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Algorithms for target ISAR signature reconstruction

Research output: Other conference contributionPaper, poster or abstractProfessional


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018
Event3rd Meeting of NATO SET-RTG-251 “Ship radar signature management – benefit to ships” - Finnish Naval Academy, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 24 Apr 201827 Apr 2018


Other3rd Meeting of NATO SET-RTG-251 “Ship radar signature management – benefit to ships”
Abbreviated titleMeeting of NATO SET-RTG-251


This summary paper covers topics related to inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) signal processing, simulation, and automatic target recognition (ATR). Most of the reviewed research has been conducted at the Laboratory of Signal Processing at Tampere University of Technology.

ISAR is used for high-resolution radar imaging of moving targets. The most essential part of the ISAR processing is the estimation and compensation of the relative motion between the target and the radar. Conventional algorithms are starting to suffer from performance limitations as the spatial resolution of modern ISAR systems increases. They rely on several approximations and simplifications, which are used to divide the problem into several successive steps.

The methods discussed in this paper reduce the computational burden of ISAR processing and significantly increase the image quality in the case of complex target motions. The conventional stepwise approach first estimates and compensates for the translational motion and then the rotational motion of the target. This paper describes several improvements to the
stepwise approach. The use of more generally applicable time domain image reconstruction algorithms has been limited due to the limited available computing power. In this paper, a contrast optimization algorithm for time domain back-projection-based ISAR imaging is described. It is shown to increase imaging performance under the most challenging motion compensation scenarios. This direct approach optimizes both the translation and rotation simultaneously.

An application of multichannel synthetic aperture radar system is discussed regarding ground moving target indication (MTI) and imaging. The described approach consisting of MTI, clutter cancellation and ISAR processing is shown to be feasible for imaging of moving targets. Simulation of ISAR signatures is considered briefly from the viewpoint of ATR, where estimating
the target heading is one of the main issues. A method for modeling the uncertainty of the heading estimate is also discussed.

Field of science, Statistics Finland