Chaotic Dynamics of Sea Clutter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The notion that a deterministic nonlinear dynamical system (with relatively few degrees of freedom) can display aperiodic behavior has a strong bearing on sea clutter characterization: random-looking sea clutter may be the outcome of a chaotic process. This new approach envisages deterministic rules for the underlying sea clutter dynamics, in contrast to the stochastic approach where sea clutter is viewed as a random process with a large number of degrees of freedom. In this paper, we demonstrate, convincingly for the first time, the chaotic dynamics of sea clutter. We say so on the basis of results obtained using radar data. collected from a series of extensive and thorough experiments, which have been carried out with ground-truthed sea clutter data sets at three different sites. The study includes correlation dimension analysis (based on the maximum likelihood principle) and Lyapunov spectrum analysis. The Lyapunov (Kaplan-Yorke) dimension, which is a byproduct of Lyapunov spectrum analysis, shows that it is indeed a good estimator of the correlation dimension. The Lyapunov spectrum also reveals that sea clutter is produced by a coupled system of nonlinear differential equations of order five or six. (C) 1997 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCHAOS: Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)777-802
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


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