Security risks and economic losses of civil aviation caused by Foreign Object Debris (FOD) have increased rapidly. Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs) with high resolutions potentially have the capability to detect FODs on the runways, but the target echo is hard to be distinguished from strong clutter. This paper proposes a clutter-analysis-based Space-time Adaptive Processing (STAP) method in order to obtain effective clutter suppression and moving FOD indication, under inhomogeneous clutter background. Specifically, we first divide the radar coverage into equal scattering cells in the rectangular coordinates system rather than the polar ones. We then measure normalized RCSs within the X-band and employ the acquired results to modify the parameters of traditional models. Finally, we describe the clutter expressions as responses of the scattering cells in space and time domain to obtain the theoretical clutter covariance. Experimental results at 10 GHz show that FODs with a reflection higher than −30 dBsm can be effectively detected by a Linear Constraint Minimum Variance (LCMV) filter in azimuth when the noise is −60 dBm. It is also validated to indicate a −40 dBsm target in Doppler. Our approach can obtain effective clutter suppression 60dB deeper than the training-sample-coupled STAP under the same conditions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited