Time domain filtered cross spectral density detection and direction finding of spread spectrum signals, and implementation using acousto-optic correlation
This thesis presents a technique for the detection of spread spectrum signals, of arbitrary form, even when the signal power spectral density (PSD) is well below the surveillance receiver noise spectral density, using a pair of antennas with broadband (1 GHz or more) receivers. Cross correlating the outputs of two receivers, spatially separated by a distance of the order of one metre or more, produces a cross correlation function (ccf) in which the noise components are spread uniformly over the whole width while the signal component, the narrow autocorrelation function (acf) of the spread spectrum signal, is concentrated near to the centre. The acf is displaced from the centre of the ccf by a small time shift equal to the time difference of arrival of the signal at the two antennas. A simple time domain filter can select a narrow centre portion of the ccf, rejecting the remainder which contains only noise. Taking the Fourier transform of this windowed ccf produces the "time domain filtered cross spectral density" (TDFCSD), in which the signal to noise ratio is independent of receiver bandwidth. Spread spectrum signals can then be both detected and characterised in an extremely sensitive broadband system by threshold detection applied to the magnitude of this TDFCSD. High resolution direction fmding can then be achieved by estimating the time difference of arrival at the two antennas from the phase slope of the appropriate part of the TDFCSD. An analysis of the performance of this dual receiver system is presented. A computer simulation illustrates the signal processing involved and shows excellent agreement with the analysis. An analysis of the detection performance of this system acting in an electronic support measure (ESM) role and comparison with other systems shows that, in addition to being able to obtain more information, this system can offer significantly greater sensitivity than a crystal video receiver. Acousto-optic correlation may be used to perform the cross correlation and time domain filtering of wideband signals in real time, with final processing of the much reduced data set to obtain and analyse the TDFCSD being carried out digitally. A novel non-heterodyning space integrating architecture capable of forming the true correlation function using the zeroth diffraction orders from acousto-optic cells was invented, the operation of which is not explained by the commonly used methods of analysis. By looking again at the acousto-optic interaction, it is shown that there is considerable information in the zeroth diffraction order and a unified theory of one dimensional space integrating correlators is developed, in which many known architectures can be treated as special cases of a general all order correlator. Because of practical difficulties in using a space integrating correlator to obtain the TDFCSD for continuous inputs, later work concentrated on time integrating correlation. Theoretical analysis and practical results are presented for a time integrating acousto-optic correlator, demonstrating that it gives itself naturally to the signal processing operations required and could be used in a real surveillance system making use of the TDFCSD for detection and direction finding.