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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 319;

Modeling the Amplitude Distribution of Radar Sea Clutter

DEMR, ONERA, F-13661 Salon CEDEX Air, France
Defence Science and Technology Group, Edinburgh SA 5111, Australia
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, University College, London WC1E 6EA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Target Detection in Marine Environment)
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Ship detection in the maritime domain is best performed with radar due to its ability to surveil wide areas and operate in almost any weather condition or time of day. Many common detection schemes require an accurate model of the amplitude distribution of radar echoes backscattered by the ocean surface. This paper presents a review of select amplitude distributions from the literature and their ability to represent data from several different radar systems operating from 1 GHz to 10 GHz. These include the K distribution, arguably the most popular model from the literature as well as the Pareto, K+Rayleigh, and the trimodal discrete (3MD) distributions. The models are evaluated with radar data collected from a ground-based bistatic radar system and two experimental airborne radars. These data sets cover a wide range of frequencies (L-, S-, and X-band), and different collection geometries and sea conditions. To guide the selection of the most appropriate model, two goodness of fit metrics are used, the Bhattacharyya distance which measures the overall distribution error and the threshold error which quantifies mismatch in the distribution tail. Together, they allow a quantitative evaluation of each distribution to accurately model radar sea clutter for the purpose of radar ship detection. View Full-Text
Keywords: radar; sea clutter; statistical analysis; amplitude distribution; K; Pareto; Rayleigh; 3MD radar; sea clutter; statistical analysis; amplitude distribution; K; Pareto; Rayleigh; 3MD

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Angelliaume, S.; Rosenberg, L.; Ritchie, M. Modeling the Amplitude Distribution of Radar Sea Clutter. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 319.

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