Rapid and Accurate High-Resolution Radar Signature Prediction of Sea Targets

Period of Performance: 05/16/2014 - 08/19/2015

$634K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Delcross Technologies, LLC
301 North Neil Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Radar signatures of small boats and ships are inherently complex due to their myriad topside features: railings, antennas, masts, ladders, armaments, pilot stations, outboard engines, storage bins, etc. In boats, the use of fiberglass and other radar-penetrable materials for hulls and decks further complicates the radar signature by exposing interior geometry. Radar detection, identification, and tracking of watercraft depends on accurately characterizing radar signatures and their variability over anticipated operating conditions. However, at these wavelengths, watercraft can span hundreds to thousands of wavelengths, well beyond the capability of any full-wave electromagnetic solver. Asymptotic (ray-tracing) solvers do very well at quickly predicting the signatures of large, complex shapes, but they suffer in capturing the effects of detailed features measuring a few wavelengths or less. Yet, these detailed features can play an important role in the overall radar signature. We propose to develop a practical signature prediction capability for watercraft that hybridizes the solution of two mature electromagnetic modeling technologies based on ray tracing and method-of-moments. Phase I will focus on hybrid formulation development and proof of concept through numeric experiments. In Phase II, hybridization algorithms will be refined and implemented in a radar signature tool, including a commercial-grade GUI.