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Basic Principles Of Operation

RADAR Basic Principles Sections Of RADAR Block Diagram

RADAR Equation
Principles Of Measurement Classification Of RADAR Systems RADAR Applications Conclusion References


RADAR stands for RADIO DETECTION and RANGING. Radio wave is generated, transmitted, reflected, and detected. It uses those radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects.

RADAR is unimpaired by night, fog, clouds, smoke.

RADAR is operated between the frequency 107Hz to 1011Hz It detects and studies far off targets by transmitting a radio or microwave pulses in the direction of the target and observing the reflection of the wave. Before World War II, experiments were performed with electronic systems to find the range of aircraft or other targets by transmitting radio pulses and measuring the time delay in receiving an echo back from the target. During the war, "radio detection and ranging (RADAR)" went through a rapid evolution and became an important weapon and tool. in the conflict, with the opponents developing radars of increasing sophistication -- as well as "electronic intelligence (ELINT)" systems to spot enemy radars and "electronic countermeasures (ECM)" systems to jam them.



1)Reflection of electromagnetic waves:The electromagnetic waves are reflected if they meet an electrically leading surface. If these reflected waves are received again at the place of their origin, then that means an obstacle is in the propagation direction. 2) Electromagnetic energy travels through air at a constant speed, at approximately the speed of light. This constant speed allows the determination of the distance between the reflecting objects (airplanes, ships or cars) and the radar site by measuring the running time of the transmitted pulses.

3) This energy normally travels through space in a straight line, and will vary only slightly because of atmospheric and weather conditions. By using of special radar antennas this energy can be focused into a desired direction. Thus the direction (in azimuth and elevation of the reflecting objects can be measured.
These principles can basically be implemented in a radar system, and allow the determination of the distance, the direction and the height of the reflecting object.



The radar antenna illuminates the target with a microwave signal, which is then reflected and picked up by a receiving device The electrical signal picked up by the receiving antenna is called echo or return.

The radar signal is generated by a powerful transmitter and received by a highly sensitive receiver.
All targets produce a diffuse reflection i.e. it is reflected in a wide number of directions. The reflected signal is also called scattering. Backscatter is the term given to reflections in the opposite direction to the incident rays. Radar signals can be displayed on the traditional plan position indicator (PPI) or other more advanced radar display systems. A PPI has a rotating vector with the radar at the origin, which indicates the pointing direction of the antenna and hence the bearing of targets.


Transmitter The radar transmitter produces the short duration high-power RF pulses of energy that are into space by the antenna. Duplexer The duplexer alternately switches the antenna between the transmitter and receiver so that only one antenna need be used. This switching is necessary because the high-power pulses of the transmitter would destroy the receiver if energy were allowed to enter the receiver. Receiver The receivers amplify and demodulate the received RF-signals. The receiver provides video signals on the output.

Radar Antenna The Antenna transfers the transmitter energy to signals in space with the required distribution and efficiency. This process is applied in an identical way on reception.
Indicator The indicator should present to the observer a continuous, easily understandable, graphic picture of the relative position of radar targets.



Pr = radiated power
Pt = transmitted power Gt = gain of the transmitting antenna Ar = effective aperture (area) of the receiving antenna = radar cross section, or scattering coefficient, of the target F = pattern propagation factor Rt = distance from the transmitter to the target Rr = distance from the target to the receiver. In the common case where the transmitter and the receiver are at the same

location, Rt = Rr and the term Rt Rr can be replaced by R4, where R is the range. This yields:


The distance is determined from the running time of the high-frequency

transmitted signal and the propagation c0.

The actual range of a target from the radar is known as slant range. Slant

range is the line of sight distance between the radar and the object illuminated
While ground range is the horizontal distance between the emitter and its target and its calculation requires knowledge of the target's elevation.

R = (c0 t) /2
c0 = speed of light = 3108 m/s t = measured running time (sec) R = slant range of antenna (meter) The 2 is because the measured time is for a round trip to and from the target. To determine the range, you only want the time to the object, so you take half.


The angular determination of the target is determined by the directivity of the

By measuring the direction in which the antenna is pointing when the echo is

received, both the azimuth and elevation angles from the radar to the object or target can be determined.
The True Bearing (referenced to true north) of a radar target is the angle

between true north and a line pointed directly at the target.

This angle is measured in the horizontal plane and in a clockwise direction

from true north.

Generally Doppler RADARs are used for speed measurement which are

known as speed gun or RADAR gun. Like other types of RADAR, these consist of a radio transmitter and receiver. They send out a radio signal in a narrow beam, then receive the same signal back after it bounces off the target object. Due to a phenomenon called the Doppler effect, if the object is moving toward or away from the gun, the frequency of the reflected radio waves when they come back is different from the transmitted. Whereby the frequency of the returned signal is increased in proportion to the object's speed of approach if the object is approaching, and lowered if the object is receding . The speed of the object is calculated from following equation

c is the speed of light, f is the emitted frequency of the radio waves and f is the difference in frequency between the radio waves that are emitted and those received back by the gun


According to this phenomena, when the source of the waves is moving toward the observer, each successive wave crest is emitted from a position closer to the observer than the previous wave. Therefore each wave takes slightly less time to reach the observer than the previous wave. Therefore the time between the arrival of successive wave crests at the observer is reduced, causing an increase in the frequency. While they are travelling, the distance between successive wave fronts is reduced; so the waves "bunch together". Conversely, if the source of waves is moving away from the observer, each wave is emitted from a position farther from the observer than the previous wave, so the arrival time between successive waves is increased, reducing the frequency. The distance between successive wave fronts is increased, so the waves "spread out". It plays a vital role while determining the velocity of object through RADAR.



The radar antenna illuminates the target with a microwave signal, which is then reflected and picked up by a receiving device. The electrical signal picked up by the receiving antenna is called echo or return. The radar signal is generated by a powerful transmitter and received by a highly sensitive receiver. All targets produce a diffuse reflection i.e. it is reflected in a wide number of directions. Radar signals can be displayed on the traditional plan position indicator (PPI) or other more advanced radar display systems.

The need to detect hostile aircraft led to a vast investment in intellect and

money to develop RADAR If the friendly aircraft is fitted with a transponder (transmitting responder), then it sends a strong signal back as an echo. An active also encoded response signal which is returned to the radar set then is generated in the transponder. This proved very useful for the military in seeing their own aircraft clearly.


CW radar sets transmit a high-frequency signal continuously. The echo signal is received and processed permanently. Speed gauges are very specialized CW-radars. A speed gauge uses the Doppler- frequency for measurement of the speed. The figure shows the speed gauge Traffipax Speedophot produced by ROBOT Visual Systems GmbH . This radar uses a frequency of 24.125 gigahertz. It can measure the speed of the incoming and the outgoing traffic, from the right or left border of the street. The radar can be mounted in a car or on a tripod. The traffic offence can be circumstantiated by a photo camera with high resolution.


The basic concept of weather radar works off of the idea of a reflection of energy. The radar sends out a signal, as seen to the right, and the signal is then reflected back to the radar. The stronger that the reflected signal is, the larger the particle. So the weather is determined by the reflection of the reflected waves.



A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or SAR,

is a coherent mostly airborne or space borne side looking radar system which utilizes the flight path of the platform to simulate an extremely large antenna or aperture electronically, and that generates high-resolution remote sensing imagery. SAR is usually implemented by mounting, on a moving platform such as an aircraft or spacecraft, a single beam-forming antenna from which a target scene is repeatedly illuminated with pulses of radio waves at wavelengths anywhere from a meter down to millimeters. The many echo waveforms received successively at the different antenna positions are coherently detected and stored and then post-processed together to resolve elements in an image of the target region.


Search radars scan a large area with pulses of short radio waves Targeting radars use the same principle but scan a smaller area more often Navigational radars are like search radar, but use short waves that reflect off

hard surfaces. They are used on commercial ships and long-distance commercial aircraft
Mapping radar scans a large regions for remote sensing and geography

Wearable radar which is used to help the visually impaired Air traffic control uses radar to reflect echoes off of aircraft Weather radar uses radar to reflect echoes off of clouds

Weather radars use radio waves with horizontal, dual (horizontal and

vertical), or circular polarization

Some weather radars use the Doppler effect to measure wind speeds RADAR can measure temperature. Some electrons are moving due to heat

which scatters the echo. The echo contains a range of frequencies equal to transmitter frequency.


RADAR has many applications and advantages in modern era, like RADAR provides superior penetration capability through any type of weather condition, and can be used in the day or night time. RADAR uses electromagnetic wave that does not require a medium RADAR can be long range and the wave propagate at the speed of light rather then sound RADAR can be operated in number of ways like stationary mode, moving mode or two directional mode Besides all these advantages, it has few disadvantages like more interference sources, wide beam spread, high cost. But it is still very reliable and flexible in modern technology and most widely used.





E. G. Bowen Radar Days. Taylor & Francis Merrill Ivan Skolnik. Radar handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional Kouemou, Guy (Ed.): Radar Technology. Intec Colin Latham; Anne Stobbs. Radar: A Wartime Miracle. Sutton Pub Ltd Burch, David F., Radar For Mariners, McGraw Hill Swords, Sen S., "Technical History of the Beginnings of Radar", IEE History of Technology Series, Vol. 6, London: Peter Peregrinus