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High frequency oscillators for chaotic radar

A.N. Beala , J. N. Blakelya , N. J. Corrona , and R. N. Deanb


Charles M. Bowden Laboratory, U. S. Army AMRDEC, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama 35898

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 200 Broun Hall, Auburn University, AL

This work focuses on implementing a class of exactly solvable chaotic oscillators at speeds that allow real world
radar applications. The implementation of a chaotic radar using a solvable system has many advantages due to
the generation of aperiodic, random-like waveforms that exhibit an analytic solution. These advantages include
high range resolution, no range ambiguity, and spread spectrum characteristics. These systems allow for optimal
detection of a noise-like signal by the means of a linear matched filter using simple and inexpensive methods.
This paper outlines the use of exactly solvable chaos in ranging systems, while addressing electronic design issues
related to the frequency dependence of the systems stretching function introduced by the use of NICs.
Keywords: Chaotic oscillator, Noise radar, Matched filter, Negative impedance converter

Approaches for extending the operating frequency of chaotic oscillators while preserving system parameters are
presented. This work focuses on implementing a class of exactly solvable chaotic oscillators at speeds that
allow real world radar applications. The implementation of a chaotic radar using a solvable system has many
advantages due to the generation of aperiodic, random-like waveforms that exhibit an analytic solution. These
advantages include high range resolution, no range ambiguity, and spread spectrum characteristics.
These systems allow for optimal detection of a noise-like signal by the means of a linear matched filter using
simple and inexpensive methods. Recently, it has been shown that chaotic waveforms are optimal candidates for
use with a simple, second order matched filter.1 This motivates the construction of a ranging system based on
chaotic signals and their corresponding matched filters.
These exactly solvable chaotic systems consist of mixed signal electronics that implement interval stretching and
folding mechanisms necessary for chaotic behavior.2 As the increase in frequency of these systems promotes new
applications, non-ideal electronic effects must be accommodated to preserve the systems closed form solution.
Particularly, the use of a Negative Impedance Converter (NIC) introduces frequency dependent behavior causing
distortion in the chaotic waveforms.
This paper outlines the use of exactly solvable chaos in ranging systems, while addressing electronic design issues
related to the frequency dependence of the systems stretching function introduced by the use of NICs.

Chaotic systems with closed form solutions may be constructed by the linear convolution of a known basis pulse
and a random binary sequence. For example, the continuous-discrete hybrid system consisting of a linear second
order differential equation and a nonlinear switching event that is triggered upon a specific guard condition may
be used to generate chaos. Consider the following:
2 u + ( 2 + 2 )(u s) = 0
Further author information: (Send correspondence to Aubrey N. Beal)
Aubrey N. Beal: E-mail: aubreybeal@gmail.com, Telephone: 1 505 123 1234



s(t) =

1 : u(t) 0
1 : u(t) < 0

Note that signum function, s(t), will be assigned to one of two constant values 1 or 1 and is applied conditionally.
As the system satisfies u(t)

= 0, the signum function is applied to u(t) and s takes the value of sgn(u).








Time (s)
Figure 1: Basis pulse for synthesizing chaos via linear superposition with = ln(2)
A complete description of the system may be found by evaluating the solution due to an initial condition at
a series of discrete time stages, n, such that t = tn , u(tn ) = un , du
dt (tn ) = 0, and s(tn ) = sn where sn =
sgn(un ). Considering the closed-form analytic expression that describes the continuous-time solution for u(t)
and a particular symbol, sm , a powerful representation of u(t) may be found in the linear convolution
u(t) =


sm P (t tn m),


where P (t) is the analytic solution found for the linear, 2nd order basis function,



, t<0

P (t) =
1 e(t1) cos(t) sin(t) , 0 t < 1

0, t 1.
The discrete signal, s(t), may be written as the linear convolution
s(t) =


sm (t tn m)



0, t < 0
1, 0 t < 1

0, t 1.
The waveforms that constitute the basis pulse and state change are shown in Figure 1. These dynamics are best
described as a fixed basis pulse, P (t), centered at time t = tn + m that is modulated by a binary symbol, sm .4
Information is presented in the form of this binary symbol modulation. This functionality may be used as a

ranging transmitter in the form of a chaotic oscillator as described in Section 2.1. Furthermore, a linear matched
filter receiver may be developed for optimal detection of the systems basis pulse in the presence of AGWN as
described in Section 2.2.7 This type of ranging system has been previously illustrated acoustically.5 Section 3
reviews the extension of this concept as a wide-band radar system.

2.1 Shift Map Conjugate Oscillator

The proposed chaotic oscillator consists of the aforementioned system of equations defined by Eq. 1 and is
illustrated by Figure 2.

Figure 2: Schematic for circuit implementation of chaotic oscillator with closed form solution.
This circuit consists of a -RLC stretching function and folding function implemented by comparators and logic
gates. A voltage v(t) representing the mixed-signal solution u(t) is represented by the node atop the unstable
tank circuit. The signum function is applied conditionally by a comparator followed by a latch that is clocked
by the zero crossings of the v(t)s derivative. This is an analog to the systems guard condition that is applied
when u(t)

= 0.
When the signum function is applied to u(t) by a comparator, s takes the value of sgn(u). This essentially changes
the basis pulses equilibrium point. Practically, this change is applied to the inductor in the -RLC circuit by
voltage vs (t). The resulting waveform is a sinusoid u(t) which switches between two equilibrium points. The
switching between equilibrium points constitutes two binary states and comprises the bit stream s(t).
The functionality of the oscillator may be more plainly viewed when the two signals u(t) and s(t) are overlain as
shown Figure 3. The sinusoidal signal grows unbounded until a threshold limit is reached. Upon reaching this
threshold, the signal changes its equilibrium position and restarts the oscillation. This cycle continues as the
oscillator progresses in time.

u(t), s(t)








Time (s)
Figure 3: Times-series data showing the temporal progression of the discrete state s(t) and the hybrid continousdiscrete state u(t).












Figure 4: (Left) Phase space representation of chaotic oscillator. (Right) Shift map created by successive
oscillator returns.
The state space representation of this oscillators solution exhibits thick solution bands shown by Figure 4
(left). Besides this trait, the chaotic system provides exponential divergence of nearby trajectories (characterized
by a positive Lyapunov exponent) and trajectory boundedness (achieved from threshold limiting). These are
characteristics that satisfy Devaneys definition of chaos.6
Further, this system may be described as a time-series oscillator that is conjugate to an iterated map. When the
successive maxima are plotted as shown in Figure 4 (right), the iterated shift map is formed.

2.2 Matched Filter Receiver

Unlike many chaotic systems, the oscillator introduced in Section 2.1 has a known basis pulse. This advantage
motivates the development of a receiver for these chaotic waveforms. It has been shown that a matched filter for
chaotic signals may be developed7 and perform well.5
If no a priori information is known about the noise that envelops this transmission, a reasonable first approximation of this noise may be found by modeling it as additive Gaussian white noise (AGWN). Given a receiver
network input, x(t), there exists some network with an impulse response, h(t), such that a desired transmission
may be optimally obtained in the presence of AGWN, w(t).
A received signal consists of some intended transmission corrupted by environmental noise: x(t) = g(t) + w(t)
for 0 t T where T isn arbitrary observation interval and g(t) is some arbitrarily shaped transmission pulse.9
It is assumed that w(t) is a stochastic noise process of zero mean and power spectral density No /2. It is further
assumed that the receiver has knowledge of the shape of the transmitted waveform.
In order to optimize this filter a design must maximize the detection of the transmitted signal g(t) by minimizing
the effects of noise w(t). Consider a linear matched filter with the output y(t) such that y(t) = go (t) + n(t) where
go (t) is produced by the signal component of input x(t) and n(t) is produced by the noise component of x(t).
Ultimately, the instantaneous power in the output signal go (t), measured at time t = T must be maximized when
compared to the average power of the output noise n(t). This may be expressed as the peak pulse signal-to-noise

|go (T )|2
E|n2 (t)|


where |go (T )|2 is the instantaneous power provided by the output signal, and E|n2 (t)| is the statistical expectation
of the average output noise power. This expression gives a signal-to-noise ratio in terms of power that may be
maximized for some filter inputs impulse h(t) by applying the Schwarzs inequality and additional analysis.8


|G(f )|2 df


For an optimally matched filter response Hopt (f ) the condition Hopt (f ) = kG (f )ej2f T is met.8 k is an
arbitrary magnitude scaling factor and G (f ) is the complex conjugate of the input signal G(f ). The transfer
function for the optimally matched filter is identical to the complex conjugate of the input signal with the
exception of magnitude scaling and a term that represents a linear time shift, T .
This time shift is explicitly shown by transforming these results into the time-domain. Taking the inverse Fourier
transform of Hopt (f ) gives

G (f )ej2f (T t)df .

hopt (t) = k


If it is assumed that g(t) is a real signal, taking the complex conjugate gives G (f ) = G(f ). The result is
hopt (t) = kg(T t).


This result concludes with a powerful and elegant statement that the presence of any physical waveform, g(t),
may be optimally detected when considering corruption due to AGWN by simply selecting a filter with an
impulse response that is a time-reversed, time-delayed version of the input with a magnitude scaling factor k.9
A linear time-invariant filter defined using this approach is referred to a a matched filter.8 It may be carefully
noted that the only assumption made about the input noise is that w(t) is white, stationary, zero mean, and has
power spectral density of N0 /2.
This implies that despite the characteristics of chaotic systems to behave in a seemingly random, noise-like
manner this specific chaotic system may be optimally detected in the presence of AGWN. Because chaos is
synthesized by a known basis function, P (t), a linear matched filter may be constructed for its detection.
Let (t) = P (t) that satisfies + 2 + 02 = 02 h(t), where 02 = 2 + 2 and

h(t) =

1, 1 t < 0
0, otherwise.

It is assumed that h(t) is a square pulse of unit duration and amplitude. If h(t) is differentiated it may be shown

that h(t)
= (t + 1) (t), where the Dirac delta function, (t), is an impulse with unit area.7 This gives a
time-reversed basis function serving as the impulse response of the linear matched filter
= v(t + 1) v(t),


+ 2 + 02 = 02 (t),


where v(t) is the filters input, (t) is an intermediate state, and is the filters output. Equation 8 and Equation
9 construct the matched filter for the basis pulse.


Wide bandwidth and aperiodicity characteristics advocate chaotic signals for high-resolution, unambiguous ranging for radar, sonar and ladar systems.1022 Conventionally, a noise source may be used in random signal radar
in contrast to a solvable chaotic oscillator. Ranging with an arbitrary random source requires a portion of the
transmitted waveform to be sampled and stored in local memory. The resolution of such a system is defined by
the signal bandwidth and Nyquist sampling criterion. This stored signal is recalled by the receiver portion of
the system and used for correlation detection for a return signal. By using a digital signal processor (DSP) and
fast-Fourier transforms (FFT), a cross correlation between the stored signal and return signal is achieved. This
process may be conventionally implemented with stochastic sources or chaotic oscillators.

An alternative approach to detection and ranging is found by using solvable chaotic sources. This truly exploits
the properties of a chaotic waveform to alleviate the most expensive parts of random-signal radari.e., sampling,
digital memory, and digital signal processorwhile still maintaining the performance of a correlation receiver.22
This new approach uses chaotic waveforms generated by an analytically solvable nonlinear oscillator comprising
an ordinary differential equation and a discrete switching state.23 This hybrid oscillator admits an exact solution,
which can be written as the linear convolution of a symbolic dynamics and a basis function as outlined in previous
sections. This analytic representation is significant since it enables coherent reception using a simple analog
matched filter and only a few stored symbols.

Figure 5: Schematic for solvable chaotic radar concept.

The concept for this type of solvable chaotic radar involves a solvable chaotic oscillator that is up-converted and
down-converted using traditional radio frequency (RF) techniques as shown in Figure 5. This provides a wide
band chaotic source that is centered around a fundamental frequency that is matched to free space using an
antenna. At frequencies much lower than the chaotic oscillators clock signal, a signal triggers a shift register to
store the digital portion of the hybrid oscillator. These values are then correlated using the linear matched filter
for the chaotic oscillators basis pulse.
This entire system is realized using simple analog and digital electronic circuit components. Importantly, the
receiver does not require waveform sampling or digital signal processing for detection. Real-time measurements
using only simple threshold detection of the matched filter output provide evidence of detection. Ranging with
the system may be achieved by observing the time-shift of the matched filter output.


In order for the matched filter receiver to function properly, circuit parameters of the solvable chaotic oscillator
(CO) must be preserved. This imposes challenges as the frequency of these solvable chaotic systems is increased.24
A notably pertinent issue is found in the imperfect digital switching of these COs. Recently, switching compensation has been developed to mitigate these effects.25 This compensation effectively corrects imperfection in the
circuits folding mechanism, though issues still arise from the stretching mechanisms.

4.1 Negative Impedance Converter

Chaotic oscillators generally require a stretching mechanism to achieve local instability and a folding mechanism
to keep the system globally stable. In these systems, the electronic analog to the stretching mechanism is
easily modeled as a negative resistance. Practically negative resistances may be implemented using a negative
impedance converter (NIC) as shown in Figure 6 (left).










A(s) vin


Figure 6: (Left) Schematic for NIC implemented using operational amplifier. (Right) Electronic model of NIC
assuming low-pass characteristics of operation amplifier.
If it is assumed that the operational amplifier (op amp) used in constructing the NIC has finite bandwidth, it
may be reasonably modeled as shown in Figure 6 (right) as low-pass filter where the op amps transfer function
A(s) =

Ao o
s + o


By analyzing the circuit in Figure 6 (right) it may be shown that the input resistance to this network is

Zin (s) =

R1 (R2 +R3 )
R2 +R3
R2 A(s)

R1 R3 +


This equation shows that at low frequencies the magnitude of the negative resistance provided by the network
is RR1 R2 3 . This value decreases as the network is observed at higher frequencies.

Re(Z in (s))


Ideal NIC

10 4

10 6

Frequency (Hz)
Figure 7: Bode magnitude plot illustrating that the input resistance of the op amp based NIC has frequency
dependence due to the low-pass characteristic of the op amp.
The transfer function may be rearranged to view the poles and zeros more clearly:

Zin (s) =

Ao o R1 R3
R2 +R3
R2 Ao o
R2 +R3

R1 s + R1 o +
s + o


o o
From this equation it may be shown that a pole exists at s = o + RR22A+R
. This defines the imperfect bandwidth
behavior of the op amp based NIC when used as the COs stretching mechanism. A Bode magnitude plot of this
behavior is given by Figure 7.

4.2 Ladder Synthesis

The linear portion of the transmitter and receiver systems may be synthesized using standard ladder filter
synthesis techniques.27 This method contrasts General Impedance Converter (GIC) and Negative Impedance
Converter (NIC) topologies that may bottleneck or distort some systems when frequency scaling is needed.24,26
It should be noted that filter synthesis techniques may inadvertently implement GIC topologies in some cases.
These cases, generally, do not provide frequency or distortion bottlenecks, however, careful consideration should
be given.
First, consider the unstable, linear portion of the system between switching events. For this special case, the
switching event s(t) may be considered as a constant forcing function. This gives u
2 u+(

+ 2 )(us(t)) = 0
and is illustrated by Figure 8.


VC =u(t)

( 2 + 2 )s(t)

IL =C dVdtC =u(t)

Figure 8: Lumped element model1 for the COs stretching function.

A very simple ladder network may be used to implement this differential equation. A series -RLC network may
be used to ensure that the forcing function, s(t) may be applied as a voltage. Furthermore, if this design is
intended to be synthesized as a ladder network using opamps or OTAs, it is generally desired to use the voltage
across capacitors and current through inductors28 , .27
Favoring the passive sign convention in relation to IL and applying Kirchoffs Voltage Law (KVL) to the circuit
in Figure 8 gives
( 2 + 2 )s(t) + VR + VL + VC = 0


Progressing with Ohms law and noting that all elements share the same current gives
( 2 + 2 )s(t)
dt (

+ 2 )s(t)

L (t)
= IR R + L dIdt
+ C1 ic ( )d
L (t)
= IL R + L dIdt
+ C1 IL ( )d

= C dV
dt R + LC

VC (t)

VC = A

+ VC


where = 2L
, n2 = ( 2 + 2 ) = LC
, A = ( 2 + 2 ) and s(t) is assumed to be constant between switching
events. The expected waveform is an exponentially growing waveform that constitutes the systems basis pulse.

This simple network implements the desired set of linear equations using the state variables VC (t) = u(t) and
IL (t) = u.
Ladder synthesis from these state variables proceeds by recognizing V C = C1 IC (t) and IL = L1 VL (t).
Continuing with ladder synthesis of the lumped element network only in terms of state variables and the forcing
function gives
V C = IL


IL = [IL R VC + A s(t)]



These state variables may be associated by interconnecting integrators and amplifiers as shown in Figure 9.
Although, this is a simple second order system, more complicated systems may be easily implemented by using
this same method.

Figure 9: State variable computation of the COs stretching function using an op amp ladder network.
Frequency scaling this unit frequency prototype follows the same procedure used with active filter design. Each
integrator frequency is scaled by decreasing the capacitor value in its feedback path. As this capacitance value
is decreased, the resistance values in the circuit may be increased to keep the same proportion as found in the
low frequency prototype. More formally, a scaling factor for each integrators capacitor may be introduced as
km =

2f R


where km is the scaling factor, f is the desired frequency to which the circuit will be scaled and R is a predetermined resistance value, such as the networks input resistance, for which each unit valued resistor will be scaled.
Scaling may be defined as CS = km C where CS is the scaled capacitor value, km is the scaling factor and C is
the original, unscaled capacitor value. This gives

2km R


As the frequency is continually scaled, the response of the overall system is dominated by the cut off frequency of
the amplifier. This results in significant successive maxima distortion as observed with the frequency dependence

of op amp based negative impedance converter circuits. For common op amp topologies, this high frequency cut
off shows improvement to the pole created by the two feedback paths using the op amp based NIC.

A solvable chaotic ranging system was introduced with consideration to high frequency implementation challenges. These solvable chaotic systems have advantages including high range resolution, no range ambiguity, and
spread spectrum characteristics. Approaches for extending the operating frequency of solvable chaotic oscillators
for use in radar ranging systems were presented.
The frequency dependence of the NIC component was identified as source of RF issue and the alternate design
approach of synthesizing unstable ladder networks was presented to mitigate these high frequency issues. These
methods are capable of preserving key system parameters as higher frequencies of operation are introduced.
Ultimately, these systems allow for optimal detection of a noise-like signal by the means of a linear matched
filter. These chaotic signals may be up-converted and down-converted to implement chaotic radar. The frequency
increase allowed by the aforementioned design methods widens the applications of this technology for use in
ranging systems.

This project was supported in part by an appointment to the Postdoctoral Research Participation Program
at the U.S. Army AMRDEC, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an
interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army.

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