195 Optimal Signal Detectability using Discrete Fourier Transform Processing

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Zurich DEFG (Swissotel Chicago)
James Mead, ProSensing Inc., Amherst, MA

Handout (1.2 MB)

Extracting reflectivity profiles from meteorological radar data is typically accomplished using either non-coherent power estimation or spectral-based moment estimation. Spectral processing typically combines coherent FFT-based algorithms with post-averaging of the individual power spectra to generate the power spectrum. A simple expression for the optimal FFT length to maximize signal processing gain is presented that depends only on the normalized spectral width and the time-domain weighting function. The relative signal processing gain between non-coherent power averaging and spectral processing is found to depend on a variety of parameters, including the radar wavelength, normalized spectral width, available observation time and the false alarm rate. Expressions presented for the probability of detection for non-coherent and spectral-based processing also depend on these same parameters. Results of this analysis show that FFT-based processing can provide a substantial advantage in signal processing gain and probability of detection, especially when a large number of samples is available to form the power spectrum. However, non-coherent power estimation sometimes provides superior probability of detection, especially when the spectral width is large compared to the unambiguous Doppler interval.
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