The design and implementation of a simulator for multistatic radar systems

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This thesis presents the design and implementation of a signal level simulator supporting a wide variety of radar systems, and focusing on multistatic and netted radars. The simulator places few limits on the simulated system, and supports systems with arbitrary numbers of receivers, transmitters, and scatterers. Similarly, the simulator places no restrictions on the radar waveform to be simulated, and supports pulsed, continuous wave (CW) and carrier-free radar systems. A flexible model is used to describe the radar system to be simulated, with the parameters of the radar hardware, the properties of scatterers and the layout of objects in the simulated environment specified in XML format. The development of the simulation model focused on balancing the requirements of flexibility and usability, ensuring that the model can be efficiently used to represent any type of radar system. Oscillator phase noise is a limiting factor on the performance of some types of radar systems. The development of a model for the deterministic and static components of phase noise is presented. Based on this model, an algorithm for the efficient generation of synthetic phase noise sequences was developed, based on a multirate signal processing approach. This thesis presents this algorithm, and results of simulations of the effects of phase noise on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and pulse-Doppler radar systems. The FERS simulator, an implementation of the simulation model presented in this thesis, was developed in the C++ and Python programming languages. This simulator is able to perform real-time simulation of some common radar configurations on commodity PC hardware, taking advantage of multicore and multiprocessor machines. FERS has been released as open source software under the GNU general public licence (GPL). Validation of the simulator output was performed by comparison of simulation results with both theory and measurements. The simulator output was found to be accurate for a wide variety of radar systems, including netted pulse-Doppler, moving target indication (MTI) and synthetic aperture (SAR) radar systems.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 149-169).