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Activity title

Cognitive Radar

Activity Reference



Sensors & Electronics Technology

Security Classification




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Airborne, AMTI, Cognition, Detection, GMTI, Ground based, Radar, Reconnaissance, Sensing, Signal Processing, Space borne, Surveillance, Target Recognition, Tracking


For NATO’s military and peacekeeping operations radar is used in virtually all applications, including air defence, weapon locating, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition (RSTA) etc. Radar systems are able to function during day and night, have relative immunity to weather, and can even provide over the horizon coverage. They can provide high-resolution imagery, detect, localize and track targets at all ranges. The emerging theme of cognitive radar sensing has roots in mammalian cognition. It embraces both the “perception-action cycle” and the more explicit generation and exploitation of memories. Applying the ideas of cognition to radar has the potential to usher in a new era of sensing, not just improving the performance of existing radar systems but opening up whole new capability areas. Cognition is ubiquitous and can be applied to all radar systems. Potential benefits include sensitivity enhancements to improved tracking, sensing for autonomous guidance and navigation, and many more. As a continuation of similar effort, this activity would also leverage the technical relationships and technical accomplishments of the SET-179 and SET-182 RTGs on Waveform Diversity and Radar Spectrum, respectively.


The objective of this Task Group is to develop and conduct experiments and theoretical investigations to illustrate the benefits and challenges of enabling cognition-based capabilities in radar systems. Specifically, bio-inspired and bio-mimetic approaches borrowed from nature will be leveraged along with memory-based learning and control paradigms. The overarching theme will be upon incorporating greater autonomous decision-making and feedback-controlled adaptivity into the sensor.


• Theoretical concepts/models for cognitive radar sensing • Intelligent and adaptive waveform design • Adaptive feedback for enhanced detection and tracking • Spectrum-agile & spatially-distributed cognitive sensing • Cognitive concepts for scene perception and target recognition • The role of knowledge and memory in cognitive radar sensing • Autonomous decision-making in advanced radar systems • Bio-inspired/bio-mimetic sensing • Transmitter/waveform co-design & reconfigurable microwave systems

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