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30 July 1998 Ultrawideband synthetic vision sensor for airborne wire detection
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A low cost, miniature ultra wideband (UWB) radar has demonstrated the ability to detect suspended wires and other small obstacles at distances exceeding several hundred feet using an average output power of less than 10 microwatts. Originally developed as a high precision UWB radar altimeter for the Navy's Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Cruise Missiles, an improved sensitivity version was recently developed for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Dahlgren Division) as part of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Hummingbird program for rotary wing platforms. Utilizing a short pulse waveform of approximately 2.5 nanoseconds in duration, the receiver processor exploits the leading edge of the radar return pulse to achieve range resolutions of less than one foot. The resultant 400 MHz bandwidth spectrum produces both a broad frequency excitation for enhanced detection, as well as a low probability of intercept and detection (LPI/D) signature for covert applications. This paper describes the design and development of the ultra wideband sensor, as well as performance results achieved during field testing at NSWC's Dahlgren, VA facility. These results are compared with those achieved with a high resolution EHF radar and a laser-based detection system.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert J. Fontana, J. Frederick Larrick, Jeffrey E. Cade, and Eugene P. Rivers Jr. "Ultrawideband synthetic vision sensor for airborne wire detection", Proc. SPIE 3364, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1998, (30 July 1998);


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