Abstract

The problem of calculating the laser radar cross section of a randomly rough target is studied. It is shown that subject to a minimum set of assumptions, all with reasonable physical interpretation, the statistics are Rician for any degree of roughness. A rigorous theory is developed to allow the two parameters of the Rician distribution to be calculated for any target shape, using only a small set of laboratory measurements of laser scattering from two simply shaped samples of the target surface material. It is noted that it is never necessary to become involved in measurements of the statistics of the target’s microscopic roughness or in the problem of electromagnetic boundary matching conditions in order to calculate the laser radar cross section of a large complex shaped target.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

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