Fast comparison of IS radar code sequences for lag profile inversion
Abstract. A fast method for theoretically comparing the posteriori variances produced by different phase code sequences in incoherent scatter radar (ISR) experiments is introduced. Alternating codes of types 1 and 2 are known to be optimal for selected range resolutions, but the code sets are inconveniently long for many purposes like ground clutter estimation and in cases where coherent echoes from lower ionospheric layers are to be analyzed in addition to standard F-layer spectra.
The method is used in practice for searching binary code quads that have estimation accuracy almost equal to that of much longer alternating code sets. Though the code sequences can consist of as few as four different transmission envelopes, the lag profile estimation variances are near to the theoretical minimum. Thus the short code sequence is equally good as a full cycle of alternating codes with the same pulse length and bit length. The short code groups cannot be directly decoded, but the decoding is done in connection with more computationally expensive lag profile inversion in data analysis.
The actual code searches as well as the analysis and real data results from the found short code searches are explained in other papers sent to the same issue of this journal. We also discuss interesting subtle differences found between the different alternating codes by this method. We assume that thermal noise dominates the incoherent scatter signal.