Table of Contents
International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2008, Article ID 347518, 14 pages
Research Article

An Analysis of X-Band Calibrated Sea Clutter and Small Boat Reflectivity at Medium-to-Low Grazing Angles

1CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security, P.O. Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK

Received 15 February 2008; Accepted 4 June 2008

Academic Editor: Simon Watts

Copyright © 2008 P. L. Herselman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The coherent temporal characteristics of medium-to-low grazing angle sea clutter and small boat reflectivity are considered for different radar waveforms under a range of environmental conditions and geometrical configurations. Accurate empirical modelling of sea clutter enables the inference of the local sea conditions from radar returns, pertinent for port safety and navigation. Understanding the dynamics and associated reflectivity of small boats, in addition to empirical sea clutter models, allows the development of advanced detection and tracking algorithms, which will improve the performance of surveillance and marine navigation radar against small boats. Work presented is based on the empirical analysis of data recorded with two calibrated, coherent, pulsed radar systems at X-band frequencies. Specifically, target echoes from small boats are included in the datasets and subsequent analysis.