Passive radar is a technology that has huge potential for airspace monitoring, taking advantage of existing transmissions. However, to predict whether particular targets can be measured in a particular scenario, it is necessary to be able to model the received signal. In this paper, we present the results of a campaign in which a Pilatus PC-12 single-engine aircraft was measured with a passive radar system relying on DVB-T transmission from a single transmitter. We then present our work to simulate the bistatic RCS of the aircraft along its flight track, using both the method of moments and the shooting and bouncing ray solvers, assess the uncertainty in the simulations, and compare against the measurements. We find that our simulated RCS values are useful in predicting whether or not detection occurs. However, we see poor agreement between simulated and measured RCS values where measurements are available, which we attribute primarily to the difficulties in extracting RCS measurements from the data and to unmodeled transmission and received path effects.
Keywords: CFAR; DVB-T; RCS simulation; bistatic RCS; field measurements; passive radar; range-Doppler analysis; signal processing; turboprop aircraft; ultrahigh frequency.