Radar interference blanking in radio astronomy using a Kalman tracker

Authors


Abstract

[1] Radio astronomical observations of highly Doppler shifted spectral lines of neutral hydrogen and the hydroxyl molecule must often be made at frequencies allocated to pulsed air surveillance radar in the 1215–1350 MHz frequency range. The Green Bank telescope (GBT) and many other observatories must deal with these terrestrial signals. Even when strong radar fixed clutter echoes are removed, there are still weaker aircraft echoes present which can corrupt the data. We present an algorithm which improves aircraft echo blanking using a Kalman filter tracker to follow the path of a sequence of echoes observed on successive radar antenna sweeps. Aircraft tracks can be used to predict regions (in bearing and range) for the next expected echoes, even before they are detected. These data can then be blanked in real time without waiting for the pulse peak to arrive. Additionally, we briefly suggest an approach for a new Bayesian algorithm which combines tracker and pulse detector operations to enable more sensitive weak pulse detection. Examples are presented for Kalman tracking and radar transmission blanking using real observations at the GBT.

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