The detection of unknown waveforms in ESM receivers: FFT-based real-time solutions

MacKerron, Graham Henry (2011) The detection of unknown waveforms in ESM receivers: FFT-based real-time solutions. EngD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Radars and airborne electronic support measures (ESMs) systems are locked in a tactical battle to detect each other whilst remaining undetected. Traditionally, the ESM system has a range advantage. Low probability of intercept (LPI) waveform designers are, however, more heavily exploiting the matched filter radar advantage and hence
degrading the range advantage.

There have been literature and internal, SELEX Galileo proposals to regain some ESM processing gain of low probability of intercept (LPI) waveforms. This study, however, has sought digital signal processing (DSP) solutions which are: (1) computationally simple; (2) backward-compatible with existing SELEX Galileo digital receivers (DRxs) and (3) have low resource requirements. The two contributions are complementary and result in a detector which is suitable for detection of most radar waveforms.

The first contribution is the application of spatially variant apodization (SVA) in a detection role. Compared to conventional window functions, SVA was found to be beneficial for the detection of sinusoidal radar waveforms as it surpassed the fixed window function detectors in all scenarios tested.

The second contribution shows by simulation that simple spectral smoothing techniques improved DRx LPI detection capability to a level similar to more complicated non-parametric spectral estimators and far in excess of the conventional (modified) periodogram.

The DSP algorithms were implemented using model-based design (MBD). The implication is that a detector with improved conventional and LPI waveform detection capability can be created from the intellectual property (IP). Estimates of the improvement in SELEX Galileo DRx system detection range are provided in the conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (EngD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Low probability of intercept, LPI, waveforms, radar, electronic support measures, ESM, electronic warfare, EW, model-based design, MBD, spatially-variant apodization, SVA, multitaper method, MTM, range advantage, digital receiver, DRx, SELEX Galileo, radar warning receiver, RWR
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Mulgrew, Prof. Bernard
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Mr Graham MacKerron
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-3007
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2011
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 10:00

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