Effect of wind on space-based radar performance

S. Unnikrishna Pillai, Ke Yong Li, Braham Himed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper addresses the effect of wind on target detection performance using a space based radar platform. Forests and lakes are constantly being modulated by wind, which then affects the radar pulse returns by suitably amplitude modulating the temporal returns, thus affecting the Doppler. Billingsley has modeled the windblown autocorrelations using a real symmetric function that is the sum of a constant term and a "Cauchy density function type" term. Using a rational system approximation on the Billingsley spectrum, it is shown that a sixth order rational model containing two damped sinusoidal terms and two exponentially decaying terms can duplicate the wind spectrum up to about -80dB in the case of low wind speed. Each sinusoidal component in the wind spectrum generates an additional clutter Doppler component and the effect of damping is shown to generate a bundle of uncorrelated returns for each such frequency, with each uncorrelated return containing a coherent sum of signals. As a result, the degradation in performance when wind is present can be attributed to the coherent returns that can not be nulled out using standard adaptive processing techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2008 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2008
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2008 - Rome, Italy
Duration: May 26 2008May 30 2008

Publication series

Name2008 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2008


Other2008 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2008


  • Space-Based Radar (SBR)
  • Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP)
  • Wind spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of wind on space-based radar performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this