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Abstract: Mechanical vibration or rotation of a target or structures on the target may induce

additional frequency modulations on the returned radar signal which generate sidebands about the

target’s Doppler frequency, called the micro-Doppler effect. Micro-Doppler signatures enable some

properties of the target to be determined. In the paper, the micro-Doppler effect in radar is

introduced and the mathematics of micro-Doppler signatures is developed. Computer simulations

are conducted and micro-Doppler features in the joint time – frequency domain are exploited.

analysis is necessary for extracting the time-varying

Radar transmits a signal to a target, interacts with the target, Doppler signature [2].

and returns back to the radar. The change in the properties of

the returned signal contains characteristics of interest of the 2 Mathematics of micro-Doppler effect

target. When the transmitted signal of a coherent radar

system hits moving targets, the carrier frequency of the Mathematics of the micro-Doppler effect can be derived by

signal will be shifted, known as the Doppler effect. The introducing vibration or rotation to conventional Doppler

Doppler frequency shift reflects the velocity of the moving analysis. A target can be represented as a set of point

target. Mechanical vibration or rotation of a target, or scatterers. The point scattering model may simplify the

structures on the target, may induce additional frequency analysis while preserving the micro-Doppler effect.

modulations on the returned radar signal, which generate As shown in Fig. 1, the radar is stationary and located at

sidebands about the target’s Doppler frequency, called the the origin Q of the radar co-ordinate system (U, V, W). The

micro-Doppler effect [1, 2]. Micro-Doppler signatures target is described in the attached local co-ordinate system

enable us to determine some properties of the target. (x, y, z) and has translation and rotation with respect to the

The micro-Doppler effect was originally introduced in radar co-ordinates. For the purpose of mathematical

coherent laser radar systems. In a coherent system, the phase analysis, a reference co-ordinate system (X, Y, Z) is

of a signal returned from a target is sensitive to the variation introduced, which has the same translation as the target

in range. In many cases, a target or structures on the target local co-ordinates (x, y, z) but has no rotation with respect to

may have vibrations or rotations in addition to target the radar co-ordinates (U, V, W). Thus, the reference

translation, such as a rotor on a helicopter or a rotating radar co-ordinate system shares the same origin O with the target

antenna on a ship. Motion dynamics of the rotating rotor or local co-ordinates and is assumed to be at a distance R0 from

antenna will produce frequency modulation on the back- the radar.

scattered signals and induce additional Doppler variations to Assume that the azimuth and elevation angle of the target

the translation Doppler shift. From the electromagnetic in the radar co-ordinates (U, V, W) are a and b, respectively,

point of view, when a target has vibration, rotation or other and the unit vector of the radar line of sight (LOS) direction

nonuniform motions, the radar backscattering is subject to is defined by

modulations that constitute features in the signature [3, 4]. n ¼ R0 =kR0 k ¼ ðcos cos ; sin cos ; sin ÞT ð1Þ

Micro-Doppler can be regarded as a unique signature of the

target and provides additional information that is com- where kk represents the Euclidean norm.

plementary to existing methods. Suppose the target has a translation velocity v with

To exploit these unique micro-Doppler features, tra- respect to the radar and an angular rotation velocity v;

ditional analysis, such as the Fourier transform, or the which can be represented in the reference co-ordinate

sliding window or short time Fourier transform, may system as v ¼ ðoX ; oY ; oZ ÞT : Thus, a point scatterer P,

not possess the necessary resolution for extracting which is located at r0 ¼ ðX0 ; Y0 ; Z0 ÞT ; at time t ¼ 0 will

move to P0 at time t. The movement can be considered as,

first, a translation from P to P00 with velocity v; or OO0 ¼ vt;

IEE Proceedings online no. 20030743

and then, a rotation from P00 to P0 with an angular velocity

v: The rotation from P00 to P0 can be described by a rotation

doi: 10.1049/ip-rsn:20030743

matrix Rot(†) [5, 6]. At time t, the location of P0 can be

Paper first received 20th December 2002 and in revised form 20th June

2003

calculated as

V.C. Chen is with the Radar Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Code r ¼ O0 P0 ¼ RotðtÞ O0 P00 ¼ RotðtÞr0 ð2Þ

5311, 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA

F. Li, S.-S. Ho and H. Wechsler are with the Department of Computer and the range vector from the radar to the scatterer at P0

Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA becomes

IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003 271

Fig. 1 Geometry of a radar and a target with translation and rotations

^ tg ð8Þ

¼ R0 þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 ð3Þ where

2 3

Thus, the scalar range is 0 oZ oY

v^ ¼ 4 oZ 0 oX 5

Rt ¼ RðtÞ ¼ kR0 þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 k ð4Þ

oY oX 0 ð9Þ

If the radar transmits a sinusoidal waveform with a carrier

is called the skew symmetric matrix associated with v ¼

frequency f, then the baseband of the returned signal from

ðoX ; oY ; oZ ÞT ; which is the linear transformation that

the point scatterer is a function of Rt

computes the cross product of the vector v with any other

n 2R o vector, as described in the Appendix.

sðtÞ ¼ ðx;y;zÞexp j2f t ¼ ðx;y;zÞexpfjFðRt Þg ð5Þ Thus, the Doppler frequency shift in (7) becomes

c

T

where ðx;y;zÞ is the reflectivity function of the point 2f d v^ t 2f

fD ¼ v þ ðe r0 Þ nP ¼ ðv þ v ^ ev^ t r0 ÞT nP

scatterer P described in the target local co-ordinates (x, y, z), c dt c

c is the propagation speed of the electromagnetic wave and 2f 2f

the phase of the baseband signal is ¼ ðv þ v ^ rÞT nP ðv þ v^ rÞT n ð10Þ

c c

2Rt where, because kR0 k kvt þ RotðtÞ rk; the direction unit

FðRt Þ ¼ 2f ð6Þ

c vector nP can be approximated by n ¼ R0 =kR0 k nP

Therefore, the Doppler frequency shift is approximately

By taking the time derivative of the phase, the Doppler

frequency shift induced by the target’s motion can be 2f

obtained fD ¼ ½v þ v rradial ð11Þ

c

1 dFðRt Þ 2f d where the first term is the Doppler shift due to the translation

fD ¼ ¼ R

2 dt c dt t and the second term is the mathematical expression of the

micro-Doppler

2f 1 d

¼ ½ðR þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 ÞT

c 2Rt dt 0 2f

fmicroDoppler ¼ ½v rradial ð12Þ

ðR0 þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 Þ c

T

2f d

¼ v þ ðRotðtÞr0 Þ nP ð7Þ 3 Time – frequency analysis of micro-Doppler

c dt

signatures

where

A common method to analyse a time domain signal is

R þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 transforming it from the time domain to the frequency

nP ¼ 0 domain by using the Fourier transform. The frequency

kR0 þ vt þ RotðtÞr0 k

domain shows the magnitude of different frequencies

is the direction unit vector from the radar to the point contained in the signal over the overall time period the

scatterer at P0 . signal is analysed. When the radar returned signal from a

The angular rotation velocity vector v ¼ ðoX ; oY ; oZ ÞT vibrating or rotating target is viewed in the frequency

defined in the reference co-ordinate system rotates along the domain, its micro-Doppler shifts can be seen by their

unit rotation vector v0 ¼ v=kvk with a scalar angular deviation from the centre frequency of the radar returns.

velocity O ¼ kvk: Assuming the rotational motion at each Frequency-domain signatures provide information about

time interval can be considered to be infinitesimal, the frequency modulations generated by the vibration or

rotation matrix can be written in terms of the matrix v ^ as rotation. Although the frequency spectrum may indicate

272 IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003

the presence of micro-Doppler shifts and possibly the 4 Simulation study of micro-Doppler signatures

relative amount of displacement toward each side, because

of the lack of time information, it is not easy to tell the In this Section, we present examples of vibrations and

vibration or rotation rate from the frequency spectrum rotations that can induce micro-Doppler effects. Based on

alone. Therefore, the time –frequency analysis that provides the mathematical analysis, we can calculate theoretical

time-dependent frequency information is more useful and is results of micro-Doppler signatures. Simulation study is

complementary to the existing time-domain or frequency- used to verify the theoretical results.

domain methods. In the simulation, the point scatterer model [10] is used

To analyse the time-varying frequency characteristics for modelling targets because it is simple compared to the

of the micro-Doppler, the radar returned signal should be EM prediction code simulation and it is easy to observe the

analysed in the joint time –frequency domain by applying effect of vibration or rotations and separately study

high-resolution time – frequency transforms. From the individual movements.

joint time – frequency domain signature, the frequency and

the period of vibration or rotation can be found [2, 7].

The direction of movement of the target at a specific 4.1 Micro-Doppler signature of a vibrating

time may also be found by examining the time data and the point scatterer

sign of the micro-Doppler shift caused by the movement of

The geometry of the radar and a vibrating point-scatterer is

the target.

illustrated in Fig. 2. The vibration centre O is stationary with

Time– frequency transforms include linear transforms,

azimuth angle a and elevation angle b with respect to the

such as the short-time Fourier transform (STFT) and

radar. The point-scatterer is vibrating at a vibration

bilinear transforms, such as the Wigner – Ville distribution

frequency fv with maximum amplitude Dv : The azimuth

(WVD). With a time-limited window function, the resol-

and elevation angle of the vibration direction described in

ution of the STFT is determined by the window size.

the reference co-ordinates (X, Y, Z) is P and P ;

A larger window has higher frequency resolution but poor

respectively.

time resolution. The bilinear WVD has better characteristics

Because of the vibration, the point-scatterer P, which is

of the time-varying spectrum than any linear transform.

initially at time t ¼ 0 located at ðX0 ; Y0 ; Z0 ÞT in (X, Y, Z),

However, it suffers the problem of cross-term interference,

will at time t move to

i.e. the WVD of the sum of two signals is not the sum of

their WVDs [8]. To reduce the cross-term interference, the 2 3 2 3

X X0

kernel-filtered WVD can be used to preserve the useful 6 7 6 7

properties of the time – frequency transform with a slightly 4 5Y ¼ rðtÞ n V þ 4 Y0 5

reduced time – frequency resolution and a largely reduced Z Z0 ð13Þ

cross-term interference. The WVD with a linear

lowpass filter are characterised as the Cohen’s class. In where nV ¼ ½cos P cos P ; sin P cos P ; sin P T is the unit

our micro-Doppler signature study, the smoothed pseudo vector of the vibration direction.

Wigner – Ville distribution is used to reduce the cross-term Therefore, because of the vibration, the velocity of the

interference and achieve higher resolution [9]. scatterer P becomes

Fig. 2 Geometry of radar and vibrating point scatterer; and time – frequency micro-Doppler signatures

a Geometry of a radar and a vibrating point scatterer

b Time–frequency micro-Doppler signature calculated by (15)

c Time– frequency micro-Doppler signature by simulation

IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003 273

d d The azimuth and elevation angle of the target in the radar

rðtÞ ¼ rðtÞ nV co-ordinates (U, V, W) is a and b, respectively.

dt dt

Because of the target’s rotation, any point on the target

¼ 2Dv fv cosð2 fv tÞ described in the local co-ordinate system (x, y, z) will move

to a new position in the reference co-ordinate system

ðcos P cos P ; sin P cos P ; sin P ÞT ð14Þ

(X, Y, Z). The new position can be calculated from its initial

From (7) and using RotðtÞr0 ¼ r and nP n; the micro- position vector multiplied by an initial rotation matrix

Doppler shift induced by the vibration is RotInit determined by Euler angles (f, u, c) [6].

T In the target local co-ordinate system (x, y, z), when a

2f d

fmicroDoppler ¼ rðtÞ n target rotates about its axes x, y and z with the angular

c dt velocity v ¼ ðox ; oy ; oz ÞT ; a point-scatterer P at r0 ¼

4f fv Dv ðx0 ; y0 ; z0 ÞT in the local co-ordinates will move to a new

¼ cosð2 fv tÞnV n ð15Þ location in the reference co-ordinates (X, Y, Z) described by

c RotInit r0 : The unit vector of the rotation is defined by

which is a sinusoidal function of time oscillating at the

RotInit v

vibration frequency. v 0 ¼ ðo 0x ; o 0y ; o 0z ÞT ¼ ð16Þ

Assume the radar operates at f ¼ 10 GHz and a point- kv k

scatterer is vibrating about a centre point at (U0 ¼ 1000 m;

To compute the 3-D rotation matrix Rot(t) in (8), the

V0 ¼ 5000 m; W0 ¼ 5000 m). Thus, the unit vector from the

Rodrigues’ rotation formula [6]

radar to the vibration centre is

1=2 RðtÞ ¼ expðv ^ 0 sin Ot þ v

^ tÞ ¼ I þ v ^ 0 2ð1
cos OtÞ ð17Þ

n ¼ ðU0 ; V0 ; W0 ÞT =ðU02 þ V02 þ W02 Þ

is an efficient method, where I is the identity matrix, the

If the amplitude and frequency of the vibration is scalar angular velocity O ¼ kvk and v ^ 0 is the skew

Dv ¼ 0:01 m and fv ¼ 2 Hz; and the azimuth and elevation symmetric matrix associated with v ¼ ðo 0x ; o 0y ; o 0z ÞT

0

angle of the vibration direction are P ¼ 208 and P ¼ 108; 2 3

respectively, the theoretical result of the micro-Doppler 0
o 0z o 0y

signature calculated from (15) is shown in Fig. 2b. v^ ¼ 4 o z

0 0

0
o x 5

0

In our simulation study, the pulse radar with a pulse
o 0y o 0x 0 ð18Þ

repetition frequency (PRF) of 2000 is assumed and a total of

2048 pulses are used to generate the micro-Doppler Therefore, in the reference co-ordinate system (X, Y, Z), at

signature of the vibrating point-scatterer. The simulation time t the scatterer P will move from its initial location to a

result is shown in Fig. 2c and is identical to the theoretical new location r ¼ Rott RotInit r0 : According to (12), the

analysis. micro-Doppler frequency shift induced by the rotation is

approximately

fmicroDoppler ¼ ½Ov0 rradial ¼ Ov^ 0 r n

target c c

The geometry of the radar and a target having three- 2f 0

T

¼ Ov ^ Rott RotInit r0 n

dimensional rotations is depicted in Fig. 3. The radar c

co-ordinate system is (U, V, W), the target local co-ordinate 2f O 0 2

system (x, y, z) and the reference co-ordinate system ¼ v^ sin Ot v^ 0 3 cos Ot

c

(X, Y, Z) is parallel to the radar co-ordinates (U, V, W) and T

located at the origin of the target local co-ordinates. þv ^ 0 ðI þ v^ 0 2 Þ RotInit r0 n ð19Þ

274 IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003

rotations is shown in Fig. 4b, which is identical to the

theoretical result.

From the micro-Doppler signature, the period of the

rotation period can be calculated as T ¼ 2=kvk

¼ 1:1547 s. We can see that the micro-Doppler signature

in the time – frequency domain is a sinusoid with initial

phase and amplitude that depends on the initial positions of

the scatterer and the initial Euler angle (f, u, c).

5 Summary

of a target, or structures on the target, can induce additional

frequency modulation on radar returned signals and

generate the micro-Doppler effect. We derived mathemat-

ical formulas for micro-Doppler, and also simulated micro-

Doppler signatures of targets undergoing vibrations or

rotations. The simulation results confirmed that the

mathematical analysis is valid.

6 Acknowledgments

Research and the Missile Defense Agency.

7 References

1 Zediker, M.S., Rice, R.R., and Hollister, J.H.: ‘Method for extending

range and sensitivity of a fiber optic micro-Doppler ladar system and

Fig. 4 Time – frequency micro-Doppler signatures apparatus therefor’, US Patent no. 6,847,817, 8 Dec. 1998

a Calculated from (8) 2 Chen, V.C., and Ling, H.: ‘Time-frequency transforms for radar

imaging and signal analysis’ (Artech House, 2002)

b By simulation 3 Kleinman, R., and Mack, R.B.: ‘Scattering by linearly vibrating

objects’, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., 1979, 27, pp. 344– 352

4 Gray, J.E.: ‘The Doppler spectrum of accelerating objects’. Proc. IEEE

Int. Radar Conf., Arlington, VA, USA, 1990, pp. 385 –390

Because the skew symmetric matrix v ^ 0 is defined by the 5 Chen, V.C., and Miceli, W.: ‘Time-varying spectral analysis for radar

0

^ 0 3 ¼
v

unit vector of the rotation v ; then v ^ 0 and the imaging of maneuvering targets’, IEE Proc. Radar Sonar Navig., 1998,

145, (5), pp. 262–268

rotation-induced micro-Doppler frequency becomes 6 Murray, R.M., Li, Z., and Sastry, S.S.: ‘A mathematical introduction to

robotic manipulation’ (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 1994)

7 Chen, V.C.: ‘Analysis of radar micro-Doppler signature with time-

2f O
0 0 frequency transform’. Proc. 10th IEEE Workshop on Statistical signal

fmicroDoppler ¼ ^ ðv

v ^ sin Ot þ I cos OtÞRotInit r0 radial and array processing, Pocono Manor, PA, USA, August 2000,

c

pp. 463–466

ð20Þ 8 Cohen, L.: ‘Time-frequency analysis’ (Prentice – Hall, Englewood

Cliffs, NJ, 1995)

9 Auger, F., Flandrin, P., Goncalves, P., and Lemoine, O.: ‘Time-

Assume the radar carrier frequency and the initial location frequency toolbox for use with MATLAB’, 1996

of the target centre is the same as described in Section 4.1. 10 Chen, V.C., and Miceli, W.: ‘Simulation of ISAR imaging of moving

The target is assumed to be a cube that consists of eight targets’, IEE Proc., Radar Sonar Navig., 2001, 148, (3), pp. 160 –166

point-scatterers as illustrated in Fig. 3. The initial Euler

angles are ( ¼ 458; ¼ 458; ¼ 458). If the target rotates 8 Appendix

along the x, y and z axes with an angular velocity

v ¼ ½; ; T rad/s and initial positions of eight scatterers The cross-product of a vector a ¼ ðax ; ay ; az Þ and a vector

in the target co-ordinate system are b ¼ ðbx ; by ; bz Þ is

2 3

ay bz
az by

P1 ¼ ðx ¼ 0:5 m; y ¼ 0:5 m; z ¼ 0:5 mÞ a b ¼ 4 az bx
ax bz 5

ax by
ay bx

P2 ¼ ðx ¼
0:5 m; y ¼ 0:5 m; z ¼ 0:5 mÞ

2 32 3

P3 ¼ ðx ¼
0:5 m; y ¼
0:5 m; z ¼ 0:5 mÞ 0
az ay bx

P4 ¼ ðx ¼ 0:5 m; y ¼
0:5 m; z ¼ 0:5 mÞ ¼ 4 az 0
ax 54 by 5 ¼ a^ b

ay ax 0 bz ð21Þ

P5 ¼ ðx ¼ 0:5 m; y ¼ 0:5 m; z ¼
0:5 mÞ

where

P6 ¼ ðx ¼
0:5 m; y ¼ 0:5 m; z ¼
0:5 mÞ 2 3

P7 ¼ ðx ¼
0:5 m; y ¼
0:5 m; z ¼
0:5 mÞ 0
az ay

a^ ¼ 4 az 0
ax 5

P8 ¼ ðx ¼ 0:5 m; y ¼
0:5 m; z ¼
0:5 mÞ
ay ax 0 ð22Þ

is called the skew symmetric matrix and

Then, the micro-Doppler frequency shift can be calculated

from (20) and is shown in Fig. 4a. With a PRF of 2000 and a^ ¼
ð^aÞT ð23Þ

2048 pulses transmitted within about 1.024 s. of dwell time,

the simulated result of the micro-Doppler induced by the A rotation matrix that belongs to the special orthogonal 3-D

IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003 275

rotation matrix group R33 is denoted by v^ ¼ R_ otðtÞRotT ðtÞ ð26Þ

thus

fRot 2 R33 jRotT Rot ¼ I; detðRotÞ ¼ þ1g ð24Þ

R_ otðtÞ ¼ o

^ RotðtÞ ð27Þ

T

By taking a derivative of the constraint RotðtÞRot ðtÞ ¼ I By solving this linear ordinary differential equation (27), we

with respect to time t, we have obtain

RotðtÞ ¼ expfv

^ tgRotð0Þ

R_ otðtÞRotT ðtÞ ¼
½R_ otðtÞRotT ðtÞT ð25Þ

Assuming Rotð0Þ ¼ I for the initial condition, we have

This means that the matrix R_ otðtÞRotT ðtÞ 2 R33 is a skew RotðtÞ ¼ expfv

^ tg ð28Þ

symmetric matrix. Therefore, we can find a rotation vector

v ¼ ðoX ; oY ; oZ Þ such that the associated skew symmetric The matrix is a 3-D rotation matrix that rotates about the

matrix axis v by kvkt rad.

276 IEE Proc.-Radar Sonar Navig., Vol. 150, No. 4, August 2003

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