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Low altitude radar wave propagation modelling

Şengül, Orhan
In this PhD thesis, propagation aspects of low altitude radar performance have been modeled using geometrical optics. Both the path propagation factor and the radar clutter have been modeled. Such models already exist at various complexity levels, such as round earth specular reflection combined with knife edge hill diffraction [SEKE:IEEE,Ap- 34,No:8,1980] and round earth and slant plateau reflection combined with hill diffraction [RADCAL: 1988-2000,EE,METU]. In the proposed model we have considered an extension to RADCAL’s model to include convex and concave slant plateaus between hills and depressions (troughs). This propagation model uses a reflection model based on the Geometrical Theory of Reflection for the convex and concave surfaces. Also, back scattering from surface (clutter) is formulated for the new model of the terrain profile. The effects of the features of the terrain profile on the path propagation factor have been investigated. A real terrain data have been smoothed on the basis of the above study. In order to verify the formulation, the Divergence and Convergence Factors associated with the convex and concave plateaus, respectively are inserted into the RADCAL program. The chosen terrains have convex or concave plateaus in the model. The output of the RADCAL is compared with measured values and other propagation algorithms such as Forward-Backward Spectrally Accelerated (FBSA) [FBSA:IEEE Vol.53, No:9,2005] and Parabolic Equation Method [TPEM:IEEE Vol.42,No:1,1994]. Moreover, as the RADCAL Propagation model is based on the ray optics, the results are also compared with another ray optics based propagation model. For this purpose the results of SEKE [Lincoln Lab.] propagation model are used. SEKE model has been used to compute path loss for different types of terrain as a function of receiving antenna height at a fixed distance between transmit and receive antennas. For Beiseker W35 Terrain profile, the results of RADCAL, SEKE and measurements are compared. All results are in good agreement with those of RADCAL.