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A feasibility study on the application of polarimetric decomposition algorithms to the detection of concealed weapons

O'Reilly, Dean (2015) A feasibility study on the application of polarimetric decomposition algorithms to the detection of concealed weapons. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

State of the art security screening technology is not meeting all modern day requirements. There exists a gap in the market for the development of real time systems capable of detecting weapons at standoff ranges. Researchers at the Centre of Sensing and Imaging at Manchester Metropolitan University have developed a radar based screening technology. This technology will offer new security screening capabilities, making it feasible to have portable systems that can detect concealed weapons, with the added advantage of being capable of screening people in a crowd. The next step in the development of this radar system is to investigate the potential of using polarimetric scattering effects to detect concealed weapons, with the aim of improving the robustness and detection capabilities in comparison with the current state-of-the-art systems. This thesis provides a feasibility study in the application of polarimetric decomposition techniques to Concealed Weapon Detection (CWD) and an experimental radar is developed to provide the measurements required for this study. The major outcome of this work is that polarimetric decompositions including the Pauli, Krogager SDH and H-α decompositions have been demonstrated as a viable means of interpreting data for the detection of concealed weapons. This will allow the next generation of radar based weapon detectors to reduce some of the orientation dependency on detection rates as observed in the current state-of-the-art systems. The work presented in this thesis has resulted in a clear understanding of what is required to implement a fully polarimetric radar based weapon detector. The detection of weapons using the developed fully polarimetric radar with the aid of polarimetric decomposition algorithms combined with calibration and signal-processing algorithms has been demonstrated in this thesis.

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