This course provides a fundamental understanding of pulse-Doppler radar and how it is used to detect moving targets in the presence of background clutter. After a brief refresher of basic radar principles, the course describes the Doppler shift, how Doppler frequency is measured by a coherent radar, and the range and Doppler extents of the interfering clutter from the perspective of an airborne radar. We then explain the concepts of ambiguities and blind zones and their implications toward clutter folding, probability of detection, search time, and the need for pulse-repetition frequency (PRF) variation. We describe the three major PRF regimes – high PRF, medium PRF, and low PRF – with particular emphasis on medium PRF issues, such as blind zones, ambiguity resolution, and PRF selection. Fundamental signal processing theory is provided for moving target indication (MTI) and Doppler processing. Related airborne radar modes such as ground moving target indicator (GMTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) are described to show similarities and differences with pulse-Doppler. The course also describes detection functions and issues in the context of pulse-Doppler waveforms, as well as implications of hardware errors, surface radar implementations, and operation in electronic warfare environments. Exercises are provided to help reinforce some of the basic concepts presented in the lectures.
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