Moving Target Indication
Moving target indicator (MTI) radar is a form of radar that is used to distinguish moving objects of interest from background and non-relevant stationary objects. It uses the Doppler effect to measure the phase shift of reflected radio wave pulses – objects that are moving will cause the frequency of the reflected pulses to change, whereas pulses from objects that stay still will experience no change and can be filtered out.
Defense Applications & GMTI
Moving target indication can be used for a range of military and defense applications, including ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) and search and rescue. The systems are used to locate aerial and ground-based targets of interest as well as vessels. MTI radar that is specifically used to detect and track ground vehicles is known as GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indicator).
Real-Time MTI & Trajectory Prediction
MTI radar systems can be installed on manned aircraft as well as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). They may be part of radar payload pods that also provide SAR (synthetic aperture radar) capabilities as well as an MTI mode. The MTI radar uses multiple antennas to provide precise location of targets. These locations can be georeferenced and overlaid on a map display that is visible by the pilot or UAV operator. Movement can be tracked in real time, and these tracks can also be displayed and used to predict the trajectory of targets.
EO/IR Sensors & Target Detection
MTI radar is often used to cross-cue EO/IR (electro-optical/infrared) sensors. These sensors typically have a narrower focus, so the wider angle of MTI is ideal for enhancing and speeding up target detection, thus providing greater situational awareness to pilots and operators. MTI can also work under less ideal visibility conditions, such as low light levels or through fog and smoke.