Waveform design for communicating radar systems using fractional Fourier transform

Gaglione, Domenico and Clemente, Carmine and Ilioudis, Christos V. and Persico, Adriano Rosario and Proudler, Ian K. and Soraghan, John J. and Farina, Alfonso (2018) Waveform design for communicating radar systems using fractional Fourier transform. Digital Signal Processing, 80. pp. 57-69. ISSN 1051-2004 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsp.2018.05.002)

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A novel waveform design technique for enabling a communication channel within a pulse radar is presented. The proposed waveform is composed of quasi-orthogonal chirp sub-carriers generated by means of the Fractional Fourier Transform (FrFT), with the aim of preserving the radar performance of a typical Linear Frequency Modulated (LFM) pulse while embedding data to be sent to a cooperative system. Waveform generation and demodulation are described, together with techniques aimed at optimising the design parameters and mitigating the Inter-Carrier Interference (ICI) caused by the quasi-orthogonality of the chirp sub-carriers. The proposed FrFT based communicating-radar (CoRadar) waveform design is compared with Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) based CoRadar with respect to both radar and communication operations. Radar performance is evaluated through examination of the Ambiguity Function (AF) and by assessing the performance of a standard square law detector. Communication performance is shown in terms of Bit Error Ratio (BER) for different channel conditions. Results demonstrate that the proposed FrFT waveform presents performance close to a LFM pulse in terms of probability of detection and probability of false alarm, in exchange for slightly worse range and Doppler resolution. Furthermore, it is shown to maintain comparable communication performance with respect to the OFDM waveform. Finally, a hardware implementation is described that demonstrates the simultaneous radar and communication capabilities of the proposed system.