The appearance of small UAVs on the commercial market poses a real threat to both civilian safety and to military operations. In open terrain a radar can detect and track even small UAVs at long distances. In an urban environment with limited line-of-sight and strong static and non-static background, this capability can be severely reduced. The radar cross section of these UAVs are normally small compared to the background. However, the rotors of the UAVs produce a characteristic micro-Doppler signature that can be exploited for detection and classification. In this paper, we investigate in an experimental set-up whether it is possible in the radar non-line-of-sight to retrieve the micro-Doppler signature of the UAV rotors. This is done by exploring up to three multipath bounces in the measured signal. The measurements were made with a semi-monostatic single receiver-transmitter radar system operating at X-band in a pulsed single frequency mode. The radar response of the UAV, with plastic and metallic rotors, was measured at several positions inside a 4 m wide corridor with metallic walls. In this paper, data from one line-of-sight and two non-line-ofsight positions are presented. Results show that we are able to detect the micro-Doppler of the rotors and to retrieve the number of revolutions per minute, for both rotor types. Free space Finite-Difference Time-Domain calculations have also been performed on a CAD-model of the UAV rotor to determine the optimal choice of polarization and the short-time Fourier transform filter length.
Magnus Gustavsson, Åsa Andersson, Tommy Johansson, Rolf Jonsson, Nils Karlsson, and Stefan Nilsson, "Micro-Doppler extraction of a small UAV in a non-line-of-sight urban scenario," Proc. SPIE 10188, Radar Sensor Technology XXI, 101880U (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 1 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260709.
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