Engineer to provide Navy better radar performance with less data

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Posted March 25, 2013

A UT Arlington electrical engineering professor is working to provide the U.S. Navy a signal processing system that provides better information for radar even though it collects less data. “When the Navy’s radar looks at a specific area, it takes into account everything in that area,” Liang said. “Much of that data isn’t needed for the system to come to a precise answer on what a radar system says is there. If you take in less data, it takes the system less time to make an informed decision.”

The Office of Naval Research has awarded Qilian Liang, the electrical engineering professor, a five-year, $797,500 grant to simplify data collection through an algorithmic system he designed and is streamlining.

This grant was funded by 2013 ONR Basic Research Challenge program. The Basic Research Challenge Program was established to competitively select and fund promising research programs in new areas not addressed by current programs. It stimulates new, high-risk basic research projects that foster leading-edge science.

Liang said the amount of time and space saved depends on the sampling size of whatever the Navy is asking the system to evaluate. The redundant data are eliminated with co-prime and nested samplings in time and spatial domains, which only will keep a small subset of data.

Liang said results from this research would benefit different programs on Navy and Marine Corps ships and planes. Besides helping make radar systems more efficient, Liang hopes to improve sensor and surveillance systems the Navy and Marine Corps employ.

“This project will help to automate processes that provide small tactical units with more efficient data processing,” Liang said.

Liang’s project is titled: Practical Co-Prime and Nested Samplers and Arrays for Radar and Radar Sensor Networks. Liang said co-prime signal processing is a new waveform sampling strategy that offers simplified sensor array design, streamlined signal processing and efficient image formation techniques.

Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering, said improvements in radar and sensor systems helps the military but also eventually could help in other applications, too.

“This technology could benefit so many other parts of our lives,” Bardet said. “Massive computing time not only affects military decisions but also impacts business and industry.”

Source: University of Texas at Arlington



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