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Passive Automatic Identification System for Maritime Surveillance

This work describes the main achievements in the Passive AIS (P-AIS) project stage. The extensive literature research in the second chapter concludes performing additional in-situ experiments to estimate reliable target RCS and clutter reflectivity values at the AIS frequency range. The typical effective RCS distribution for ferry, yacht and small wooden boat is experimentally drawn; it reaches up to 26dBsm for the ferry. A clutter model is created, taking into account the literature and the experimental study. The AIS signal waveform is analyzed and the potential range and Doppler resolution is defined. More specifically, the signal ambiguity function gives approximately 20km of range resolution and 40Hz Doppler resolution. A coverage prediction tool, based on the bistatic radar equation, including the aforementioned clutter model; bistatic geometry theory; the effective target RCS; the antenna pattern; the AIS air interface parameters is made. The tool estimates the possible P-AIS coverage area. The work concludes that: even in case of high sea state, the sea is considered as a smooth surface reflection for low grazing angle of observation in the VHF range; the equidistant SNR areas change from Cassini shape to single oval receiver centered; the AIS energy provides excellent target “visibility” if the clutter is not considered. Discussions for further clutter reduction and system sophistication are arisen.