Radar and sea clutter simulation with Unity 3D game engine

Detta är en M1-uppsats från Linköpings universitet/Programvara och system

Sammanfattning: Game engines are well known for their use in the gaming industry but are starting to have an impact in other areas as well. Architecture, automotive, and the defence industry are today using these engines to visualise and, to some extent, test their products. In this thesis, we have examined how the game engine Unity could be used for simulating a radar with the purpose of detecting and measuring sea clutter. Following a pre-study examining different implementation approaches, it was decided to use ray tracing. The radar itself is simulated by using the camera to emit rays and having a plane object directly behind it act as a receiver. Rays are then individually traced for each pixel, propagating throughout the scene and saving information such as hit coordinates, distance travelled, and direction. By using the total travel distance of each ray that returned to the receiver, the phase of each ray is calculated. This is then used to compute the total amplitude, which represents the returned signal strength. Using a compute shader, most of the computations are done in parallel on the GPU, enabling millions of rays to be traced. As measuring sea clutter was an objective of the study, tests measuring the ocean were carried out. These used ocean surfaces with two different sea states, using the Phillips spectrum to generate realistic waves. A ship object was then tested in free space and on two different ocean surfaces. The calculated amplitude and the number of rays returned were used to determine the signal strength returned and the RCS of the object. The purpose of this was to compare with other results of sea clutter studied, observed both in the real world and in simulated scenarios, and determine if our approach could be a valid choice for the industry. Some results matched the findings of a similar study that used a professional radar simulation tool called OKTAL. Other results of sea clutter were found to not be realistic due to certain limitations. The current main limitation of our implementation is not being able to trace a large enough ocean surface with the finer details needed for realistic results. However, this could be solved by creating a better implementation. These findings suggest that simulating radar and sea clutter in Unity is a feasible approach worth continuing to explore.

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