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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Phase Recovery and Unimodular Waveform Design

Description

In many systems, it is difficult or impossible to measure the phase of a signal. Direct recovery from magnitude is an ill-posed problem. Nevertheless, with a sufficiently large set of magnitude measurements, it is often possible to reconstruct the original

In many systems, it is difficult or impossible to measure the phase of a signal. Direct recovery from magnitude is an ill-posed problem. Nevertheless, with a sufficiently large set of magnitude measurements, it is often possible to reconstruct the original signal using algorithms that implicitly impose regularization conditions on this ill-posed problem. Two such algorithms were examined: alternating projections, utilizing iterative Fourier transforms with manipulations performed in each domain on every iteration, and phase lifting, converting the problem to that of trace minimization, allowing for the use of convex optimization algorithms to perform the signal recovery. These recovery algorithms were compared on a basis of robustness as a function of signal-to-noise ratio. A second problem examined was that of unimodular polyphase radar waveform design. Under a finite signal energy constraint, the maximal energy return of a scene operator is obtained by transmitting the eigenvector of the scene Gramian associated with the largest eigenvalue. It is shown that if instead the problem is considered under a power constraint, a unimodular signal can be constructed starting from such an eigenvector that will have a greater return.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Passive Radar Signal Generation and Scenario Simulation

Description

Passive radar can be used to reduce the demand for radio frequency spectrum bandwidth. This paper will explain how a MATLAB simulation tool was developed to analyze the feasibility of using passive radar with digitally modulated communication signals. The first

Passive radar can be used to reduce the demand for radio frequency spectrum bandwidth. This paper will explain how a MATLAB simulation tool was developed to analyze the feasibility of using passive radar with digitally modulated communication signals. The first stage of the simulation creates a binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) signal, quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) signal, or digital terrestrial television (DTTV) signal. A scenario is then created using user defined parameters that simulates reception of the original signal on two different channels, a reference channel and a surveillance channel. The signal on the surveillance channel is delayed and Doppler shifted according to a point target scattering profile. An ambiguity function detector is implemented to identify the time delays and Doppler shifts associated with reflections off of the targets created. The results of an example are included in this report to demonstrate the simulation capabilities.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Edge Detection from Spectral Phase Data

Description

The detection and characterization of transients in signals is important in many wide-ranging applications from computer vision to audio processing. Edge detection on images is typically realized using small, local, discrete convolution kernels, but this is not possible when samples

The detection and characterization of transients in signals is important in many wide-ranging applications from computer vision to audio processing. Edge detection on images is typically realized using small, local, discrete convolution kernels, but this is not possible when samples are measured directly in the frequency domain. The concentration factor edge detection method was therefore developed to realize an edge detector directly from spectral data. This thesis explores the possibilities of detecting edges from the phase of the spectral data, that is, without the magnitude of the sampled spectral data. Prior work has demonstrated that the spectral phase contains particularly important information about underlying features in a signal. Furthermore, the concentration factor method yields some insight into the detection of edges in spectral phase data. An iterative design approach was taken to realize an edge detector using only the spectral phase data, also allowing for the design of an edge detector when phase data are intermittent or corrupted. Problem formulations showing the power of the design approach are given throughout. A post-processing scheme relying on the difference of multiple edge approximations yields a strong edge detector which is shown to be resilient under noisy, intermittent phase data. Lastly, a thresholding technique is applied to give an explicit enhanced edge detector ready to be used. Examples throughout are demonstrate both on signals and images.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Observability methods in sensor scheduling

Description

Modern measurement schemes for linear dynamical systems are typically designed so that different sensors can be scheduled to be used at each time step. To determine which sensors to use, various metrics have been suggested. One possible such metric is

Modern measurement schemes for linear dynamical systems are typically designed so that different sensors can be scheduled to be used at each time step. To determine which sensors to use, various metrics have been suggested. One possible such metric is the observability of the system. Observability is a binary condition determining whether a finite number of measurements suffice to recover the initial state. However to employ observability for sensor scheduling, the binary definition needs to be expanded so that one can measure how observable a system is with a particular measurement scheme, i.e. one needs a metric of observability. Most methods utilizing an observability metric are about sensor selection and not for sensor scheduling. In this dissertation we present a new approach to utilize the observability for sensor scheduling by employing the condition number of the observability matrix as the metric and using column subset selection to create an algorithm to choose which sensors to use at each time step. To this end we use a rank revealing QR factorization algorithm to select sensors. Several numerical experiments are used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed scheme.

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Date Created
2015

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Numerical computation of Wishart eigenvalue distributions for multistatic radar detection

Description

Eigenvalues of the Gram matrix formed from received data frequently appear in sufficient detection statistics for multi-channel detection with Generalized Likelihood Ratio (GLRT) and Bayesian tests. In a frequently presented model for passive radar, in which the null hypothesis is

Eigenvalues of the Gram matrix formed from received data frequently appear in sufficient detection statistics for multi-channel detection with Generalized Likelihood Ratio (GLRT) and Bayesian tests. In a frequently presented model for passive radar, in which the null hypothesis is that the channels are independent and contain only complex white Gaussian noise and the alternative hypothesis is that the channels contain a common rank-one signal in the mean, the GLRT statistic is the largest eigenvalue $\lambda_1$ of the Gram matrix formed from data. This Gram matrix has a Wishart distribution. Although exact expressions for the distribution of $\lambda_1$ are known under both hypotheses, numerically calculating values of these distribution functions presents difficulties in cases where the dimension of the data vectors is large. This dissertation presents tractable methods for computing the distribution of $\lambda_1$ under both the null and alternative hypotheses through a technique of expanding known expressions for the distribution of $\lambda_1$ as inner products of orthogonal polynomials. These newly presented expressions for the distribution allow for computation of detection thresholds and receiver operating characteristic curves to arbitrary precision in floating point arithmetic. This represents a significant advancement over the state of the art in a problem that could previously only be addressed by Monte Carlo methods.

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Date Created
2019