Enhanced Small-Target Detection and Tracking Using a Mode-Adaptive Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR) Detector

Period of Performance: 05/14/2015 - 05/15/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lambda Science, Inc.
P.O. Box 238 Array
Wayne, PA 19087
Principal Investigator


The proposed Phase 2 technical effort will leverage the success of the Phase 1 effort and develop adaptive clutter equalization CFAR (ACE-CFAR) techniques that are mode adaptive at the PRI level and handle multiple range resolutions. Conventional CFAR detection processing has difficulty in heterogeneous clutter (i.e., maritime clutter) because the fixed data size windowing is not likely to be well matched to the spatial scales of the wave field over a wide range of sea states and is negatively impacted by the presence of sea spikes. The spikey non-Gaussian nature of heterogeneous clutter gives rise to significant spatially varying CFAR loss to maintain low false alarms that desensitize the radar in stressing clutter conditions. The Phase 1 effort utilized cliff top and airborne data to develop and test initial ACE-CFAR processing concepts at different scan rates and range resolutions. This field test data is both high scan rate and high range resolution, and reduced scan rates and resolutions are constructed through decimation and filtering, respectively. This data set is large and contains a large number of airborne cases that remain to be tested with ACE-CFAR processing in Phase 2.