In this thesis, an adaptive waveform selection technique for dynamic target tracking under low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions is investigated. The approach is integrated with a track-before-detect (TBD) algorithm and uses delay-Doppler matched filter (MF) outputs as raw measurements without setting any threshold for extracting delay-Doppler estimates. The particle filter (PF) Bayesian sequential estimation approach is used with the TBD algorithm (PF-TBD) to estimate the dynamic target state. A waveform-agile TBD technique is proposed that integrates the PF-TBD with a waveform selection technique. The new approach predicts the waveform to transmit at the next time step by minimizing the predicted mean-squared error (MSE). As a result, the radar parameters are adaptively and optimally selected for superior performance. Based on previous work, this thesis highlights the applicability of the predicted covariance matrix to the lower SNR waveform-agile tracking problem. The adaptive waveform selection algorithm's MSE performance was compared against fixed waveforms using Monte Carlo simulations. It was found that the adaptive approach performed at least as well as the best fixed waveform when focusing on estimating only position or only velocity. When these estimates were weighted by different amounts, then the adaptive performance exceeded all fixed waveforms. This improvement in performance demonstrates the utility of the predicted covariance in waveform design, at low SNR conditions that are poorly handled with more traditional tracking algorithms.
- Dynamic waveform design for track-before-detect algorithms in radar