High Range Resolution Radar for Flightline Boundary Surveillance

Period of Performance: 11/22/2013 - 11/23/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Propagation Research Assoc.
1275 Kennestone Circle Array
Marietta, GA 30066
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: In Phase I, PRA working with FLIR modified the command and control (C2) software for their Ranger series of perimeter surveillance radars to meet requirements for flightline boundary surveillance. These radars are ideal for this mission with a 30 cm range resolution, >97% probability of detection, and low false alarm rate (less than 3 per 24 hours). The C2 software was modified to allow the creation of a boundary encompassing a protected zone with designated entrance and exit points and to classify target tracks as friendly or intruder based upon entry through a designated entrance or over the boundary respectively. In Phase II, PRA will develop and implement an advanced tracking algorithm that combines detection data from multiple networked sensors to provide a single uniform target track. This will involve minor additional modifications to the FLIR C2 software to interface with the PRA tracking module. An extended deployment of the system with security personnel will be performed, allowing in depth evaluation of system performance in an operational setting. With over 700 FLIR Ranger R-350 s deployed, the results of the PRA effort can be leveraged in existing assets with an upgrade to the C2 software located at the security station. BENEFIT: Maintaining security at airfields has traditionally been performed with ported coaxial cable radars. People, animals, and vehicles cause disturbances in the fields generated by the cables, allowing them to be detected. This can result in a number of false or nuisance alarms when the object is near but not actually crossing into a protected area. PRA is proposing a modified FLIR Ranger series of perimeter surveillance radars as the ideal solution to the flightline surveillance mission. The FLIR Ranger series are high range resolution (HRR) radars sporting range resolution as little as 30 cm (1 foot), high probability of detection (> 97%) and low false alarm rate (less than 3 per 24 hours). With over 700 FLIR Ranger series radar deployed at air bases globally, the PRA solution is a cost effective means to secure the flightline at various air bases. The Phase I resulted in modifications to the FLIR command and control (C2) software to allow the user to define protected areas by defining boundaries around the area. Openings left in the boundary define designated entry and exit locations. Targets that enter the area through a designated entry point are classified as friendly and are displayed as a green track. Targets entering the restricted area by crossing a boundary are classified as an intruder and their track is displayed in red. This allows security personnel to rapidly identify friendly and nonfriendly targets within the restricted area for interception. In addition, by tracking the intruders security personnel can identify and inspect locations within a protected area visited by an intruder. Currently the FLIR C2 software can manage multiple sensors, however for each target there is a separate track resulting from each sensor. For Phase II, PRA will develop advanced track processing that will ingests the measurements from the different sensors and forms a single uniform track. In particular, PRA will develop a multiple hypothesis tracker (MHT), generating hypotheses for each measurement as to whether it is a false alarm, new track or associated with an existing track. Probabilities associated with the hypotheses are generated and the assignment problem is performed. The hypotheses are propagated in time allowing an assignment to change based upon future information. In Phase III, PRA will design and implement a hardware and software upgrade option for potential Government and commercial customers that will identify specific boundary regions of interest for intruder identification. Perimeter surveillance and anti-personnel surveillance sensor systems have application in base and border security by identifying and characterizing possible threats before they become an issue and alerting personnel when a threat becomes an issue. This work supports and enhances the ongoing research program at PRA in the areas of perimeter surveillance, clutter mitigation, automatic target recognition, and target tracking. This ongoing work can lead into the development of new and innovative techniques for clutter mitigation (adaptive processing for non-array systems), new features to exploit for target characterization, and new methods to accelerate ATR processing, providing target characteristics and types faster and more accurately to security personnel.