Finding Radar Transmissions from their Pulse Patterns

6 June 2014
Andy Stove (Thales)
An important military task in a high-technology environment is to understand the set of radars present in it, since the radars will be, to a greater or lesser extent, indicative of the ships, aircraft and other military units which are present. The transmissions of the different radars typically overlap in most of the dimensions which characterise then, such as frequency and bearing, and their pulses are interleaved in time. If, however, we are able to separate the individual pulse trains which are present then not only does this allow us to know how many different radars are present, but the characteristics of the pulse train are indicative of the type of the radar. The problem of recognising the pulse trains is not trivial, because many radars 'jitter' their transmissions and pulses may be missing or two pulses may occur together, causing the characteristics of the pulse to be 'garbled.' The jittering may be used as a way to reject mutual interference between the radars, to resolve ambiguities in measurements of range or velocity or to make it harder to jam the radar. The problems caused by pulses overlapping are likely to become more severe in the future because the pulses of the individual radars are becoming longer. Although solutions currently exist which can cope, to at least some extent, with most of these issues, the purpose of bringing this topic to the seminar is to allow a fresh look at the problem from first principles.
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