Radar and Measurement Technology
Publications

ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE-PULSE-IN-THE-AIR STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE WINDMILL CLUTTER ON AN RCS MEASUREMENT RADAR RANGE

Dallas Baker, Earl Sager, Jeff Floyd
System Planning Corporation
3601 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Presented at AMTA 2011 Symposium, Englewood, Colorado, October 2011.

ABSTRACT:
The installation of power-generating wind turbines near outdoor radar cross-section measurement ranges for low-observable targets presents a number of problems for accurate measurements on those ranges. The turbines, with towers up to 100 meters tall and blades 45 meters long, are enormous scatterers that raise clutter levels well above returns from LO targets. The movement of the rotors, rotating about both a horizontal and vertical axis, generates a dynamic and unpredictable Doppler smear that cannot be mitigated with phase coding techniques or Doppler filtering. Lastly, the large wind farms over which the turbines are installed lowers the unambiguous-return PRF to extremely low levels, raising test times and dropping rotation speeds below acceptable levels. A method of varying pulse spacing into a burst mode is presented that maintains data throughput in RCS collection while avoiding the clutter returns of downrange wind turbines. This burst mode has the radar transmit and receive a string of closely-spaced pulses, and then idle while that string of pulses propagates through the wind farm. By careful selection of timing parameters, clean-range clutter levels can be maintained with little to no degradation in test time.

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