NETWORKED RF SENSORS

SUMMARY

This sub-theme aims to establish the potential value of networks of ‘small’ RF sensors as opposed to traditional single ‘large’ sensors. Quantitative research is needed to establish potential benefits and to direct future research.

MILITARY BENEFITS

Network-based remote sensing offers potential benefits in robustness, covertness, counter-stealth, and target identification. It is also potentially more cost-effective than traditional sensors.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

To quantify the performance trade-offs associated with multi-static, multi-sensor operating modes for battlespace surveillance, both airborne and surface-based
To identify the key technical risks and knowledge gaps pertaining to the concept
To identify potential benefits of multi-sensor / multi-static operation for target detection and classification
To understand the key issues surrounding waveform design and signal and data processing for multi-sensor / multi-static operation
To advance the concepts from TRL 2 to TRL 3

RESEARCH OUTLINE

This research aims to investigate the concept using a network of smaller, cheaper radars as an alternative to a small number of complex, expensive radars, the aim being to achieve similar or superior sensing performance. This form of sensor also offers the potential to defeat some types of microwave stealth and to provide more information for target identification. The planned research involves a number of collaborators from academia and industry.

The research is particularly aimed at very low-level co-operation between sensors, sharing information at the detection and pre-detection level, and including issues such as coherent multi-static operation and sparse antenna array formation from distributed sensors. The use of networked sensors for target location and target classification will be investigated. Higher-level fusion issues, such as plot and track fusion, will not be considered but are likely to form subjects for co-ordination with the Data and Information Fusion DTC.

The work will also consider issues related to accurate sensor location, robust network formation, communication links and airborne operation.

Multi-static operation and observation from multiple locations offers potential advantages in target detection, identification and counter-stealth by allowing the target to be observed from a spatially diverse sensor.

CO-ORDINATION WITH EXISTING / PREVIOUS RESEARCH

This research is primarily novel but will build on previous work on bistatic radar. In particular, it is complementary to the work being carried out under the FOAS TDPs, and continues work sponsored under the CRP Counter-stealth Programme.

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