range Measurement System for Automotive Radars
J. Flacks,M. Boumans, November 1999

A compact range based measurement system for automotive radars is presented. The design driver for the system was production testing. Key characteristics of the system are: compact size, short test times, no need for an anechoic chamber, ease of operation, mobility and ruggedness. The measurement system is based on electronic equipment from Dornier GmbH, the company who developed the automotive radar for the new Mercedes S-Class. It uses a small rolled edge millimeter wave compact range from ORBIT/FR­ Europe GmbH. Some general characteristics of automotive radars are presented, followed by a more detailed description of the key subsystems of the measurement system: Simulator, Compact Range and Processing Control Unit. Finally some measurement results are presented and discussed.

UWB Ground Wave Radar Studies
E.K. Walton,J.D. Young, R.P. McConville, Y. Kim, November 1999

Theory and experiments for a ground wave UWB radar system for human and vehicle detection will be shown. We will consider the case where the radar uses a low gain VP antenna located 20 to 40 cm above the ground and the radar target is a moving vehicle or moving humans out to 200 meters. The nominal frequency for these tests was from 1.0 to 3.8 GHz in a step frequency scan. We will show SIN predictions using the free space radar range equation, then add ground wave attenuation effects. We will then compare these predictions with experimental measurement data for various vehicles and humans. An application using a noise radar as a UWB spread spectrum radar system in this application is our final goal.

Calibration and Error Budget in RCS Measurements
L. Oldfield,C. Brewitt-Taylor, T. Elliott, November 1999

Uncertainty analysis for fundamental standards is mature, but the cost overhead has, until recently, prevented much of this work being taken up by the UK RCS measurement community. The requirement to verify the radar signature of new equipment has made it necessary to examine in detail the RCS measurement process and to create a methodology for error budgeting. The paper reviews some basic concepts in estimating uncertainties, and describes work on 'squat' cylinder calibration standards that have been manufactured following designs proposed at previous AMTA conferences. The moment method code CLASP has provided the basic theoretical solutions which have been verified on a compact range through reference to a precise 100mm spherical standard. The concept of multiple standard calibrations is discussed, and recommendations are made for overall error budgeting and the intercomparison of range types.

Interlaboratory Comparison Between the RCS Ranges at FOA Defence Research Establishment and Saab Dynamics, An
J. Lothegard,C. Larsson, C-G Svensson, J. Rahm, J. Rasmusson, J-O. Olsson, K. Brange, M. Andersson, N. Gustafsoon, O. Lunden, November 1999

An interlaboratory comparison is made between radar cross section (RCS) measurements at the test ranges at FOA Defence Research Establishment and SAAB Dynamics, Sweden. The comparison is made in order to increase the measurement and calibration quality at the ranges. An analysis of the deviations in the measured RCS data from the ranges provides a better understanding of the sources of errors. The RCS of two generic targets are measured at the X-band. The targets are simple airplane models, length and width are approximately 1.0 m, with no cavities. A brief comparison between some theoretical results and experimental RCS data are also presented.

Uncertainties in Dynamic Radar Cross Section Measurements
R. Renfro,B. Crock, November 1999

The U.S. Navy has considerable experience in the radar cross section (RCS) measurement of dynamic targets. An understanding of the possible error sources and their relative magnitudes is critical to obtaining accurate and repeatable results. In addition to the usual potential sources of error in RCS measurements of stationary items, considerations with dynamic targets include target range and angle tracking, calibration, and various environmental effects. The primary considerations are identified and discussed, and an error budget is developed for a particular test scenario.

Wideband Radar Echoes From Cylindrical Rods
P.S.P. Wei,A.W. Reed, E.F. Knott, November 1999

In order to assess the suitability of long thin metal rods as calibration devices for both co-polarized and cross-polarized (abbreviated as co-pol and x-pol) RCS measurements, we study RCS data from rods at broadside and compare them with 2D theoretical predictions. We find that the 45° tilt angle is optimum for calibration purposes. Near grazing incidence to a horizontal rod, the first traveling wave lobe in the HH pattern is a very prominent feature. Its angular location and amplitude have been measured as a function of frequency and compared with theory. A formerly unexplained error due to a contaminated calibration is identified.

Improvements in Static Radar Cross Section Calibration Processes and Artifacts -- Initial Measurement Results and Validation Through Inter-range Comparisons
B.M. Kent, November 1999

The accurate measurement of Radar Cross Section (RCS) requires precise calibration "artifacts" as well as carefully executed measurement procedures. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) reviewed several existing common RCS calibration artifact standards and practices, and identified a number of improvements. Employing a modified "dual calibration" check procedure pioneered by AFRL, this paper demonstrates improved RCS calibration fidelity for a wide variety of static RCS calibration measurement applications. Our calibration results are verified through an industrial inter-laboratory (range) measurement program employing selected calibration artifact standards.

Performance Evaluation of the Automated Field Probe System (AFPS)
M.C. Brinkmann,G.R. Whitley, T.L. Lane, November 1999

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) under contract to the U.S. Air Force 46 Test Group, National Radar Cross Section Test Facility (NRTF) at Holloman AFB, NM, has designed and developed an Automated Field Probe System (AFPS). The AFPS operates as a one-way probe for evaluation of the electromagnetic field at the test zone and provides a mobile capability to rapidly, smoothly, and accurately probe the field at the various test-areas. The AFPS provides the ability to probe over an area as large as 40-ft x 40-ft all under computer control from the radar(s) while sweeping over 1-18 GHz and 34-36 GHz for both H and V polarization. The RF, phase reference, and control signals from the radar are transmitted to the AFPS over a microwave fiber optic link. This paper will describe the design and performance of the AFPS. Quick-look data products will be included in the presentation.

Impact of Radiation on Radar Cross Section
C. Miller, November 1999

The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of fast neutron bombardment on the radar cross section of metal and dielectric spheres. The energetic neutrons interact with lattice atoms and, in the energy transfer that results, initiate a displacement cascade that effectiveiy damages the crystalline structure of the target material. The induced damage may change the RCS of the target via changes in the conductivity or relative permittivity. Theoretical lattice damage estimates are provided for fast neutron fluences of 1015 n/cm2 and 1016n/cm2. Limitations and potential improvement of damage estimates and measurements are also discussed.

Radar Cross Section Calibration Errors and Uncertainties
L.A. Muth, November 1999

To develop standards for radar cross section measurements a complete uncertainty analysis is needed. We derive the radar cross section error equation and examine sources of measurement errors that contribute to the overall uncertainty in calibrations and measurements. We obtain expressions for upper- and lower-bound errors and uncertainties that are generally valid for monostatic measurements on any unknown target using any standard calibration artifact. The general procedure can be extended to bistatic measurements. Some experimental procedures to determine the uncertainty due to background subtraction are presented and discussed.

Real-Time Radar Cross Section Imagery
A. Moghaddar, November 1999

There is a growing interest in generating radar images as data collection is in progress. Such a tool is particularly useful for radar cross section verification purposes where the turnaround time is very important. With the availability of faster processing hardware, real-time radar image formation is now feasible. This paper describes the architecture, operation, and performance of a real­ time imaging (RTI) system that generates SAR or ISAR images while the data collection is in progress. Real-time performance of the system is benchmarked in terms of image-size and quality (imaging technique), image update rate, and image latency. Several examples of RTI are provided using a Lintek elan radar system.

SAR Imaging Through Complex Media
L. Cai,E.K. Walton, November 1999

Classical SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imaging techniques [1, 2] based on free space propagation may suffer significant distortion when a target of interest is located in a complex environment such as behind a building wall, underground or embedded in foliage. An independently derived analytical solution for electromagnetic wave propagation through a uniform dielectric wall or a uniform dielectric half-space is obtained by the authors. A new and computationally efficient model-based iterative SAR image refocusing algorithm based on the above solution is developed. The algorithm permits non-uniform spatial sampling of imaging data, and cases where a radar unit may be in the radiating near-field of a target. This algorithm is applied to both simulated and measured data. Resulting SAR images are shown to be significant improvement over those generated by the classical free-space back-projection technique.

Three-Dimensional Radar Imaging
T. Graves,P. Soucy, R. Hicks, R. Renfro, November 1999

A three-dimensional (3-D) imaging capability based on a linear FM measurement radar has been developed. This capability provides a means of resolving radar scattering centers in three dimensions, allowing the more accurate feature location and enabling the possibility of separating target returns from undesired environmental clutter. An existing portable radar cross section (RCS) measurement system was modified to incorporate a 3-D imaging capability. This modification allowed the system to remain highly portable and provide quick turnaround time with a typical measurement cycle comprising 20 minutes of data collection, followed by viewable 3D imagery within 5 minutes. The entire measurement system is comprised of a planar scanner and a single equipment rack. A 3-D RCS data set varies by frequency, azimuth, and elevation, and is obtained by scanning the radar antennas in azimuth and elevation. Innovative development of useful data visualization tools was one of the key efforts in this project. Visualization approaches include employing a mesh computer aided design (CAD) model aligned in 3-D space to the image data. The image is mapped to the surface of the model and the user can then move around the model to view it from any aspect in real time.

Iterative Information Retrieval Algorithm for Radar Applications
A. Zalevsky,A. Blank, November 1999

Phase retrieval is an important issue related to the reconstruction of SAR/ISAR images, when phase information is lost or unavailable. In this paper, an iterative algorithm is formulated which demonstrates the ability to perform phase retrieval with minimal set of constrains on the imaged object. This iterative algorithm requires only rough knowledge of the size of the imaged body and the amplitude of the received, far-field, radiation in the various frequencies and/or aspect angels (for I D or 2D image). By applying iterations between the two planes of the imaged body and the plane of the RADAR reflections (as a function of aspect angles and frequencies), a good reconstruction of the phase and the amplitude of the imaged body as well as the phase of the received radiation, are obtained. The algorithm can be used in the problem of imaging body in motion where motion compensation is difficult or in applications involving mm wave images, where phase information is lost in the turbulent atmosphere.

Technique for the Approximate Compensation of Antenna Illumination Taper from Near Field Measured, ISAR Data Sets, A
K. Krause, November 1999

This paper presents an approximate, practical technique for the compensation of antenna pattern amplitude taper effects that occur in near field RCS data. The technique uses inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) data sets. Complete pattern determination uses an iterative approach over target rotation angle and frequency bandwidth, with a series of near field ISAR images as input to obtain the corresponding corrected, near field, frequency/azimuth pattern data. Assumed is direct target illumination using a source with a known angular illumination pattern. The technique and its application environment in the Boeing Near Field Test Facility is described. It is then demonstrated using a near field data collection range of 100 feet from the target center of rotation. The approach is shown to be effective for target sizes with cross range extents extending to the one-way 3 dB points of the illumination taper (two-way 6 dB points). Demonstration of compensation performance and a study of accuracy achievable versus the near field image parameters used is presented.

Automation of Radar Image Processing of Airborne Targets
B.M. Lamb,D.C. Yoon, November 1999

We present innovations based on pattern recognition technology that significantly reduce the level of human intervention and increase data throughput when processing radar images of airborne targets. Time consuming operator intervention is normally required to insure that images are centered and non-aliased and wireframe overlay drawings are properly registered with the target image. We have developed techniques that produce high-quality images without operator intervention. These include a template registration algorithm that can reliably orient the outline drawing with a radar image even in the presence of image artifacts such as jet engine modulation (JEM). In addition, we have developed methods that remove the average Doppler responsible for crossrange image displacement or aliasing and methods that resolve downrange ambiguities. Examples are shown which illustrate these processes applied to images of a jet aircraft in flight.

Fast Multilevel Domain Decomposition Algorithm for Near-Field ISAR Imaging, A
A. Boag, November 1999

A novel algorithm for radar imaging is presented. The method comprises two steps. First, a decomposition of the radar data domain into sub-domains and computation of pertinent low resolution images. Second, interpolation, phase-correction and aggregation of the low-resolution images into the final high resolution one. A multilevel domain decomposition algorithm is formulated. The computational cost of the proposed algorithm is comparable to that of the FFT-based techniques while it appears to be considerably more flexible than the latter.

Helicopter Based RCS Measurements
J. Ashton,B. Crock, M. Sanders, R. Pokrass, R. Renfro, November 1999

A helicopter-based radar cross section (RCS) measurement system was designed and demonstrated during the past year. The system was a novel combination of modified and un-modified commercial off the shelf (COTS) equipment and software, a minor amount of new hardware, and extensive prior experience. Validation was accomplished using known calibration standards and existing test practices relevant to this type of system, and data were collected and processed for a number of targets of opportunity. The primary subsystems include the measurement radar, the helicopter, antennas and associated mount, boresighted video and recorder, and the calibration tools. The SCI1000 radar was employed because of the combination of its excellent performance at the desired test target range and its minimal physical and power demands. The Bell 500 helicopter was chosen for its size and its wide availability on the world market. Data products were RCS vs. aspect, downrange profile history, and two-dimensional imaging following pre-processing by a robust motion compensation algorithm.

Displacement of Collimator Beam for Extended Target RCS Measurements
M. Emire,D. Hilliard, D. Mensa, K. Vaccaro, W. Yates, November 1999

Compact range collimating reflectors provide far-field conditions for radar signature measurements. Traditionally, the quiet zone is presented uniformly about the collimator boresight and depends upon both the size of the reflector and the beamwidth of the illuminating antenna, with a maximum determined by the reflector dimensions. Targets are placed in the center of the quiet zone and rotated about the center of gravity (cg) during measurement. Limitations on target size are defined by the quiet zone bounds. For large targets with a non-central cg location, a portion of the target may extend beyond the quiet zone boundary. A technique for synthesizing a larger quiet zone uses displacement of the collimator beam by means of feed­ point offset to allow far-field measurement of an asymmetrically-mounted extended target. Simultaneous measurements for each offset are then combined to produce the complete measurement. This technique was implemented for measurements of an ARIES ballistic missile target.
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