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Proceedings Paper

Urban area navigation using active millimeter-wave radar
Author(s): Richard A. Corken; Michael A. Evans
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Paper Abstract

An active MilliMeter Wave (MMW) system exploiting forward squinting Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) techniques can provide high resolution imagery. Such a radar offers a compact, all weather, day/night solution to the problem of accurate airborne navigation. Interpreting radar imagery of very cluttered urban areas is challenging, thus complicating autonomous navigation within such areas. For example, imagery is subject to effects such as layover distortions due to the height of buildings and also considerable radar shadowing. In this paper we examine the use of synthetic imagery to capture the key elements of the radar imagery. The MMW imagery can then be related to the physical models from which the synthetic imagery is generated leading to improved scene understanding. This paper describes the modeling process adopted and compares real imagery from a 35GHz forward squinting SAR radar with the synthetically generated imagery. The modeling process includes provision for terrain undulation, man-made and natural clutter regions and the ability to generate a sequence of imagery from a specified flight path. Examples presented include a representative urban area containing a variety of building structures. An important part of this research is the required fidelity of the synthetic scene model and therefore investigations into the level of detail required are also presented. Further work aims to exploit the synthetic imagery for navigational purposes through registration with the actual radar image thereby automatically locating key building structures with the imagery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4718, Targets and Backgrounds VIII: Characterization and Representation, (6 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.478818
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A. Corken, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Michael A. Evans, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4718:
Targets and Backgrounds VIII: Characterization and Representation
Wendell R. Watkins; Dieter Clement; William R. Reynolds, Editor(s)

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