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Proceedings Paper

Detection and identification of human targets in radar data
Author(s): Sevgi Z. Gürbüz; William L. Melvin; Douglas B. Williams
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Paper Abstract

Radar offers unique advantages over other sensors, such as visual or seismic sensors, for human target detection. Many situations, especially military applications, prevent the placement of video cameras or implantment seismic sensors in the area being observed, because of security or other threats. However, radar can operate far away from potential targets, and functions during daytime as well as nighttime, in virtually all weather conditions. In this paper, we examine the problem of human target detection and identification using single-channel, airborne, synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Human targets are differentiated from other detected slow-moving targets by analyzing the spectrogram of each potential target. Human spectrograms are unique, and can be used not just to identify targets as human, but also to determine features about the human target being observed, such as size, gender, action, and speed. A 12-point human model, together with kinematic equations of motion for each body part, is used to calculate the expected target return and spectrogram. A MATLAB simulation environment is developed including ground clutter, human and non-human targets for the testing of spectrogram-based detection and identification algorithms. Simulations show that spectrograms have some ability to detect and identify human targets in low noise. An example gender discrimination system correctly detected 83.97% of males and 91.11% of females. The problems and limitations of spectrogram-based methods in high clutter environments are discussed. The SNR loss inherent to spectrogram-based methods is quantified. An alternate detection and identification method that will be used as a basis for future work is proposed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6567, Signal Processing, Sensor Fusion, and Target Recognition XVI, 65670I (7 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718974
Show Author Affiliations
Sevgi Z. Gürbüz, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
William L. Melvin, Georgia Tech Research Institute (United States)
Douglas B. Williams, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6567:
Signal Processing, Sensor Fusion, and Target Recognition XVI
Ivan Kadar, Editor(s)

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