MARK Resources: Radar Systems Technology

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MARK Resources has extensive and rather unique experience in radar signal processing, with applications to detection, discrimination, target identification, and target motion and trajectory analysis. Our innovative work in this area began in the early 1970s when we investigated how radars could discriminate between targets and decoys. This effort led to the development of a new signal processing technology based on short-term moving-window Fourier transform analysis, which we named Target Motion Resolution (TMR) processing; it is also known as Phase Derived Range (PDR) and Doppler Time Intensity (DTI) processing. It has been applied with much success to the analysis of the target motion and signature when the targets are simple, such as missiles and projectiles. We have delivered operational TMR software to several test ranges, where it is used in production environments to extract accurate vehicle trajectories and flight dynamics measurements from raw radar signals.

We have also developed innovative techniques for the analysis of more complicated targets. Our examination of high-resolution SAR imagery showed that the concept of matched filtering is not valid for man-made targets when resolution is high; the phase of the processor output contains information that is essential for modern radar applications, and cannot be discarded. This realization led to the development of our Complex-Image Analysis technology, which is described in the book Radar Resolution and Complex-Image Analysis . The application of this technology to a variety of targets is described in the book Theory and Practice of Radar Target Identification. Significant advances in detection and identification performance have been demonstrated in small-scale automated tests of the Complex-Image Analysis technology.

MARK Resources has also performed pioneering work in the simulation of radar systems and signals, as described in the book Radar Signal Simulation. We have developed several computer based systems for simulating signals for real-time input into radar receivers under test, and we have developed over 30 large-scale programs for simulating all types of target and clutter environments. We have built and delivered several complete "turnkey" simulation sytems to organizations involved in the testing of airborne radars. These systems inject signals into a selected radar component at real-time data rates and respond dynamically to the state of the radar and its simulated environment. We have invented a number of fast signal generation techniques to realistically emulate the returns from airborne targets, ground clutter, and chaff at the digitized video level or at analog IF or RF interfaces.

MARK Resources also provides comprehensive system engineering support services to organizations involved in the design development and testing of radar systems. In the role of subcontractor or independent evaluator on a radar program, we have been responsible for the performance specifications of major system components such as signal processors, receivers, and antennas. We develop effective algorithms for waveform generation and processing, radar clutter suppression, target detection and resolution, angle measurement, track-while-scan, ECCM, and many other functions. Several staff members have been selected to serve as the radar experts on government panels tasked with the evaluation of integrated weapons systems.

Key Individuals

Dr. Richard L. Mitchell (cofounder of MARK Resources) has devoted his professional career to research and development in radar related subjects, including system design, development, analysis, simulation, and signal processing. He is currently leading all corporate efforts for the development of non-scanning radars. In addition, he recently led efforts to develop a real-time system to simulate signals at the input to an airborne radar under test, and a comprehensive set of software tools for analyzing high-resolution radar data with applications to target imaging and trajectory analysis. He is the author of the textbook, Radar Signal Simulation, and has developed several dozen large-scale simulation programs for all types of radars and threat environments.

Dr. Mitchell has participated on several Blue Ribbon panels for various DoD agencies and he also led a team of international experts that was formed to solve an antenna problem on one of the French-owned AWACS aircraft. He has also lectured extensively in the United States and Europe on the subject of radar signal simulation. In addition to his book, he has written over 40 technical journal articles and over 500 company reports. He has been granted three patents.

Dr. August W. Rihaczek (cofounder of MARK Resources) has performed research in a variety of radar related subjects. Much of his early work is contained in his textbook, Principles of High-Resolution Radar. He also developed a class of radar signal processing methods now widely adopted and known as Target Motion Resolution (TMR) processing, which is an extension of Doppler processing to the measurement of the flight dynamics of simple targets such as missiles, reentry vehicles and artillery projectiles.

Since the early 1980s he has concentrated on developing the theory and signal processing methods needed when the resolution is so high that individual scatterers on targets are resolved. This work has led to a technology that allows reliable detection, tracking and classification of moving ground vehicles and ships, and identification of aircraft. This new technology, which is summarized in his book, Radar Resolution and Complex-Image Analysis, utilizes the complex processor output rather than the envelope detected output. Applications of the technology are discussed in the book, Theory and Practice of Radar Target Identification.

Dr. Rihaczek has also made numerous contributions in other areas of radar technology, including systematic procedures for the design of modern radar systems. He has also been an advisor to several Government programs and he has lectured extensively throughout the world on topics related to his work. In addition to his books, he has written over 50 technical journal articles and over 500 company reports. He has been granted two patents.

Summary of technical books authored by MARK Resources personnel:

  1. Mitchell, R. L., Radar Signal Simulation (Artech House, 1976).
  2. Rihaczek, A. W., Principles of High-Resolution Radar (originally published by McGraw-Hill in 1969; currently published by Artech House, 1996).
  3. Rihaczek, A. W., and S. J. Hershkowitz, Radar Resolution and Complex-Image Analysis (Artech House, 1996).
  4. Rihaczek, A. W., and S. J. Hershkowitz, Theory and Practice of Radar Target Identification (Artech House, 2000).
  5. Rihaczek, A. W., S. J. Hershkowitz, R. L. Mitchell, and R .H. Mitchell, CRISP: Complex Radar Image and Signal Processing, Software and User's Manual (Artech House, 2000).