Tutorials

Session 1 (Monday Morning, April 23, 8:00 - 12:00)

T-01: Introduction to Airborne Radar: by Hugh Griffiths and Chris Baker (Full day course)

This is a one-day (two tutorial sessions) introductory course covering all key aspects of airborne radar systems. Stimson’s book has been used over many years as the go-to introductory text for students, engineers and technicians alike. This tutorial takes the form of a “taster” course, concentrating on the key underlying concepts that form the fundamentals of modern airborne radar system design. Whether attendees are new to radar or in need of a refresher of the basics, this course will help grasp the terminology, concepts, design-trades and applications of modern radar systems. The course closely follows the third edition of the book, providing an everlasting reference for attendees. Topics range from basic operation and performance estimation to applications in SAR and electronic warfare, and emerging trends.

T-02: Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar: by Armin Doerry

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a radar imaging mode that maps radar reflectivity of the ground. This is an important earth resource monitoring and analysis tool in the civilian and government communities, and an important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) tool for the military and intelligence communities. This tutorial is intended to provide an introduction to the physical concepts, processing, performance, features, and exploitation modes that make SAR work, and make it useful. Although mathematics will be shown in some parts of the presentation (more than enough to keep any attendee happy), the lecture will focus on the qualitative significance of the mathematics rather than dry derivations. Liberal use of example SAR images and other data products will illustrate the concepts discussed. The presentation will be given as four distinct modules: Introduction and basic SAR image formation, SAR performance prediction and the radar equation, SAR phenomenology, and SAR post-processing and exploitation.

T-03: Radar Detection, Performance Analysis, and CFAR Techniques: by Augusto Aubry and Antonio De Maio

The objective of this tutorial is to teach the theory of radar detection, detector performance analysis, and Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR) techniques according to a rigorous academic style based on the use of statistical decision theory. It is organized into two main sections: a) Theory of Radar Detection and Performance Assessment and b) CFAR Techniques. This tutorial is suitable both for young students who with an interest in radar signal processing, and for radar practitioners needing a rigorous and academic point of view on the fundamentals of radar detection, detector performance analysis, Monte Carlo simulation of radar receivers, and CFAR algorithms. Both Matlab-based examples and an overview of robust CFAR techniques will be included.

T-04: Noise Radar Technology and Noise Waveform Design – Prospective Solution for Future SISO and MIMO Systems: by Krzysztof Kulpa and Mateusz Malanowski

In this tutorial the concept of continuous-wave radar emitting noise or pseudo-noise waveforms will be presented. Noise waveforms have significant advantages over the classical radar waveforms, as they do not have range nor Doppler ambiguities and can be used in dense electromagnetic environments without significant interferences with other devices using the same spectrum. The basics of noise radar will be presented. Problems typical for noise radar, such as the masking effect, will be identified, and solutions to those problems will be analyzed. The possibilities of target identification using micro-Doppler, SAR and ISAR imaging will be discussed. The waveform design for noise radar will be shown, including sidelobe reduction and spectrum shaping. Operation of the noise radar in MIMO configuration, both using co-located and spatially separated antennas, will be analyzed. Numerous real-life result examples will be shown, and possible applications of noise radar will be discussed.

T-05: New Trends on Phased Array Radars and Calibration: by Jorge Salazar and Caleb Fulton

This tutorial introduces current and new trends in phased-array antenna fundamentals, benefits, and challenges, and practical design considerations for dual-polarized active phased arrays. There will be demonstrations of antenna performance, active antenna array calibration, and new concepts and techniques. Basic knowledge and the most important design tradeoffs of current and future phased array antennas will be covered for civil and military applications, focusing on a critical evaluation of the performance of phased array antenna systems. Several factors that are important for these high-performance phased array systems will be discussed, such as scanning performance, phased array antenna architectures, radiating elements, feed-networks, mutual coupling, finite active arrays, T/R modules and technologies, multi-beam arrays, and calibration procedures. Progress towards calibration of large phased arrays for dual-polarization weather radar applications will also be presented.

T-06: Signal Propagation, Modeling, and Phenomenology for Monostatic, Bistatic, and Multi-static Radar Systems: by Julie Jackson

Radar signal processing methods are rife with simplifying assumptions that are easily overlooked when expanding from monostatic to bistatic and multi-static systems. This tutorial will revisit the entire signal propagation chain, from transmitter(s) to environment to receiver(s), and discuss key elements of the signal propagation model. Phenomenology and modeling of target scattering, clutter, and waveform structure will be discussed from the monostatic, bistatic, and multi-static viewpoints. The course will include both electromagnetic principles and parametric/statistical models often used in radar signal processing. The signal propagation chain is a fundamental component of any radar system. The models presented in this course may be used to drive further signal processing development for many bistatic and multi-static radar applications (e.g. imaging, tracking, recognition, etc.). Beginners will learn about basic target, clutter, and signal models, while intermediate and experienced attendees will extend their knowledge of monostatic phenomenology to bistatic and multi-static scenarios. All will benefit from the blend of electromagnetic, signal processing, and statistical treatments of each topic.

Session 2 (Monday afternoon, April 23, 1:00 - 5:00)

T-01: Introduction to Airborne Radar: by Hugh Griffiths and Chris Baker (contd.)

Second part of the tutorial (see above).

T-07: Advanced Radar Detection and Applications: by Scott Goldstein, Michael Picciolo, and Wil Myrick

This tutorial covers radar detection from first principles and develops the concepts behind Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) and advanced, yet practical, adaptive algorithms for its use in realistic data environments. Detection theory is reviewed to provide the student with both the understanding of how STAP is derived, as well as to gain an appreciation for how the assumptions can be modified based on different signal and clutter models. Radar received data components are explained in detail, and mathematical models are derived so that the student can program their own MATLAB or other simulation code to represent target, jammer, and clutter signals from a statistical framework and construct optimal and suboptimal radar detector structures. The course covers state-of-the-art STAP techniques that address many of the limitations of traditional STAP solutions, offering insight into future research trends. Additionally, it will cover applications of advanced detection algorithms including modern hardware realizations and other related applications such as COTS based distributed array STAP beamforming.

T-08: Electronic Scanned Array (ESA) Design: by John Williams

This tutorial provides an introduction to the theory and application of electronic scanned arrays. The focus will be antenna hardware and specifically radar antennas. It covers the general design principles of aperture antennas applied to the specific case of ESA design. System applications will be discussed to set the framework for requirements allocation and flowdown. Advantages and disadvantages of ESA and reflector antennas as well as ESA feeds for reflectors will be compared and contrasted. Common ESA design issues will be described, including array partitioning and subarrays, lattice tradeoffs, feed design, causes and mitigation of sidelobes, beam steering approaches and techniques for beam shaping. Numerical examples using Matlab will illustrate performance of specific designs. The impact of choices in radiating elements, T/R modules, monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), microwave distribution, and packaging on performance goals will be discussed, including tradeoffs to meet size, weight, power and thermal dissipation constraints. Finally, recent radar satellite designs will be described to illustrate actual performance and design tradeoffs. Requirements, design alternatives and tradeoffs for a conceptual L-band antenna will be presented.

T-09: Cognitive Radar - Theory to Practice: by Graeme Smith and Kristine Bell

This tutorial introduces cognitive processing for radar systems. The emphasis is placed on how the emerging theories can be taken and applied in practice. Essentially, an attempt is made to answer the question, “How does one build a cognitive radar?” The meaning of cognition, from an engineering perspective, is discussed and a case is made as to why future radar systems need to be cognitive. From this base position, techniques by which cognitive-like algorithms can be developed are discussed. A mathematically rigorous, generalized cognitive framework will be introduced and examples of its use in experimental tests given. Further examples will be provided of how cognition can be, and in some cases already is, used in radar processing. The tutorial will close with remarks on how the radar engineering community can move forward with cognitive processing as a new part of its design toolkit.

T-10: Signal Processing for Passive Radar: by Hongbin Li, Braham Himed, and Yimin Zhang

A typical radar is an active RF sensing system that requires a dedicated transmitter. In contrast, a passive radar hitchhikes existing wireless communication and broadcast sources, which are referred to as the illuminators of opportunity (IOs), to probe the surveillance area. Passive radar enjoys a number of advantages over its active counterpart. Nevertheless, there are technical and non-technical issues that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential of passive radar. This tutorial is aimed to provide a comprehensive discussion on signal processing for passive radar, covering both classical techniques and recent developments. One focus is to illustrate practical impairments such as noisy reference channels and interference, which are inherent in passive radar, and explore new techniques to mitigate such effects for enhanced sensing performance. Structure-aware sparse reconstruction techniques, which are developed based on the recent advances in compressive sensing, are introduced as an effective means for high-resolution image formation and multi-static observation fusion. Also discussed is sparse reconstruction based STAP processing for ground clutter suppression that uses group sparse reconstruction methods for clutter profile estimation using a small number of secondary range cells.

T-11: Adaptive Array Antennas - Principles and Applications: by Randy Haupt and Mark Leifer

This tutorial describes the antenna technology (arrays, low sidelobe-, high directivity-, and reconfigurable antennas) and signal processing algorithms that are used in modern radar systems to reject interference. Particular emphasis is placed in this tutorial on an intuitive understanding of array operation and of the interference nulling process. Numerous adaptive techniques, most of which seek to optimize SINR (the ratio of signal to interference-plus-noise), are available to the system designer. Attendees will survey these techniques and learn both the practical and mathematical aspects of their use. The course begins by reviewing the basics of antenna arrays and beamforming, establishing a firm context for the introduction of array-based adaptive algorithms. A simplified and practical explanation of the array covariance matrix with its eigenvalues and eigenvectors is presented, together with an understanding of their role in adaptive nulling. Classic covariance matrix-based approaches are introduced next, including the LMS gradient-based algorithm and the LS and MVDR block processing algorithms. Intuitive graphical explanations of beamforming and nulling will accompany mathematical descriptions of how the algorithms work. Guidance on which algorithms are best in specific applications will be presented, providing valuable practical information that is often missing from conference tutorials. The remainder of the course covers specialty techniques useful for large arrays, such as sidelobe cancellation and partially adaptive arrays, as well as non-digital techniques such as reconfigurable arrays.

T-12: Bistatic and Multistatic Radar Imaging: by Marco Martorella and Brian Rigling

SAR/ISAR images have been largely used for earth observation, surveillance, classification and recognition of targets of interest. The effectiveness of such systems may be limited by a number of factors, such as poor resolution, shadowing effects, interference, etc. Moreover, both SAR and ISAR images are to be considered as two-dimensional maps of the real three-dimensional object. Therefore, a single sensor may produce only a two-dimensional image where its image projection plane (IPP) is defined by the system-target geometry. Such a mapping typically creates a problem for the image interpretation, as the target image is only a projection of it onto a plane. In addition to this, monostatic SAR/ISAR imaging systems are typically quite vulnerable to intentional jammers as the sensor can be easily detected and located by an electronic counter-measure (ECM) system. Bistatic SAR/ISAR systems can overcome such a problem as the receiver can act covertly due to the fact that it is not easily detectable by an ECM system, whereas multistatic SAR/ISAR may push forward the system limits both in terms of resolution and image interpretation and add to the system resilience.

Session 3 (Friday morning, April 27, 8:00 - 12:00)

T-13: Radar Clutter Modelling and Exploitation: by Simon Watts and Luke Rosenberg

Modelling and simulation are essential elements of almost all aspects of engineering design and development of complex systems. Modern radar is no exception to this. In this tutorial a particular component of the design, development and testing processes of radar systems is examined, namely the use of modelling and simulation of radar clutter. The various stages in the life-cycle of radar systems are considered, considering the contributions made by clutter modelling. The tutorial will address the question of how the choice of clutter model and the results emerging from current research may have a significant quantitative effect on overall radar system models. In this way it will be shown how the latest clutter models may be used in the day-to-day design and assessment of radar systems. A particular emphasis will be placed on the practical application of clutter models by those involved in designing radars and putting them into service.

T-14: Radar Systems Prototyping: by Lorenzo Lo Monte

There exist many books and tutorials on radar signal processing, but little is found on how to build your radar prototype that can support and run innovative and research-oriented algorithms and techniques. This tutorial will provide you with practical skills and techniques needed to build your advanced radar prototype. The focus is not on how devices/algorithms work, but on how to relate the choice of microwave devices and signal processing algorithms to the desired radar specifications. You will learn how to interpret datasheets, how components/algorithms affect each other, and how signal processing dictates RF constraints, and how signal processing can fix your RF limitations. The course will end with a step-by-step MIMO radar design example, starting from the requirements and ending with a schematic and bill of material. All participants will also receive a free consultation to their current radar system design until their project is completed.

T-15: MIMO Radar and Waveform Diversity - The 2nd Wave: by Joseph Guerci and Jameson Bergin

In the last 10 years there has been a plethora of research activities and publications extolling the many potential benefits (and pitfalls) of this MIMO radar. In this tutorial we take stock of the many developments and begin to identify where practical benefits have been achieved in real-world radars, and where work remains to flesh out remaining benefits. Beginning with MIMO radar and waveform diversity fundamentals, including the tradeoff between SNR and SINR and hardware/software impacts, the tutorial quickly moves to those areas for which measurable benefits have been achieved in actual radar systems. Examples include early pioneering work in MIMO OTH radar, through to the most recent demonstration in a production X-band radar. The second half of the tutorial is then dedicated to the latest cutting edge research in MIMO and waveform diversity including optimal and adaptive MIMO, advanced “STAP on transmit”, and next-gen multifunction RF including simultaneous radar and communications. Much of the material is based on the author’s own firsthand experiences and is presented in a very accessible manner targeted for a diverse audience.

T-16: Advanced Radar Processing Techniques: by Dan Thomas

Modern radars are faced with many challenges that may require processing techniques beyond simple filters, pulse compressors, Doppler processing and constant-false-alarm-rate (CFAR) detection. A wide variety of advanced processing techniques have been developed over the years that can improve performance, reduce losses, and produce useful output products to aid the radar developer. This tutorial presents the fundamentals for a number of these techniques (both advantages and limitations) along with some of their applications: Spatially variant apodization (SVA) for optimal tapering schemes, range keystone processing for enhanced resampling in slow time, acceleration processing to improve tracking and detection of accelerating targets, efficient multi-channel digital processing using frequency-domain techniques, and along-track interferometry to detect ground moving targets against a stationary background in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imager by forming and processing images over the same spatial aperture from multiple phase centers.

T-17: Weather and Phased Array Radar Polarimetry: by Guifu Zhang and Richard Doviak

While the technology of radar polarimetry has matured, and polarimetric radar data (PRD) are available nationally and worldwide, radar polarimetry is still in its initial stages for operational usage. There is a lot of room for research and development, especially in using PRD. Phased array technology has recently been introduced to the weather community to increase data update rates to lengthen the lead-time of weather hazard warnings. Polarimetric phased array radar is desirable for future weather observations and multi-mission capabilities. This tutorial will provide the background information on weather radar polarimetry and polarimetric phased array radar (PPAR) and its applications, and will introduce the latest advances in research and development of a PPAR that can serve multiple functions (e.g., weather and aircraft surveillance). It covers characterization of hydrometeors, wave scattering and propagation in clouds and precipitation, polarimetric radar measurements and improvement of data quality, applications in weather quantification and forecast, optimal retrieval and data assimilation, and phased array weather radar polarimetry.