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Important Dates

Conference: May 7-11, 2012
Reg. Registration Ends: April 20, 2012
Late Registration: April 21 to May 11

Foliage Penetration Radar


Date: May 7, 2011
Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Instructor: Mark Davis

Tutorial Code: T-06


Foliage Penetration (FOPEN) Radar is a technical approach to find and characterize man-made objections under dense foliage, as well as characterizing the foliage itself. It has applications in both military surveillance and civilian geospatial imaging. This tutorial is divided into three parts.

  1. The early history of FOPEN Radar: battlefield surveillance and the early experiments in foliage penetration radar are covered. There were some very interesting developments in radar technology that enabled our ability to detect fixed and moving objects under dense foliage. The most important part of that technology was the widespread awareness of the benefits of coherent radar and the advent of digital processing. Almost as important was the quantification of the radar propagation through foliage, and its scattering and loss effects.
  2. FOPEN synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with concentration on development results from several systems. These systems were developed for both military and commercial applications, and during a time of rapid awareness of the need and ability to operate in a dense signal environment. A brief description of each radar system will be provided along with illustrations of the SAR image and fixed object detection capability. The next section will quantify the benefits of polarization diversity in detecting and characterizing both manmade and natural objects. There is a clear benefit for use of polarization in the target characterization and false alarm mitigation. Finally the techniques developed for ultra wideband and ultra wide angle image formation will be presented.
  3. New research in Multi-mode Ultra-Wideband Radar, with the design of both SAR and moving target indication (MTI) FOPEN systems. Particular note will be taken on the benefits and difficulties in designing these ultra-wideband (UWB) systems, and operation in real world electromagnetic environments. At common FOPEN frequencies, the systems have generally been either SAR or MTI due to the difficulties of obtaining either bandwidth or aperture characteristics for efficient operation.
The last two sections of the tutorial will illustrate new technologies that are appearing in the literature that have promise for future multimode operation: the need to detect low minimum discernable velocity movement; and the operation of bistatic SAR in concert with a stationary GMTI illumination waveform.

Instructor Biography

Mark E. Davis has over 40 years experience in Radar technology and systems development. He has held senior management positions in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory, and General Electric Aerospace. At DARPA, he was the government program manager on both the foliage penetration (FOPEN) radar advanced development program and the GeoSAR foliage penetration mapping radar. His education includes a PhD in Physics from The Ohio State University, and BSEE and MSEE degrees from Syracuse University. He is a Fellow of both the IEEE and Military Sensing Symposia, and a member of the IEEE Aerospace Electronics Systems Society Board of Governors, AESS VP of Conferences and the Radar Systems Panel. Dr. Davis has over 100 published papers in conference or journals and recently completed the first book on Foliage Penetration Radar, to be published in early 2011 by Scitech Publishing.