High Resolution Continuous Active Sonar
This dissertation presents waveform design and signal processing methods for continuous active sonar (CAS). The work presented focuses on methods for achieving high range, Doppler, and angular resolution, while maintaining a high signal-to-interference plus noise ratio (SINR).
CAS systems transmit at or near 100\% duty cycle for improved update rates compared to pulsed systems. For this reason, CAS is particularly attractive for use in shallow, reverberation-limited environments to provide more ``hits'' to adequately reject false alarms due to reverberation. High resolution is particularly important for CAS systems operating in shallow water for three reasons: (1) To separate target returns from the direct blast, (2) To separate targets from reverberation, and (3) To resolve direct and multipath target returns for maximum SINR. This dissertation presents two classes of high resolution CAS waveform designs and complementary signal processing techniques.
The first class of waveforms presented are co-prime comb signals that achieve high range and Doppler resolution at the cost of range ambiguities. Co-prime combs consist of multiple tones at non-uniformly spaced frequencies according to a 2-level nested co-prime array. Specialized non-matched filter processing enables recovery of a range-velocity response similar to that of a uniform comb, but using fewer tonal components. Cram\'er-Rao Bounds on range and Doppler estimation errors are derived for an arbitrary comb signal and used as a benchmark for comparing three range-velocity processing algorithms. Co-prime comb results from the littoral CAS 2015 (LCAS-15) sea trial are also presented, as well as a strategy to mitigate range ambiguities. An adaptive beamformer that achieves high angular resolution is also presented that leverages the various tonal components of the waveform for snapshot support.
The second class of waveforms presented are slow-time Costas (SLO-CO) CAS signals that achieve high range resolution, but are relatively insensitive to Doppler. SLO-CO CAS signals consist of multiple short duration linear FM (LFM) chirps that are frequency-hopped according to a Costas code. Rapid range updates can be achieved by processing each SLO-CO sub-chirp independently in a cyclical manner. Results from the LCAS-15 trial validate the performance of a SLO-CO signal in a real shallow water environment. A range processing method, novel to sonar, called bandwidth synthesis (BWS) is also presented. This method uses autoregressive modeling together with linear-predictive extrapolation to synthetically extend the bandwidth of received sonar returns. It is shown that BWS results in increased SINR and improved range resolution over conventional matched filtering in the reverberation-limited LCAS-15 environment.
Continuous Active Sonar
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