System level investigations of television based bistatic radar

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This dissertation is presented to introduce the reader to the techniques used and the technology of a Television Based Bistatic Radar system. Technology such as this one makes use of a non-cooperative television transmitter as an illuminator for the bistatic radar system investigated. Both technical and theoretical information about the topic will be introduced. The dissertation starts off with a brief introduction to its structure, and evolves into a historical overview of multistatic and bistatic radars. Certain techniques about bistatic radars used in the past will be discussed; their advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques will also be shown. The geometrical design and the various effects of the bistatic radar arrangement will be discussed. A simulator created to plot various SNR patterns over the Western Cape was also developed to estimate the input SNR value received at the receiver. This simulator is flexible in the sense that the transmitter and receiver locations can be arbitrarily placed around the Western Cape. The estimated SNR values for different ranges are then plotted over the mapped area. Not only does the simulator show the SNR plots, it also indicates the coverage area of both the receiver and the transmitter. The target flight path of aircraft flying into Cape Town can also be included in the simulation. This dissertation will then focus on the actual simulation of the receiver designed for the purpose of airborne target surveillance. These simulations involves actual receiver components used at the system level, with the created television input signal, as well as recorded data. The discussion will then focus on the use of an ordinary pc TV-card which was used as a receiver, whereby measurements were taken for actual targets landing into Cape Town International Airport. These target signals were recorded and analysed. A discussion surrounding this topic was included for the ambiguity analyses of the recorded data. This dissertation is concluded by discussing the conclusions of the research as well as making some recommendations for future work which could be done to improvement the measured results for a television based bistatic radar system.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 105-107)