The aim of this project is to provide a Digital Beam Forming (DBF) architecture for the MFRAD (Multi-Functional Radar) project. The radar performs a mechanical scan along the azimuth direction while along the elevation dimension the electronic scan is performed by the developed DBF. An array of 16 elements is used to digitally illuminate an angular region depending on the radar operational mode (short, medium and long range). The developed DFP processing is able to measure the elevation angle of targets with a minimum error in the targets’ altitude estimation of 0.8° rmse within an angular aperture from 0° to 70°. The DBF architecture provides immunity against jammer and multipath effects. The systems also takes into account and compensate for platform angular motions (roll, pitch and yaw). The overall processing is performed with a latency of 1 second.
The developed architecture consist of four main blocks that are:
- The spatial filter that receives the Range Doppler (RD) maps from 16 array elements and filters the directive disturbance producing the RD maps for each pointing direction
- The detection block that also implement the optimum clutter filtering and gives the range and Doppler coordinate of each detected target for each pointing direction
- The Direction of Arrival (DoA) estimation block that provides an accurate estimation of the elevation angle of each detected target. It receives the RD maps related to the 16 spatial channels and the range and Doppler coordinates of each detected target as input
The motion compensation block receives the estimate angles of arrival and the rotation angles of the antenna with respect a fixed reference system and produced the correct angular values.