Optimal Placement for Barrier Coverage in Bistatic Radar Sensor Networks

Xiaowen Gong, Junshan Zhang, Douglas Cochran, Kai Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


By taking advantage of active sensing using radio waves, radar sensors can offer several advantages over passive sensors. Although much attention has been given to multistatic and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) radar concepts, little has been paid to understanding radar networks (i.e., multiple individual radars working in concert). In this context, we study the coverage problem of a bistatic radar (BR) sensor network, which is very challenging due to the Cassini oval sensing region of a BR and the coupling of sensing regions across different BRs. In particular, we consider the problem of deploying a network of BRs in a region to maximize the worst-case intrusion detectability, which amounts to minimizing the vulnerability of a barrier. We show that it is optimal to place BRs on the shortest barrier if it is the shortest line segment that connects the left and right boundary of the region. Based on this, we study the optimal placement of BRs on a line segment to minimize its vulnerability, which is a nonconvex optimization problem. By exploiting certain specific structural properties pertaining to the problem (particularly an important structure of detectability), we characterize the optimal placement order and the optimal placement spacing of the BR nodes, both of which present elegant balanced structures. Our findings provide valuable insights into the placement of BRs for barrier coverage. To our best knowledge, this is the first work to explore the barrier coverage of a network of BRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6928521
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Barrier coverage
  • bistatic radar sensor network
  • optimal placement
  • worst-case intrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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