Detection of Moving Targets Using Soliton Resonance Effect

The objective of this research was to develop a fundamentally new method for detecting hidden moving targets within noisy and cluttered data-streams using a novel “soliton resonance” effect in nonlinear dynamical systems.

The technique uses an inhomogeneous Korteweg de Vries (KdV) equation containing moving-target information. Solution of the KdV equation will describe a soliton propagating with the same kinematic characteristics as the target. The approach uses the timedependent data stream obtained with a sensor in form of the “forcing function,” which is incorporated in an inhomogeneous KdV equation. When a hidden moving target (which in many ways resembles a soliton) encounters the natural “probe” soliton solution of the KdV equation, a strong resonance phenomenon results that makes the location and motion of the target apparent.

Soliton resonance method will amplify the moving target signal, suppressing the noise. The method will be a very effective tool for locating and identifying diverse, highly dynamic targets with ill-defined characteristics in a noisy environment.

The soliton resonance method for the detection of moving targets was developed in one and two dimensions. Computer simulations proved that the method could be used for detection of singe point-like targets moving with constant velocities and accelerations in 1D and along straight lines or curved trajectories in 2D. The method also allows estimation of the kinematic characteristics of moving targets, and reconstruction of target trajectories in 2D. The method could be very effective for target detection in the presence of clutter and for the case of target obscurations.

This work was done by Igor K. Kulikov of Caltech and Michail Zak of Raytheon for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-48785

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