Radar- Principles

Course length:

4 Days



Course dates

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Modern radar and its related topics, architectures, technologies, and applications are covered, from fundamentals to the current state of the art in each area. In this four-day course, surface and airborne radars are described: each with its specific challenges. Conventional and advanced topics are introduced, including ESA and AESA, Auto-calibration of active phase arrays, modern waveforms and tracking, synthetic aperture radar and synthetic wideband, adaptive cancellation and STAP, radar phenomenology, modeling and simulations, key challenges and supporting state of the art technologies. This course is designed to benefit both engineers and technical managers.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction: Fundamentals, examples, sub-systems and issues
  2. Radar Fundamentals: Electromagnetic radiations, frequency, transmission and reception, waveforms, PRF, minimum range, range resolution and bandwidth, scattering, target cross-section, reflectivities, scattering statistics, polarimetric scattering, measurement accuracies, basic radar operating modes.
  3. The Radar Range Equation: Development of the simple two-ways range equation, signal-to-noise, losses, the search equation, inclusion of clutter and broad noise jamming
  4. Radar Propagation in the Earth troposphere: Classical propagation regions in the vicinity of the Earth’s surface (interference, diffraction, and intermediate), multipath phase and amplitude effects, the Pattern Propagation Factor (PPF), detection contours, frequency height, polarization, and antenna pattern effects, atmospheric refraction, atmospheric attenuation, anomalous propagation, modeling tools.
  5. Workshop: Solid angle, antenna beamwidths, directive gain, illumination function, pattern, and examples, the radar range equation development, system losses, atmospheric absorption, the Pattern Propagation Factor, the Blake chart, and examples.
  6. Noise in Receiving Systems: Thermal noise and temperature, bandwidth and matched filter, the receiver chain, the detection point, active and passive transducers, noise figure and losses, the referral principle and its relation to gains and losses, effective noise temperature, the system’s noise temperature
  7. Radar Detection Principles: Thermal noise statistics, relations among voltage, amplitude, and power statistics, false alarm time, false alarm number, probability of false alarm (PFA) and the detection threshold, the detection probability, detection of non-fluctuating targets, the Swerling models of target fluctuation statistics, detection of fluctuating targets, pulse integration options, the significance of frequency diversity
  8. The Radar Subsystems: Transmitter, antenna, receiver and signal processor ( Pulse Compression and Doppler filtering principles, automatic detection with adaptive detection threshold, the CFAR mechanism, sidelobe blanking angle estimation), the radar control program and data processor
  9. Modern Signal Processing and Clutter Filtering Principles: Functional block diagram, Adaptive cancellation and STAP, pulse editing, pulse compression, clutter and Doppler filtering, moving target indicator (MTI), pulse Doppler (PD) filtering, dependence on signal stability.
  10. Modern Advances in Waveforms: Pulse Compression (fundamentals, figures of merit, codes description, optimal codes and TSC’s state of the art capabilities), Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) radar.
  11. Electronically Scanned Antenna (ESA): Fundamental concepts, directivity and gain, elements and arrays, near and far field radiation, element factor and array factor, illumination function and Fourier transform relations, beamwidth approximations, array tapers and sidelobes, electrical dimension and errors, array bandwidth, steering mechanisms, grating lobes, phase monopulse, beam broadening, examples
  12. Solid State Active Phased Arrays (AESA): What are solid state active arrays (SSAA), what advantages do they provide, emerging requirements that call for SSAA (or AESA), SSAA issues at T/R module, array, and system levels
  13. Auto-calibration of Active Phased Arrays: Driving issues, types of calibration, auto-calibration via elements mutual coupling, principal issues with calibration via mutual-coupling, some properties of the different calibration techniques.
  14. Radar Tracking: Functional block diagram, what is radar tracking, firm track initiation and range, track update, track maintenance, algorithmic alternatives (association via single or multiple hypotheses, tracking filters options), role of electronically steered arrays in radar tracking
  15. Surface Radar: Principal functions and characteristics, nearness and extent of clutter, anomalous propagation, dynamic range, signal stability, time, and coverage requirements, transportation requirements and their implications, bird/angel clutter and its effects on radar design
  16. Airborne Radar: Radar bands and their implications, pulse repetition frequency (PRF) categories and their properties, clutter spectrum, dynamic range, iso-ranges and iso-Dops, altitude line, sidelobe blanking, mainbeam clutter blindness and ambiguities, clutter filtering using TACCAR and DPCA, ambiguity resolution, post detection STC,
  17. Synthetic Aperture Radar: Principles of high resolution, radar vs. optical imaging, real vs. synthetic aperture, real beam limitations, simultaneous vs. sequential operation, derivations of focused array resolution, unfocused arrays, motion compensation, range-gate drifting, synthetic aperture modes: real-beam mapping, strip mapping, and spotlighting, waveform restrictions, processing throughputs, synthetic aperture ‘monopulse’ concepts.
  18. High Range Resolution via Synthetic Wideband: Principle of high range resolution – instantaneous and synthetic, synthetic wideband generation, grating lobes and instantaneous band overlap, cross-band dispersion, cross-band calibration, examples
  19. Adaptive Cancellation and STAP: Adaptive cancellation overview, broad vs. directive auxiliary patterns, sidelobe vs. mainbeam cancellation, bandwidth and arrival angle dependence, tap delay lines, space sampling, and digital arrays, range Doppler response example, space-time adaptive processing (STAP), system and array requirements, STAP processing alternatives, degrees of freedom, transmit null-casting techniques.
  20. Radar Modeling and Simulation Fundamentals: Radar development and testing issues that drive the need for M&S, purpose, types of simulations – power domain, signal domain, H/W in the loop, modern simulation framework tools, and examples
  21. Key Radar Challenges and Advances: Key radar challenges, key advances (transmitter, antenna, signal stability, digitization and digital processing, waveforms, algorithms)


Menachem Levitas

Dr. Menachem Levitas received his BS, maxima cum laude, from the University of Portland and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1975, both in physics. He has forty one years experience in science and engineering, thirty three of which in radar systems analysis, design, development, and testing for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and FAA. His experience encompasses many ground based, shipboard, and airborne radar systems. He has been technical lead on many radar efforts including Government source selection teams. He is the author of multiple radar based innovations and is a recipient of the Aegis Excellence Award for his contribution toward the AN/SPY-1 high range resolution (HRR) development. For many years, prior to his retirement in 2011, he had been the chief scientist of Technology Service Corporation / Washington. He continues to provide radar technical support under consulting agreements.


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