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Proceedings Paper

Obstacle avoidance and concealed target detection using the Army Research Lab ultra-wideband synchronous impulse reconstruction (UWB SIRE) forward imaging radar
Author(s): Lam Nguyen; David Wong; Marc Ressler; Francois Koenig; Brian Stanton; Gregory Smith; Jeffrey Sichina; Karl Kappra
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Paper Abstract

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), as part of a mission and customer funded exploratory program, has developed a new low-frequency, ultra-wideband (UWB) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for forward imaging to support the Army's vision of an autonomous navigation system for robotic ground vehicles. These unmanned vehicles, equipped with an array of imaging sensors, will be tasked to help detect man-made obstacles such as concealed targets, enemy minefields, and booby traps, as well as other natural obstacles such as ditches, and bodies of water. The ability of UWB radar technology to help detect concealed objects has been documented in the past and could provide an important obstacle avoidance capability for autonomous navigation systems, which would improve the speed and maneuverability of these vehicles and consequently increase the survivability of the U. S. forces on the battlefield. One of the primary features of the radar is the ability to collect and process data at combat pace in an affordable, compact, and lightweight package. To achieve this, the radar is based on the synchronous impulse reconstruction (SIRE) technique where several relatively slow and inexpensive analog-to-digital (A/D) converters are used to sample the wide bandwidth of the radar signals. We conducted an experiment this winter at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) to support the phenomenological studies of the backscatter from positive and negative obstacles for autonomous robotic vehicle navigation, as well as the detection of concealed targets of interest to the Army. In this paper, we briefly describe the UWB SIRE radar and the test setup in the experiment. We will also describe the signal processing and the forward imaging techniques used in the experiment. Finally, we will present imagery of man-made obstacles such as barriers, concertina wires, and mines.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6553, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets XII, 65530H (26 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719313
Show Author Affiliations
Lam Nguyen, Army Research Lab. (United States)
David Wong, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Marc Ressler, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Francois Koenig, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Brian Stanton, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Gregory Smith, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jeffrey Sichina, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Karl Kappra, Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6553:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets XII
Russell S. Harmon; J. Thomas Broach; John H. Holloway Jr., Editor(s)

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