Harmonic Radar With Adaptively Phase-Coherent Auxiliary Transmitters

Anastasia Lavrenko, James K. Cavers, Graeme K. Woodward

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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In harmonic radar (HR), the transmitter illuminates a nonlinear target (the tag), causing the return signal to consist of harmonics at multiples of the transmitted carrier frequency. Of them, the second harmonic is usually the strongest and the one to which the receiver is tuned. This frequency difference distinguishes the tag reflection from environmental clutter, which remains at the illuminating frequency. However, the passive nature of HR tags severely limits the reflected power, and therefore the operational range of a HR system. We propose to increase the range and/or signal to noise ratio (SNR) by novel restructuring at the physical and signal levels. For this, we accompany the original transmitter with auxiliary transmitters able to send simple tones that are synchronized to arrive at the tag in phase, and we design the receiver to detect an intermodulation component. The resulting range and SNR are much greater than those of the original, conventional HR system, even if the original system were to transmit with power equal to the aggregate power of the proposed system. Achieving mutually coherent, (in phase), arrival of the tones at the tag is the focus of the present paper. We provide a system framework that models the tag, then present the adaptive phase coherence algorithm and analyze the probabilistic growth of the output signal power. We also account for the effects of frequency shifts due to transmitter mobility and the frequency offset errors in the transmitter local oscillators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1788-1802
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE transactions on signal processing
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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