Published in Amirmehrabi, H., & Viswanathan, R. (1997). A new distributed constant false alarm rate detector. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 33(1), 85-97. doi: 10.1109/7.570711 ©1997 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


A new constant false alarm rate (CFAR) test termed signal-plus-order statistic CFAR (S+OS) using distributed sensors is developed. The sensor modeling assumes that the returns of the test cells of different sensors are all independent and identically distributed. In the S+OS scheme, each sensor transmits its test sample and a designated order statistic of its surrounding observations to the fusion center. At the fusion center, the sum of the samples of the test cells is compared with a constant multiplied by a function of the order statistics. For a two-sensor network, the functions considered are the minimum of the order statistics (mOS) and the maximum of the order statistics (MOS). For detecting a Rayleigh fluctuating target in Gaussian noise, closed-form expressions for the false alarm and detection probabilities are obtained. The numerical results indicate that the performance of the MOS detector is very close to that of a centralized OS-CFAR, and it performs considerably better than the OS-CFAR detector with the AND or the OR fusion rule. Extension to an N-sensor network is also considered, and general equations for the false alarm probabilities under homogeneous and nonhomogeneous background noise are presented.