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A Wideband Imaging Radar For Through-the-Wall

Surveillance

SPIE Defense and Security Symposium


Technologies for Homeland Security and Law Enforcement

15 April, 2004

AKELA
IMAGING RADAR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

• Through the wall imaging


- funded by National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for law enforcement use
- tactical use in hostage, barricade, suspect search situations
- image interior building structure
- detect motion of people
- standoff capability
- demonstrate performance with brassboard system

• Perimeter surveillance for security of fixed and mobile assets


- funded by Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Rome Research Site
- system simulation and operational analysis
- human and vehicle motion detection at long range
- motion detection through coherent scene subtraction
- foliage penetration
- identify cost and performance drivers

AKELA
BRASSBOARD IMAGING RADAR SYSTEM
Antenna Array

Antenna
Switchbox Radar

• Portable system
- 20 lb., 2.2 m long, 4 antenna, collapsible array
- battery powered
AKELA
SYSTEM TECHNICAL CONCEPTS

• Range resolution is a function of bandwidth


- ∆R = c/2•BW
- for 1500 MHz BW, range resolution is 0.1 m

• Cross range resolution is determined by frequency and aperture size

• Fine cross range resolution at long distances requires large antennas


and/or higher frequencies of operation
- seeing that two people are standing next to one another matters

100 100
500 MHz 1000 MHz
Array Aperture - meters

Array Aperture - meters


80 80
0.1 m
0.2 m
0.2 m
60 0.5 m 60 0.5 m
1m
1m
2m
2m
40 5m 40
5m
10 m
10 m

20 20

0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Detection Range - meters Detection Range - meters

AKELA
LOW OPERATING FREQUENCY REQUIRES APERTURE SYNTHESIS

• Moving a single antenna is impractical for most through wall situations

• A multiple antenna array improves cross range resolution significantly


- scanning the array further improves resolution by a factor of two

• Brassboard operational concept is a stationary system that scans an


antenna array to get data to synthesize a 2D image
AKELA
TEST CONFIGURATIONS - THROUGH THE WALL

AKELA
INTERIOR WALL RESULTS

• Experimental data shows the


wall
effectiveness of increasing the configuration

aperture of the sensor system studs

• All current through the wall sensors


used fixed antennas

• However, the imaging algorithms do not


require use of a fixed array
buried
concrete
block
• Interior walls are relatively easy to see
tree
through
three parallel
walls

Note : 0.05 m wide stud appears to be 0.2 m wide at a distance of 4.6 m


from radar, illustrating effect of cross range resolution on image quality
AKELA
REINFORCED CONCRETE WALL RESULTS

• Attenuation and dispersion


complicate image formation

• Without correction for


dispersion, images become
“defocused” 12” exterior poured, steel
reinforced concrete wall

• Only frequency domain sensing radar on inside of


methods allow for frequency room pointing out

dependent dispersion
correction
person 2

person 1

AKELA
REINFORCED CONCRETE WALL RESULTS

corner reflections

• UCSB lecture hall person 2

person 1

• Strong corner reflections


from external wall supports metal trash cans

seen in background image

• Background subtraction
shows image of three trash
cans in triangle and two
people AKELA
MOTION DETECTION USES COHERENT SCENE SUBTRACTION

• Motion sensing works even in more


difficult, cluttered environments

• Composite image is from motion


detection experiment

• Trailer used for experiments is a


working administrative area

Interior office
where motion
test was
performed

AKELA
TEST CONFIGURATION - FOLIAGE PENETRATION AKELA
TEST CONFIGURATION -
FOLIAGE PENETRATION

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SELECTED RESULTS

person in brush at 40 m
• Data taken on detection of individuals
through various types of foliage

• Distances of 32, 34, 38, 40, 44, 46 meters

• Breezy day with moving foliage

• Attenuation due to foliage ~ 20dB (similar


to three interior walls)
AKELA
MAJOR AREAS IDENTIFIED FOR IMPROVEMENT

• Increase speed of radar


- allows motion detection at realistic rates
- allows better imaging through signal averaging

• Increase speed of display and processing


- required to handle increased data rate of faster radar

• Antenna array may ultimately limit overall system performance


- more robust array concept needed

AKELA
CURRENT DEVELOPMENT HARDWARE

• 500 - 2000 MHz


• 10 µsec per point
• software defined
• 50 mW power output
• ~ $1,000 parts cost

Power conditioner Antenna connectors

Radar interface

• 4” diameter
• 1.5” tall
• ~ 13 watts
• battery powered
• 2.25 lbs w/battery

Radar Tx/Rx

AKELA
8 ANTENNA INTERFACE BOARD

• Antenna switch network allows scanning


of up to 8 antennas
- uses only a single radar
- wired operation
- same operational concept as TTW
brassboard
- low cost, early option for field use

• Board mates to radar through two RF


connectors
- plug interface allows development of
boards with special characteristics
without requiring modification of
radar

AKELA
FREQUENCY BAND OMISSION DURING TRANSMISSION

• FCC restrictions require strict control of transmission frequencies


- the ability to selectively notch frequencies will help with licensing

• Frequencies to notch selected by user from control interface


AKELA
RECENT RESULTS

• Recent testing shows capability of the


radar to detect breathing of a stationary
person

• In the video a person walks from behind


and to the left of the radar, past the wall,
to the right around the chair, then sits in
the chair and remains motionless for a
while, finally getting up and walking back
out past the wall and radar on the left.

• For large motion algorithm, person


disappears from the image while sitting
still

Movie File (MPEG) Movie File (MPEG)

Small motion algorithm Large motion algorithm

Test Geometry
AKELA
STATIC IMAGE

person

wall

• Image taken from single frame of breathing test


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MORE RESULTS

• Tests recently completed on a series of 5 walls


- drywall, brick faced, concrete block, adobe, reinforced concrete
- all walls 12” thick

• Breathing response detected through each wall


- drywall: at 19’ from standoff of 12’
- brick: at 21’ from standoff of 14’
- concrete block: at 28’ from standoff of 21’
- adobe: at 16’ from standoff of 4’
- reinforced concrete: at 22’ from standoff of 10’

AKELA
CONCLUSION

• Physics and technology for through-the-wall imaging are well


understood
- no fundamental principles limit success
- commercial technology exists for implementing a robust system

• Imaging and motion detection algorithms have been demonstrated with


real data

• Improvements in radar operation are extending the operational range


and sensitivity of through-the-wall imaging systems

AKELA