Synthetic Aperture Radar Approaches for Small Maritime Target Detection and Discrimination
Navy SBIR FY2015.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2015.2
Topic No.: N152-083
Topic Title: Synthetic Aperture Radar Approaches for Small Maritime Target Detection and Discrimination
Proposal No.: N152-083-0366
Firm: RDRTec Inc.
3737 Atwell St.
Suite 208
Dallas, Texas 75209
Contact: Duy Nguyen
Phone: (214) 353-8755
Abstract: RDRTec Inc. and our partner The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) propose to study the feasibility of an innovative model-based super-resolution Small Maritime Targets (SMT) detector that combines coherent SAR imaging technique with micro-Doppler feature discriminator and multipath exploitation to dramatically improve Probability of Detection (Pd) and reduce Probability of False Alarm (Pfa). Our objective is to assess the feasibility of: 1. preprocessing the SAR images with the model-based HDVI super-resolution imaging and the RDRTec full spectrum analyzer (FSA) algorithms to reduce speckle noise, scintillation effects, and background normalization; 2. assessing the performance of the baseline JHU/APL SAR-based detector against the preprocessed SAR images in terms of Pd/Pfa; 3. exploiting models of multipath effects and K distributed sea clutter on low altitude sea surface targets and assessing their effects on detection performance in terms of Pd/Pfa; and 4. fusing the micro-Doppler features with the SAR-based detections to reduce the Pfa. This capability will be incorporated as an upgrade to the APS-153 radar surveillance mode on the MH-60R and potentially to the currently funded Radar Collision Avoidance System (RACAS) under development by ONR and NAVAIR as a Sense and Avoid (SAA) initiative for transition into the MQ-8 and MQ-4.
Benefits: A successful Phase 1 effort will establish the potential of the SAR based detection and discrimination of SMT using the RACAS system. It will further quantify the performance enhancement of polarization. This will help determine next generation RACAS array topologies to enhance maritime surveillance capability for the Fire Scout, Triton, and other VTUAVs.a