Radar Systems Fundamentals

Course length:

3 Days



Course dates

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This three-day course introduces the student to the fundamentals of radar systems engineering. The course begins by describing how radar sensors perform critical measurements and the limitation of those measurements. The radar range equation in its many forms is derived, and examples of its applications to different situations are demonstrated. The generation and reception of radar signals is explained through a holistic rather than piecemeal discussion of the radar transmitter, antenna, receiver and signal processing. The course wraps up with a explanation of radar detection and tracking of targets in noise and clutter. The course is valuable to engineers and scientists who are entering the field or as a review for employees who want a system level overview. A comprehensive set of notes and references will be provided to all attendees. Students will also receive Matlab scripts that they can use to perform radar system performance assessments.

What You Will Learn:

  • How radars measure target range, bearing and velocity.
  • How the radar range equation is used to estimate radar system performance including received power, target SNR and maximum detection range.
  • System design and external factors driving radar system performance including transmitter power, antenna gain, pulse duration, system bandwidth, target RCS, and RF propagation.

Course Outline:

  1. Radar Measurements. Target ranging, target bearing, target size estimation, radar range resolution, range rate, Doppler velocity, and radar line-of-sight horizon.
  2. Radar Range Equation. Description of factors affecting radar detection performance; system design choices such transmit power, antenna, signal frequency, and system bandwidth; external factors including target reflectivity, clutter, atmospheric attenuation and RF signal propagation; use of radar range equation for estimating receive power, target signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and maximum detection range.
  3. Target and Clutter Reflectivity. Target radar cross section (RCS), Swerling model for fluctuating targets, volume and surface clutter, and ground and ocean clutter models.
  4. Propagation of RF Signals. Free space propagation, atmospheric attenuation, ducting, and significance of RF transmit frequency.
  5. Radar Transmitter/Antenna/Receiver.Antenna concepts, phased array antennas, radar signal generation, RF signal heterodyning (upconversion and downconversion), signal amplification, RF receiver components, dynamic range, and system (cascade) noise figure.
  6. Radar Detection. Probability Density Functions (PDFs), Target and Noise PDFs, Probability of Detection, False Alarm Rate (FAR), constant FAR (CFAR) threshold, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
  7. Radar Tracking. Range and angle measurement errors, tracking, Alpha-Beta trackers, Kalman Filters, and track formation and gating.


Dr. Jack Lum is currently a Radar and Electronics Warfare engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. During his 17 years at JHU/APL, he has led and authored performance analyses of multiple Navy radar systems including the AN/APS-147, AN/APS-153 and the AN/SPS-74. Prior to JHU/APL, he worked at the Raytheon Corporation on ballistic missile defense. He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He has over 12 years of radar systems engineering experience that includes expertise in system performance modeling, signal processing, test & evaluation, and target RCS modeling; 10 years of experience prototyping and integrating high-speed radar and EW processing and recording systems; and 5 years of Electronic Warfare (EW) application development.


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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.