Spectral Kurtosis–Based Method for Weak Target Detection in Sea Clutter by Microwave Coherent Radar

Yan Jin School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

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Zezong Chen School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

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Lingang Fan School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

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Chen Zhao School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

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Abstract

A new method is proposed to detect small targets embedded in sea clutter for land-based microwave coherent radar using spectral kurtosis as a signature from radar data. It is executed according to the following procedures. First, the echoes of radar from each range gate are processed by the technique of short-time Fourier transform. Then, the kurtosis of each Doppler channel is estimated from the time–Doppler spectra. Last, the spectral kurtosis is compared to a threshold to determine whether a target exists. The proposed method is applied to measured datasets of different sea conditions from slight to moderate. The signal from a small boat is detected successfully. Furthermore, the detection performance of the proposed method is analyzed by the way of Monte Carlo simulation. It demonstrates that the spectral kurtosis–based detector works well for weak target detection when the target’s Doppler frequency is beyond the strong clutter region.

Corresponding author address: Zezong Chen, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Luojia Hill, Wuchang District, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China. E-mail: chenzz@whu.edu.cn

Abstract

A new method is proposed to detect small targets embedded in sea clutter for land-based microwave coherent radar using spectral kurtosis as a signature from radar data. It is executed according to the following procedures. First, the echoes of radar from each range gate are processed by the technique of short-time Fourier transform. Then, the kurtosis of each Doppler channel is estimated from the time–Doppler spectra. Last, the spectral kurtosis is compared to a threshold to determine whether a target exists. The proposed method is applied to measured datasets of different sea conditions from slight to moderate. The signal from a small boat is detected successfully. Furthermore, the detection performance of the proposed method is analyzed by the way of Monte Carlo simulation. It demonstrates that the spectral kurtosis–based detector works well for weak target detection when the target’s Doppler frequency is beyond the strong clutter region.

Corresponding author address: Zezong Chen, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Luojia Hill, Wuchang District, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China. E-mail: chenzz@whu.edu.cn
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