Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Alexander Haimovich

Second Advisor

Yeheskel Bar-Ness

Third Advisor

Joseph Frank

Fourth Advisor

Hongya Ge

Fifth Advisor

Kenneth Abend


Radar systems may be processed with various space, time and frequency techniques. Advanced radar systems are required to detect targets in the presence of jamming and clutter. This work studies the application of two types of radar systems.

It is well known that targets moving along-track within a Synthetic Aperture Radar field of view are imaged as defocused objects. The SAR stripmap mode is tuned to stationary ground targets and the mismatch between the SAR processing parameters and the target motion parameters causes the energy to spill over to adjacent image pixels, thus hindering target feature extraction and reducing the probability of detection. The problem can be remedied by generating the image using a filter matched to the actual target motion parameters, effectively focusing the SAR image on the target. For a fixed rate of motion the target velocity can be estimated from the slope of the Doppler frequency characteristic. The problem is similar to the classical problem of estimating the instantaneous frequency of a linear FM signal (chirp). The Wigner-Ville distribution, the Gabor expansion, the Short-Time Fourier transform and the Continuous Wavelet Transform are compared with respect to their performance in noisy SAR data to estimate the instantaneous Doppler frequency of range compressed SAR data. It is shown that these methods exhibit sharp signal-to-noise threshold effects.

The space-time radar problem is well suited to the application of techniques that take advantage of the low-rank property of the space-time covariance matrix. It is shown that reduced-rank methods outperform full-rank space-time adaptive processing when the space-time covariance matrix is estimated from a dataset with limited support. The utility of reduced-rank methods is demonstrated by theoretical analysis, simulations and analysis of real data. It is shown that reduced-rank processing has two effects on the performance: increased statistical stability which tends to improve performance, and introduction of a bias which lowers the signal-to-noise ratio. A method for evaluating the theoretical conditioned SNR for fixed reduced-rank transforms is also presented.