Surface Clutter Overview
Surface clutter refers to reflections of a radar signal from land, sea, or the land-sea interface. When trying to detect or track targets moving on or above the surface, you must be able to distinguish between clutter and the targets of interest. For example, a ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar application should detect targets on the ground while accounting for radar reflections from trees or houses.
If you are simulating a radar system, you might want to incorporate surface clutter into the simulation to ensure the system can overcome the effects of surface clutter. If you are analyzing the statistical performance of a radar system, you might want to incorporate clutter return distributions into the analysis.
Approaches for Clutter Simulation or Analysis
Radar Toolbox software offers these tools to help you incorporate surface clutter into your simulation or analysis:
constantGammaClutter, a System object™ that simulates clutter returns using the constant gamma model
Utility functions to help you implement your own clutter models:
Considerations for Setting Up a Constant Gamma Clutter Simulation
When you use
constantGammaClutter, you must
configure the object for the situation you are simulating, and confirm that the
assumptions the software makes are valid for your system.
Physical Configuration Properties
constantGammaClutter object has
properties that correspond to physical aspects of the situation you are modeling.
These properties include:
Propagation speed, sample rate, and pulse repetition frequency of the signal
Operating frequency of the system
Altitude, speed, and direction of the radar platform
Depression angle of the broadside of the radar antenna array
The object has properties that correspond to the clutter characteristics, location, and modeling fidelity. These properties include:
Gamma parameter that depends on the terrain type and system’s operating frequency.
Azimuth coverage and maximum range for the clutter simulation.
Azimuth span of each clutter patch. The software internally divides the clutter ring into a series of adjacent, non-overlapping clutter patches.
Clutter coherence time. This value indicates how frequently the software changes the set of random numbers in the clutter simulation.
In the simulation, you can use identical random numbers over a time interval or uncorrelated random numbers. Simulation behavior slightly differs from reality, where a moving platform produces clutter returns that are correlated with each other over small time intervals.
Working with Samples or Pulses
constantGammaClutter object has
properties that let you obtain results in a convenient format. Using the
OutputFormat property, you can choose to have the
step method produce a signal that
A fixed number of pulses. You indicate the number of pulses using the
NumPulsesproperty of the object.
A fixed number of samples. You indicate the number of samples using the
NumSamplesproperty of the object. Typically, you use the number of samples in one pulse. In staggered PRF applications, you might find this option more convenient because the
stepoutput always has the same matrix size.
The clutter simulation that
constantGammaClutter provides is
based on these assumptions:
The radar system is monostatic.
The propagation is in free space.
The terrain is homogeneous.
The clutter patch is stationary during the coherence time. Coherence time indicates how frequently the software changes the set of random numbers in the clutter simulation.
Because the signal is narrowband, the spatial response and Doppler shift can be approximated by phase shifts.
The radar system maintains a constant height during simulation.
The radar system maintains a constant speed during simulation.