Radar-Basic Principles

Course length:

1 day



Course dates

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This course will provide an understanding of the basic functions common to every radar system, as well as insight into the signal and data processing requirements and capabilities of those systems. Attendees will receive copies of the presentation along with relevant background publications. (This course replaces the Radar 101 and Radar 201 courses)


This course is intended for scientists, engineers, and technical managers who require an introduction to the basic principles and techniques used in modern radar systems. The course is intended for those with no previous background in this disciple and covers a wide variety of topics in surface and airborne radar, but at a limited depth.  These topics include background history, fundamental radar measurements and functions as well as the components common to all radar systems from long range surveillance radars to small, compact, light weight systems currently in use for automotive applications.

Course Outline:

  • Background, history, fundamental radar measurements and functions. Radar applications.
  • The basic radar system hardware components.
  • Basic pulse radar, ranging function, Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR), the radar range equation.
  • Target detection in the presence of noise: probability of detection (Pd), probability of false alarm (Pfa), example tradeoffs among Pd, Pfa, and SNR.  Multi-pulse detection.
  • Acquisition and Tracking: surveillance, track-while-scan, angle tracking and monopulse.
  • Antennas, gain and directivity, gain patterns, sidelobes and beamwidths.  Array antennas, agile beam steering.
  • Radar cross section, scattering, target fluctuations and statistical target models.
  • Radar signal processing: matched filter, range resolution, pulse compression and Chirp waveforms.
  • Coherent radar. pulse Doppler radar and Doppler processing,
  • moving target indicator (MTI) radar, waveform considerations.
  • Description of current systems: Joint STARS, Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL), Global Hawk, ASTOR, space-based radar.
  • Additional topics: covert FM-CW radar, beyond line-of-sight Over-the-Horizon (OTH) radar and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for high-resolution imaging functions.


What You Will Learn:

  • The common functions and measurements of radar systems.
  • The organization and functions of the individual hardware components.
  • Data flow and signal processing capabilities for radar systems.
  • The execution of fundamental tradeoffs in the design and development of radar systems.
  • The role of radar systems in military and commercial applications.
  • A survey of current operational radar systems in defense applications at the tactical, strategic, and national levels, and in commercial applications.



Dr. John Santapietro is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Stevens Institute of Technology. For nearly 25 years he was a Principal Sensor Systems Engineer with the MITRE Corporation holding the position of Technical Manager for Army Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR).  He has contributed to a variety of Army ISR programs serving as technical advisor for requirements and Source Selection for programs such as Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) and Enhanced Medium Altitude Airborne Reconnaissance System (EMARSS), the Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A), the Joint STARS Common Ground Station (CGS), and the Tactical Endurance Synthetic Aperture Radar (TESAR). He also served as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the OSD Radar Working Group.  He is heavily engaged in modeling and simulation activities for moving target indicator (MTI) radar, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and other surveillance and imaging sensors.  Before joining MITRE, Dr. Santapietro held technical staff positions with the David Sarnoff Research Center (now Sarnoff Corp.) and Lockheed Electronics Company where he was responsible for the design and development of signal and image processing architectures for various radar, communications and imaging systems.



REGISTRATION: There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course. We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING: If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time. To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.