DOI link for Radar Clutter,
Radar Clutter, book
Clutter echoes are random and have thermal noise-like characteristics because the individual clutter components (scatterers) have random phases and amplitudes. In many cases, the clutter signal level is much higher than the receiver noise level. Thus, the radar’s ability to detect targets embedded in high clutter background depends on the Signal-to-Clutter Ratio (SCR) rather than the SNR. White noise normally introduces the same amount of noise power across all radar range bins, while clutter power may vary within a single range bin. Since clutter returns are target-like echoes, the only way a radar can distinguish target returns from clutter echoes is based on the target RCS , and the anticipated clutter RCS (via clutter map). Clutter RCS can be defined as the equivalent radar cross section attributed to reflections from a clutter area,
. The average clutter RCS is given by
where is the clutter scattering coefficient, a dimensionless quantity that is often expressed in dB. Some radar engineers express in terms of squared centimeters per squared meter. In these cases, is higher than normal.