Signal processing breakthroughs to boost Target Detection

Target Detection will receive a vital boost thanks to pioneering signal processing research.

A new method for processing signals to find and track difficult-to-detect targets has been developed by a consortium of scientists led by Professor Jonathon Chambers from the Department of Engineering.

The new research, which has been funded by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), uses a novel mathematical approach called a polynomial matrix decomposition in order to analyse multiple broadband signals.

“Signal processing is used frequently in the modern world, such as in radar, sonar and electro-optic applications,” explains Professor Chambers. “This has a variety of uses in defence, including detecting anomalous behaviour, dangerous chemicals in the environment and so on. Better processing of this information can also have a considerable impact on cyber defence and security by being able to detect and in certain instances pre-empt anomalies.”

The research has been carried out by a consortium as part of the University Defence Research Collaboration (UDRC), composed of a group of six universities and eight companies which works to deliver faster and more robust algorithms to extract useful information from sensor data, allowing for timely and better-informed military decision-making.

The consortium is also providing the academic community with a toolbox built in MATLAB which contains additional resources, laying the foundation for future scientists and signal processing research to build upon.

Engineering students at Leicester have the opportunity to learn the basics of MATLAB as part of their degree studies, familiarising them with a valuable software environment which is used by professional engineers and scientists and has real-world applications.