Space-time adaptive processing

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Space-time adaptive processing (STAP) is a signal processing technique most commonly used in radar systems. It involves adaptive array processing algorithms to aid in target detection. Radar signal processing benefits from STAP in areas where interference is a problem (i.e. ground clutter, jamming, etc.). Through careful application of STAP, it is possible to achieve order-of-magnitude sensitivity improvements in target detection.

STAP involves a two-dimensional filtering technique using a phased-array antenna with multiple spatial channels. Coupling multiple spatial channels with pulse-Doppler waveforms lends to the name "space-time." Applying the statistics of the interference environment, an adaptive STAP weight vector is formed. This weight vector is applied to the coherent samples received by the radar.


The theory of STAP was first published by Lawrence E. Brennan and Irving S. Reed in the early 1970s. At the time of publication, both Brennan and Reed were at Technology Service Corporation (TSC).

Further reading[edit]

  • Brennan, L.E. and I.S. Reed, Theory of Adaptive Radar, IEEE AES-9, pp. 237–252, 1973
  • Guerci, J.R., Space-Time Adaptive Processing for Radar, Artech House Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1-58053-377-9.
  • Klemm, Richard, Principles of Space-Time Adaptive Processing, IEE Publishing, 2002. ISBN 0-85296-172-3.
  • Klemm, Richard, Applications of Space-Time Adaptive Processing, IEE Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-85296-924-4.
  • Melvin, W.L., A STAP Overview, IEEE AES Systems Magazine – Special Tutorials Issue, Vol. 19, No. 1, January 2004, pp. 19–35.
  • Michael Parker, Radar Basics – Part 4: Space-time adaptive processing, EETimes, 6/28/2011