Detection and Tracking of Small Boats and Semi-Submersibles in the Littoral
Navy SBIR 2011.1 - Topic N111-020
NAVAIR - Mrs. Janet McGovern - email@example.com
Opens: December 13, 2010 - Closes: January 12, 2011
N111-020 TITLE: Detection and Tracking of Small Boats and Semi-Submersibles in the Littoral
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-290, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative method to exploit coherent temporal processing techniques in the discrimination of small boats and semi-submersible vessels in the presence of highly variable Doppler spectra characteristics of littoral environments.
DESCRIPTION: Radar detection of small boats and semi-submersible vessels in the littoral environment can be very challenging because the radar reflectivity is masked by the much stronger reflectivity of the surrounding sea. If the Doppler spectra of the small boat’s return can be adequately separated from that of the sea then improved detection performance is possible. The Doppler spectra of the littoral seas varies from being rather homogeneous to being highly inhomogeneous with large discrete Doppler packets associated with free and trapped capillaries riding on surface gravity waves and swell. Likewise the target Doppler spectra of the small boat target set of interest can be highly variable containing relatively narrow Doppler spectra from the vessel itself and a much wider response from the speed dependent boat wake and spray.
The goal of this effort is to develop robust detection, discrimination and tracking techniques for small boat and semi-submersible vessel operations in the littoral environment. In order to be effective, techniques to mitigate target obscuration due to internal clutter motion along with robust and efficient tracking techniques need to be developed. The techniques shall be developed using analytical and numerical analysis combined with strong empirical evidence obtained from representative experiments.
PHASE I: Perform a detailed analysis and modeling effort to assess the feasibility of Doppler detection, discrimination and tracking over the full range of target speeds, over multiple headings to include both cross-range movement and movement synchronous with the primary surface wave field. The analysis should consider radar waveform designs and provide expected processing gains through various coherent processing intervals over the range of target heading and maneuvers and sea returns. Complete an assessment of proposed detector performance.
PHASE II: Significantly increase the fidelity of detection, discrimination and tracking methods. Develop and demonstrate an end-to-end prototype system. Evaluate and improve the system using experimental data obtained in a real-world littoral environment.
PHASE III: Transition the developed technology to appropriate platforms and interested commercial entities.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: There is a growing need for accurate, real-time instrumentation of the sea surface for safe navigation of vessels in and around harbors and shipping lanes.
2. Ward, K.D., Tough, R.J.A, & Watts, S. (2006). Sea Clutter: Scattering the K-Distribution and Radar Performance. Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), Chapters 2 and 6.
KEYWORDS: Radar Scattering; Radar Sea Clutter; Maritime Surveillance; Small Maritime Targets; Target Detection; Clutter Mitigation