Ship Echo Identification Based on Norm-Constrained Adaptive Beamforming for an Arrayed High-Frequency Coastal Radar

Jenn Shyong Chen, Duy Toan Dao, Hwa Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar, operated at the central frequency of 27.75 MHz and the bandwidth of 300 kHz has been established on the seashore near the Taichung harbor ( 24{\circ } 18.591\prime N, 120{\circ } 31.389\prime E), Taiwan. Sixteen vertical dipole antennas were located linearly and attached with 16 receiving channels. One purpose of the radar is to monitor the ships that navigate toward, away, and around the harbor. In this article, we applied the radar beamforming methods that transform the temporal radar signals as brightness on the 2-D range-Azimuthal domain, making the ship echoes visible directly on the spatial domain. Three beamformers, linear Fourier, directionally constrained minimum power (DCMP), and norm-constrained DCMP (NC-DCMP) algorithms, were employed to produce range-Angle (RA) brightness distribution that is different from the conventionally used range-Doppler (RD) spectra in ship detection. Both DCMP and NC-DCMP are adaptive beamforming methods. With the auxiliary of a band-stop filter to suppress the sea echoes, the NC-DCMP beamformer was demonstrated to surpass the other two beamformers and could provide more visible ship echoes in the RA brightness distribution. Automatic Identification System (AIS) information was also used to validate the radar-determined ship locations from the RA brightness distribution. Although some ships having the AIS information were not observed clearly by the radar, the radar detected some targets without AIS information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9121747
Pages (from-to)1143-1153
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Adaptive beamforming
  • band-stop filter
  • brightness
  • coastal radar
  • radar detection
  • radar imaging
  • ship detection


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