Model of laser radar signatures of ballistic missile warheads

Isaac Bankman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Ballistic missiles can separate in mid-course flight producing several components that include the warhead, control modules, booster segments, and debris. Since many warheads are spin-stabilized, laser radar range-Doppler imaging may provide signatures for identifying the warhead. Discrimination algorithms are most effective when they are based on the signatures expected from the target, however, an analytical model that relates the geometric and physical parameters of the target to its range-Doppler signature has not been available. This study developed a closed-form analytical formulation that models the range-Doppler signatures of a spinning conic warhead as a function of its parameters such as, angular velocity, half-cone angle height, and aspect angle. Using the 3-D conic surface equation, the angle-of-incidence at an arbitrary point is expressed in terms of the geometric parameters of the target. A relationship that links the Doppler shift to the cross-range coordinate of the target is used to complete the formulation of a point return as a function of range and Doppler. The model predictions match the experimental data well and suggest that this closed-form analytical solution can be used for parameter identification and discrimination in ballistic missile defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation V - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1999Apr 7 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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