paper// IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems

Coherent Radar Target Detection in Heavy-Tailed Compound-Gaussian Clutter

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This paper deals with the problem of detecting a radar target signal against correlated non-Gaussian clutter, which is modeled by the compound-Gaussian distribution. We prove that if the texture of compound-Gaussian clutter is modeled by an inverse-gamma distribution, the optimum detector is the optimum Gaussian matched filter detector compared to a data-dependent threshold that varies linearly with a quadratic statistic of the data. We call this optimum detector a linear-threshold detector (LTD). Then, we show that the compound-Gaussian model presented here varies parametrically from the Gaussian clutter model to a clutter model whose tails are evidently heavier than any K -distribution model. Moreover, we show that the generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT), which is a popular suboptimum detector because of its constant false-alarm rate (CFAR) property, is an optimum detector for our clutter model in the limit as the tails get extremely heavy. The GLRT-LTD is tested against simulated high-resolution sea clutter data to investigate the dependence of its performance on the various clutter parameters.