Antenna array geometry optimization for a passive coherent localisation system
Passive Coherent Localisation (PCL), also known as Passive Radar, making use of RF sources of opportunity such as Radio or TV Broadcasting Stations, Cellular Phone Network Base Stations, etc. is an advancing technology for covert operation because no active radar transmitter is required. It is also an attractive addition to existing active radar stations because it has the potential to discover low-flying and low-observable targets. The CORA (Covert Radar) experimental passive radar system currently developed at Fraunhofer-FHR features a multi-channel digital radar receiver and a circular antenna array with separate elements for the VHF- and the UHF-range and is used to exploit alternatively Digital Audio (DAB) or Video Broadcasting (DVB-T) signals. For an extension of the system, a wideband antenna array is being designed for which a new discone antenna element has been developed covering the full DVB-T frequency range. The present paper describes the outline of the sy stem and the numerical modelling and optimisation methods applied to solve the complex task of antenna array design: Electromagnetic full wave analysis is required for the parametric design of the antenna elements while combinatorial optimization methods are applied to find the best array positions and excitation coefficients for a regular omni-directional antenna performance. The different steps are combined in an iterative loop until the optimum array layout is found. Simulation and experimental results for the current system will be shown.