Distributed Aperture Radar Signal Processing Algorithms, Waveforms, and Signal Processing

Period of Performance: 02/13/2008 - 08/13/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiance Technologies Inc.
350 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator


Missile defense radars have traditionally consisted of large aperture ground-based arrays. These large aperture radars are expensive to build and not easily transportable. An alternative approach is the use of distributed aperture systems collectively acting as a single sensor. These systems use a number of smaller, relatively inexpensive arrays distributed over a wide spatial aperture. When coherently combined, the system of smaller distributed arrays can achieve or exceed the performance of a single large array. Radar system performance can be enhanced by exploiting the unique advantages of a large spatially distributed array. Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) approaches can be leveraged to improve directional information about the target and sources of electronic countermeasures (ECM). Beamforming at the distributed aperture level can increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and can mitigate ECM through the placement of nulls. Multistatic approaches can also improve SNR. Waveform properties such as orthogonality play an important role in cooperative distributed apertures. The proposed effort will use a high-fidelity waveform tool to investigate MIMO, beamforming and multistatic approaches for distributed aperture radars for missile defense. These approaches will benefit the development of next generation radar systems using a distributed aperture architecture. Commercial applications of MIMO include improved cell phone performance.