Date of Award
MS in Electrical Engineering
This thesis further develops a method from ongoing thesis projects with the goal of generating images using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) simulations coded in MATLAB. The project is supervised by Dr. John Saghri and sponsored by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. SAR is a type of imaging radar in which the relative movement of the antenna with respect to the target is utilized. Through the simultaneous processing of the radar reflections over the movement of the antenna via the range Doppler algorithm (RDA), the superior resolution of a theoretical wider antenna, termed synthetic aperture, is obtained. The long term goal of this ongoing project is to develop a simulation in which realistic SAR images can be generated and used for SAR Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). Current and past Master’s theses on ATR were restricted to a small data set of Man-portable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (MSTAR) images as most SAR images for military ATR are not released for public use. Also, with an in-house SAR image generation scheme the parameters of noise, target orientation, the elevation angle or look angle to the antenna from the target and other parameters can be directly controlled and modified to best serve ATR purposes or other applications such as three-dimensional SAR holography.
At the start of the project in September 2007, the SAR simulation from previous Master’s theses was capable of simulating and imaging point targets in a two dimensional plane with limited mobility. The focus on improvements to this simulation through the course of this project was to improve the SAR simulation for applications to more complex two-dimensional targets and simple three-dimensional targets, such as a cube. The input to the simulation uses a selected two-dimensional, grayscale target image and generates from the input a two-dimensional target profile of reflectivity over the azimuth and range based on the intensity of the pixels in the target image. For three-dimensional simulations, multiple two-dimensional azimuth/range profiles are imported at different altitudes. The output from both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations is the SAR simulated and RDA processed image of the input target profile.
Future work on this ongoing project will include an algorithm to calculate line of sight limitations of point targets and processing optimization of the radar information generation implemented in the code so that more complex and realistic targets can be simulated and imaged using SAR for applications in ATR and 3D SAR holography.