Detection Range

Detection Range

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Generally, few things are of more fundamental concern to both designer and user alike than the maximum range at which a radar can detect targets. In this chapter, we will learn what determines that range. We will begin by tracking down the sources of the electrical background noise against which a target's echoes must ultimately be discerned and finding what can be done to minimize the noise. We will then trace the factors upon which the strength of the echoes depends and examine the detection process. Finally, we'll see how, by integrating the return from a great many transmitted pulses, a radar can pull the weak echoes of distant targets out of the noise. Since radio waves of the frequencies used by airborne radars travel essentially in straight lines, a target must be within the line of sight to be detected. Range may be further limited by clutter or man-made interference. Ultimately, it is determined by the signal-to-noise energy ratio.

Chapter Contents:

  • What Determines Detection Range
  • Electrical Background Noise
  • Energy of the Target Signal
  • Detection Process
  • Integration and Its Leverage on Detection Range
  • Postdetection Integration

Inspec keywords: radar clutter; airborne radar; radar tracking; target tracking; radar cross-sections

Other keywords: radio waves; target echoes; man-made interference; radar target detection; electrical background noise; signal-to-noise energy ratio; airborne radar; detection range; radar clutter

Subjects: Radar equipment, systems and applications; Signal processing and detection

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