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Signal processing for passive radar using OFDM waveforms

: Berger, C.R.; Demissie, B.; Heckenbach, J.; Willett, P.; Zhou, S.


IEEE journal of selected topics in signal processing 4 (2010), Nr.1, S.226-238
ISSN: 1932-4553
Fraunhofer FHR

Passive radar is a concept where illuminators of opportunity are used in a multistatic radar setup. New digital signals, like Digital Audio/Video Broadcast (DAB/DVB), are excellent candidates for this scheme, as they are widely available, can be easily decoded to acquire the noise-free signal, and employ orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM). Multicarrier transmission schemes like OFDM use block channel equalization in the frequency domain, efficiently implemented as a fast Fourier transform, and these channel estimates can directly be used to identify targets based on Fourier analysis across subsequent blocks. In this paper, we derive the exact matched filter formulation for passive radar using OFDM waveforms. We then show that the current approach using Fourier analysis across block channel estimates is equivalent to the matched filter, based on a piecewise constant assumption on the Doppler-induced phase rotation in the time domain. We next present high-resolution algorithms based on the same assumption: first we implement MUSIC as a 2-D spectral estimator using spatial smoothing; then we use the new concept of compressed sensing to identify targets. We compare the new algorithms and the current approach using numerical simulation and experimental data recorded from a DAB network in Germany.