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Design, System Integration and Testing of Radar Systems

Review of the latest advances and techniques in radar.

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This article discusses some of the fundamental research and development challenges in both the digital and RF/millimeter wave domains (such as waveform generation, receiver algorithms and transmit/receive front ends) and addresses current and future directions in design, system integration and test.

Radar applications are becoming more diverse and commercialization is accelerating due to significant advances in digital and RF/microwave technologies. Today, there are numerous radar applications from traditional defense and surveillance to automotive radar for driver assistance to biomedical radar for imaging, monitoring and treatment. For all of these applications, the competitive environment demands rapid cycles of design, system integration, prototyping and testing.

An emerging area of development in cellular communication systems, for example, is focused on the issue of localization for handsets. Due to the FCC’s E911 initiative in 2004, accurate localization techniques for use in emergency calls and mobile applications have been researched extensively. One of the techniques employs time difference of arrival (TDoA) from multiple nearby base stations to obtain accurate location information. Many of the principles used in passive radar systems are applied to this application as well. The challenge is that the localization algorithms must work with RF front ends designed with requirements and capabilities that are very different from radar systems. An LTE standard compliant front end has limited resources for signal processing and variations in operating environment such as indoor and outdoor environments.

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