AMTA Paper Archive


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Polarimetric calibration of indoor and outdoor polarimetric radar cross section systems
L.A. Muth (National Institute of Standards and Technology), November 2008
We used a set of dihedrals to perform polarimetric calibrations on an indoor RCS measurement range. We obtain simultaneously hh, hv, vh, and vv polarimetric data as the calibration dihedrals rotate about the line-of-sight to the radar. We applied Fourier analysis to the data to determine the polarimetric system parameters, which are expected to be very small. We also obtained polarimetric measurements on two cylinders to verify the accuracy of the system parameters. We developed simple criteria to assess the data consistency over the very large dynamic range demanded by the dihedrals. We examined data contamination by system drift, dynamic range nonlinearities, and the presence of background and noise. We propose improved measurement procedures to enhance consistency between the dihedral and cylinder measurements and to minimize the uncertainty in the polarimetric system parameters. The final recommened procedure can be used to calibrate polarimetrically both indoor and outdoor ranges.
Sharp extraction of energy of bright points of a target
Renaud Cariou (Radar Cross Section Department), November 2008
At the present time at the end of a measurement of RCS of a target, it is possible to obtain either the value of the RCS of the target as a whole for a given frequency, bearing and elevation or a RADAR image of this target. The aim of this RADAR image is generally to locate the bright points that constitute the target and not to estimate the energy of these bright points. That is why the calculation of these energies is not generally the subject of an elaborate rigorous processing. Yet it may be necessary to be able to give the RCS of any part of the target when this target has been measured as a whole. In answer to this need it is necessary to isolate and calculate sharply the energies of the bright points that constitute the target, because the RCS of each part of the target is the sum of the energies of the bright points which constitute it. This article exposes a method of processing which allows this calculation, while resolving the problems linked to the interpolation and to the discrete nature of the measurements and calculations.
L.J. Foged (SATIMO Italy),Andrea Giacomini (SATIMO Italy), Philippe Berisset (CEA/CESTA), Roberto Morbidini (SATIMO Italy), Thierry Blin (SATIMO Italy), Yannick CHEVALIER (CEA/CESTA), A. Menard (DGA), November 2008
Phased arrays antennas have desirable features in terms of simplicity, compact dimensions and low weight for low frequency applications requiring dual polarization and medium gain such as RCS measurements. However, a fundamental problem with phased arrays technology in wide band applications is grating lobe limitations due to the grid topology of the phased array elements. The spacing of the array elements cannot be to close in order to limit element coupling and not to large to avoid grating lobes. Consequently, conventional phase array antenna applications are generally limited to a useable frequency bandwidth of 1:2. A unique grid topology has recently been developed to overcome this problem [1, 2]. By interleaving three separate phased arrays, each dedicated to a different subband with close to 1:2 bandwidth, the useable bandwidth of the combined phased array antenna can be extended to as much as 1:7 while maintaining the nice performance features of the basic phase array technology. Based on this technology a large dual polarized phase array antenna has been designed for indoor RCS testing in the frequency range from 140MHz to 1000MHz. The operational bandwidth of the array is split into three subbands: 140-260 MHz, 260-520 MHz and 520-1000 MHz. The array is 6.34 x 6m and weighs less than 250Kg. Due to the element spacing and topology the phased array is sensitive to excitation errors so the beam forming network (BFN) feeding the elements must be wellbalanced. A uniform amplitude and phase distribution for the array excitation coefficients has been selected to simplify the BFN design and minimize possible excitation errors throughout the bandwidth. This paper describe the antenna electrical design and performance trade-off activity, the manufacturing details and discuss the comprehensive validation/testing activity prior to delivery to the final customer.
Quality Analysis and Comparisons of Radar Reflectivity InformationTypes
B.R. Kurner (AFIOC), November 2008
This paper describes or deals with a quality analysis and comparison of three radar reflectivity information or data types. The information or data types include radar cross section (RCS) as defined by IEEE Standard 100, the bowtie sector average, and the gross estimate radar return (commonly known as the fuzzball). The paper discusses the uncertainty analysis of measured RCS, and the paper provides analysis on the uncertainty of bowtie sector averages and “fuzzballs” (gross estimate radar returns). The comparison of the information or data types, their quality, uncertainties, and usefulness represents a significant part and focus of the study.
L. Sheffield (STAR Dynamics Corporation), November 2008
Practical ISAR measurements must often be made in the near-field. Scatterers are illuminated by a spherical wavefront, generating a continuum of incident angles due to parallax. Ignoring this, radar image processing produces geometrically distorted images whose utility diminishes the more deeply into the near-field the measurements are made. The underlying assumption that a target may be accurately modeled as a collection of isotropic point scatterers can enormously widen in angle. Yet, by considering parallax (with attention to phase), near-field measurements can produce quasi-far-field images, whose Fourier transform bears a greater likeness to a far-field RCS signature. A technique is presented and explored whereby each image pixel is focused at angles normal to the incident spherical wavefront by compensating for parallax. The focused coordinates are spatially variant, but for a pixel exactly containing a point scatterer, the resulting focused IQ pairs are identical with those in the far-field.
John Aubin (ORBIT/FR Inc.),M. Winebrand (ORBIT/FR Inc.), November 2008
A large single reflector corner fed rolled edge compact range system, featuring an elliptical cylinder 12’ (H) x 16’ (W) x 16’ (L) quiet zone has been recently installed in a large anechoic chamber [1]. The Compact Range System parameters, such as reflector surface tolerance of better than 0.001” over the Quiet Zone section of the reflector and superior Quiet Zone field performance at frequencies down to 1.0 GHz were verified and validated. As a part of further studies of potential advantages delivered by the compact range system, the study of the compact range application to Antenna and RCS measurements at VHF/UHF frequencies was initiated. Though the reflector surface tolerance is not an issue at the VHF/UHF bands, successful compact range operation at these frequencies would be a significant expansion of the capabilities of the existing compact range system. In order to evaluate the system performance at VHF/UHF frequencies a number of challenging technical issues had to be resolved and performed. They include: Compact Range Quiet Zone Performance Analysis at the VHF/UHF bands Choice of a concept for a broadband feed suitable for the application and installation within the existing feed carousel Feed Design and Performance Validation Feed Installation in the existing feed carousel Quiet Zone Field Probing and Performance Verification All these issues were addressed in the development of a suitable low frequency feed, and are described in more detail below.
Gregory L. Charvat (Michigan State University),Leo C. Kempel (Michigan State University), Edward J. Rothwell (Michigan State University), Chris Coleman (Integrity Applications Incorporated), November 2008
A real-time S-band radar imaging system will be shown in this paper that uses a spatially diverse antenna array connected to a highly sensitive linear FM radar system and uses a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging algorithm to produce real-time radar imagery. The core of this radar system is a high-sensitivity, range gated, radar architecture. Previous work has demonstrated the effectiveness of this radar architecture for applications requiring low-power and high sensitivity for imaging through lossy dielectric slabs at S-band and in free space at both S and X bands. From these results it was decided to develop a real-time S-band SAR imaging system. This is achieved by constructing a spatially diverse antenna array that plugs directly into a pair of S-band transmit and receive radar front ends; thereby providing the ability for real-time SAR imaging of objects. The radar system chirps from approximately 2 GHz to 4 GHz at various rates from 700 microseconds to 10 milliseconds. Transmit power is adjustable from approximately 1 milliwatt or less. The image update rate is approximately one image every 1.9 seconds when operating at a chirp rate of 2.5 milliseconds. This system is capable of producing imagery of target scenes made up of objects as small as 1.25 inch tall nails in free space without the use of coherent integration. Previous applications for this radar system include imaging through dielectric slabs. It will be shown in this paper that this radar system could also be useful for real-time radar imaging of low RCS targets at S-band.
Generalization of the Circular and Linear Near Field-to-Far Field RCS Transformations to Off-Waterline Collection Geometries
Ivan LaHaie, November 2009
In previous papers [1]-[4] we have presented formulations for the circular and linear near field-to-far field RCS transformations (CNFFFT and LNFFFT, respectively). These formulations assumed that the target did not have significant extent above or below a central (waterline) plane, and that the circular or linear near field scans lied in this waterline plane. In this paper, the CNFFFT and LNFFFT formulations are generalized to scans that lie in a plane parallel to and above or below the waterline plane. These scans correspond to conical or great circle RCS cuts, respectively, in the far field at elevation angles other than 90°. We will show that the generalization can be accomplished by modifying just the frequency domain processing steps that are common to both algorithms, while leaving the spatial processing portions (apart from a minor variable redefinition) unchanged. The paper focuses on the mathematical derivation and numerical implementation of the algorithms; examples of numerical and experiment results are deferred to future papers.
Test Zone Performance Enhancement in Anechoic Chambers Using Two-Level GTD Principles
Mark Winebrand,John Aubin, Marcel Boumans, November 2009
The primary purpose of a chamber for Far–Field (FF) antenna measurements is to create a test zone surrounding the AUT, where the electric field is to be as uniform as possible, and multiple reflections are kept to a minimum. It is well known, that typical rectangular anechoic chambers for Far–Field (FF) antenna measurements are subject to increased reflectivity from specular regions on the side walls, floor and ceiling. The reflectivity further increases if a larger test zone and, consequently, longer source antenna/ AUT separation is required. The alternative to a rectangular chamber, which can be implemented to reduce the reflectivity, could be a chamber with a shaped interior, where the side walls are to be shaped based on GTD/GO principles so that the reflections are diverted out of the test zone. Even more reflectivity suppression is expected, if, in addition, wedge absorbers are used throughout the specular region or entire wall with a smoothly varied wedge orientation chosen according to GTD principles. The combination of two approaches constitutes a chamber design method termed a “Two – Level GTD”. The chamber shape and wedge orientation for delivering reduced reflectivity in the test zone are not unique. According to a “Two -Level GTD” a plurality of solutions exists and can be practically implemented. Freedom in choosing these parameters can be utilized to satisfy the additional requirements for the chamber design to reduce RCS clutter and/or secondary reflections in the chamber. In this paper the method validity is confirmed based on comparison of various chamber designs performed using 3D EM analysis tools.
Method of suppression of not cooperative interferences during measurements of RCS
Renaud Cariou, November 2009
Measurements of RCS of targets in measurement facilities which are not Faraday cages may be strongly corrupted by eventual outside transmissions which fill the spectral band of measurement. In the case where the construction of a Faraday cage is not considered, it is then indispensable to reduce these not cooperative interferences thanks to specific proceeding, in order to be able to give correct values of RCS on the polluted band of frequencies. This article deals with this proceeding, while giving theoretic methods which allow limiting the influence of interferences on the measured value of RCS. Then these methods are applied in a concrete way on a given example.
Technique to Remove Cable Ringing From Short Range RCS Measurements.
Paul DeGroot, November 2009
Cable ringing is a concern in all short range Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements. The standard method to reduce the RCS return from cable ringing is to minimize the cable length and add additional attenuation at either end of the cable. For VHF to L-band measurements, where the overall longer system ringdown times from both the antenna and cable can dominant the measurement background, this paper demonstrates another solution to eliminate the cable ringdown from the target measurement area for short range RCS measurements. This paper describes how using a cable length that is at least the same physical length of the range you want to measure can eliminate the cable ring down from the target measurement area. The cable length, which has the same physical length as the measurement range, provides a clean measurement target area with an additional margin depending on the group velocity of the cable used. Since the cable loss can be minimized with lower loss coaxial cables from VHF and L-band frequencies, using a longer single cable is a very viable solution to eliminate cable ring down from the target measurement area.
Practical Illumination Uncertainty Assessment in Ground-based Radar Measurements
Brian Fischer,Gary Dester, Tim Conn, November 2009
The models governing ground-bounce illumination have been well-understood for decades. Previous ref-erenced work examined the application of these mod-els to three-dimensional geometries and showed that illumination variation is a spatially-dependent func-tion of frequency which requires knowledge of the target geometry and scattering characteristics in order to evaluate uncertainty. This paper leverages that work and further develops a Short-Time Fourier Transform (STFT) method to extract frequency do-main scattering characteristics from target data di-rectly. By utilizing at least two antenna heights in two separate measurements, ground-bounce geometries allow for useful target feature characterization. This enables an assessment of spatial target uncertainty in the image domain as well as for RCS; it further shows promise for illumination error mitigation. This paper demonstrates this potential in simulation to support measurements collected at the National RCS Test Fa-cility (NRTF), Holloman AFB NM.
Two Dimensional Scattering Analysis of Data-Linked Support Strings for Bistatic Measurement Systems
William Keichel,Michael Havrilla, Michael Saville, Peter Collins, November 2009
This paper reports the recent investigation of data-link strings as supporting structures for antennas used in a bistatic radar cross section (RCS) measurement system. Although several candidate strings exist, analysis of the strings’ scattering contribution needs a generic string model to make comprehensive comparisons. A simple theoretical two-dimensional (2D) dielectric coated cylindrical wire model is initially utilized to predict and compare scattering characteristics of various data-link string structures. In addition to the simple model, a non-destructive measurement method is proposed for extracting the material properties of the string material. Using the analytic 2D model of a dielectric clad wire as the generic string model, the unknown permittivity is computed from reflectivity measurements taken with a focused beam system. Extracted permittivity values are then used in a full-wave electromagnetic solver to validate the model. Measured and simulated results are shown to have excellent agreement for the 2D RCS, radar echo width, of different strings and polarization configurations.
Blind and Semi-Blind Motion Compensation for Stepped-Chirp Dynamic RCS Measurements
Louis Sheffield, November 2009
In dynamic RCS measurements, uncompensated motion induces artifacts and distortions, from moderate to severe, into any Fourier-based analysis. A quadratic term in the kernel of the underlying spectra (length L) will stretch the spectra into one of L2 configurations. Whether radial velocity for stepped-chirp HRR measurements, or acceleration for fixed-frequency Doppler measurements, spectra often become buried in noise – the quadratic term spreading the bandwidth. Even an approximation to the quadratic term in the spectral kernel allows a variety of signal processing techniques to further refine and remove residual uncompensated motion within the stepped-chirp or Doppler vector. This paper presents blind and semi-blind techniques making use of Fourier-based processing, entropy calculation, and bandlimited resampling to compensate for motion. Doing so restores the SNR available to the individual underlying spectra.
Dynamic RCS Signature Measurements of Targets in Clutter
Ali Moghaddar,Jerry Jost, Robert Reynolds, November 2009
In this paper, we consider the dynamic RCS signature measurement challenges for target signals in clutter. A clutter rejection technique is presented that relies on target motion to isolate target returns from clutter. While some clutter rejection techniques rely on generating a background map, this technique does not require measurement of background clutter. Therefore, it is particularly useful for scenarios where background data are not available or background clutter cannot be measured independent of the target. This clutter mitigation technique utilizes Range-Doppler processing over a coherent processing interval incorporating a one-pole or two-pole filter to minimize processing delays. Data from a “Moving Target Simulator” demonstrates that without clutter rejection, targets are completely buried in clutter and accurate RCS measurements are impossible. Implementing the clutter rejection filter allows target trajectories to be clearly identified, further enabling target range gating and accurate RCS measurements.
Agilent's New Microwave Receiver Reduces Antenna/RCS Measurement Test Times and Improves Economic Competitiveness
John Stanstrom, Say Phommakesone, Jim Puri, Niels Jensen,Johan Ericsson, Alice Hughes, Sean Hubert, November 2009
As antennas become more complex, their test requirements are also becoming more complex, requiring more data to fully evaluate the performance of today’s modern antennas. At the same time, competition and time-to-market concerns are driving the need to reduce the cost of test. This places stringent demands on our test facilities, personnel, and resources. To be competitive, new and creative ways are needed to meet these new demands. Fortunately, technology is changing, and these advances in technology if properly applied, can provide a way to reduce total test times and increase the productivity of test ranges. This paper will look at this new technology and examine how it can be applied to antenna measurements to significantly reduce measurement times. This paper will describe new technology features applicable to antenna/RCS measurements, configuration diagrams, typical antenna/RCS measurement scenarios, and measurement time comparisons for the different measurement scenarios. This will allow antenna test professionals to determine the measurement time reductions and productivity gains that can be achieved for their specific measurement ranges and test scenarios.
Agilents New Microwave Receiver Reduces Antenna/RCS Measurement Times And Improves Economic Competitiveness
John Swanstrom, November 2009
As antennas become more complex, their test requirements are also becoming more complex, requiring more data to fully evaluate the performance of today’s modern antennas. At the same time, competition and time-to-market concerns are driving the need to reduce the cost of test. This places stringent demands on our test facilities, personnel, and resources. To be competitive, new and creative ways are needed to meet these new demands. Fortunately, technology is changing, and these advances in technology if properly applied, can provide a way to reduce total test times and increase the productivity of test ranges. This paper will look at this new technology and examine how it can be applied to antenna measurements to significantly reduce measurement times. This paper will describe new technology features applicable to antenna/RCS measurements, configuration diagrams, typical antenna/RCS measurement scenarios, and measurement time comparisons for the different measurement scenarios. This will allow antenna test professionals to determine the measurement time reductions and productivity gains that can be achieved for their specific measurement ranges and test scenarios.
A 240 GHZ Polarimetric Compact Range for Scale Model RCS Measurements
Guy DeMartinis,Michael Coulombe, Thomas Horgan, Robert Giles, November 2010
A fully-polarimetric compact radar range operating at 240 GHz has been developed for obtaining Ku-band RCS measurements on 1:16th scale model targets. The transceiver consists of dual fast-switching, stepped, CW, X-band synthesizers driving dual X24 transmit multiplier chains and dual X24 local oscillator multiplier chains. The system alternately transmits horizontal (H) and vertical (V) radiation while simultaneously receiving H and V. Software range-gating is used to reject unwanted spurious responses in the compact range. A flat disk and rotating circular dihedral are used for polarimetric as well as RCS calibration. Cross-pol rejection ratios of better than 45 dB are routinely achieved. The compact range reflector consists of a 60” diameter, CNC machined aluminum mirror fed from the side to produce a clean 27” FWHM quiet zone. In this paper a description of this 240 GHz compact range is provided along with an ISAR measurement example.
Victorya Kobrinsky, November 2010
Very often far field conditions are violated at high frequencies RCS measurements and in real life scenarios. People go to great lengths to carry out these measurements in the far field. They make large investments to build suitable compact ranges, or long outdoor ranges. Others make extensive efforts to correct the near field measurements to the far field values. This paper suggests that those elaborate measures are superfluous, as far as the total RCS is concerned. Although near field measurements clip the high peaks, they broaden their shoulders compensating for the loss. Simulations and actual measurements show that the accumulative distribution of RCS values in the near field is equal or slightly higher than the distribution of these values in the far field, until one looks for very high 90th percentiles. Thus, for detection and survivability estimates the near field measurements provide a close upper bound.

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