WHAT IS RADAR? The word ³Radar ³is an acronym derived from the words Radio Detection And Ranging. It refers to the technique of using radio waves to detect the presence of objects in the atmosphere. Radar was designed shortly before World War II. Its primary purpose was to detect the presence of aircraft. Today, radar is used for a wide array of applications, but primarily to detect precipitation and other meteorological events. Radar is an object-detection system that uses electromagnetic waves - specifically radio waves - to identify the range, altitude, direction, or speed of both moving and fixed objects. If you want to walk at night, you can shine a torch in front to see where you're going. The light beam travels out from the torch, reflects off objects in front of you, and bounces into your eyes. Your brain instantly computes what this means: it tells you how far away objects are and makes your body move so you don't trip over things. Radar works in much the same way. The basic idea behind radar is very simple: a signal is transmitted, it bounces off an object and it is later received by some type of receiver. This is like the type of thing that happens when sound echo's off a wall. (Check out the image on the left) However radars don't use sound as a signal. Instead they use certain kinds of electromagnetic waves called radio waves and microwaves. This is where the name RADAR comes from (RAdio Detection And Ranging). Sound is used as a signal to detect objects in devices called SONAR (SOund NAvigation Ranging). Another type of signal used that is relatively new is laser light that is used in devices called LIDAR (you guessed it...LIght Detection And Ranging). Radio waves and microwaves are two types of electromagnetic waves. HISTORY OF RADAR
Just after the antenna is
. and engineers contributed to the development of radar . The name radar comes from the acronym RADAR. Everything starts with the transmitter as it transmits a high power pulse to a switch which then directs the pulse to be transmitted out an antenna. Navy .Several inventors.
A basic radar system is spilt up into a transmitter. antenna. switch. World War II saw more rapid developments in radar technology. processor and some sort of output display. coined in 1940 by the U. receiver. It was the British that were able to utilize it more effectively
HOW DOES IT WORK? The basic principle of operation of primary radar is simple to understand.The first to use radio waves to detect "the presence of distant metallic objects" was Christian Hülsmeyer.The history of radar starts with experiments by Heinrich Hertz in the late 19th century that showed that radio waves were reflected by metallic objects. However. the Soviets and the Americans led to the modern version of radar. Both the British and the Germans were engaged in a race to produce larger and more sophisticated radars. Before the Second World War developments by the British. data recorder. the Germans. the Germans were not able to fully harness it.S. scientists. the French.
generally called the "reflectivity. but radar antennas also typically rotate so they can detect movements over a large area. the stronger the return signal.finished transmitting the pulse. and they travel at the same speed²but their waves have much longer wavelengths and higher frequencies. that is. Radio waves are similar to light. Once the signals are received the switch then transfers control back to the transmitter to transmit another signal. Any received signals from the receiver are then sent to a data recorder for storage on a disk or tape." scatter most of the energy. The larger the target. the targets combines to produce a stronger signal (Figure D). TARGET DETECTION
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Radars create an electromagnetic (EM) pulse that is focused by an antenna." An EM pulse encountering a target is scattered in all directions. The switch may toggle control between the transmitter and the receiver as much as 1000 times per second. the stronger the scattered signal (Figure C). just like light waves.000 miles or 300. but some will be reflected back toward the radar (Figure B). The receiving antenna (normally also the transmitting antenna) gathers backscattered radiation and feeds it to a "receiver. and then transmitted through the atmosphere (Figure A). narrow beam. The radio waves travel outward from the antenna at the speed of light (186. called "targets" or "echoes. Also. the more targets.000 km per second) and keep going until they hit something. Later the data must be processed to be interpreted into something useful which would go on a display." Reflectivity magnitude is related to the number and size of the targets encountered. the switch switches control to the receiver which allows the antenna to receive echoed signals. The radar measures the returned signal. Objects in the path of the transmitted EM pulse.
. They are made up of fluctuating patterns of electrical and magnetic energy. The antenna is usually curved so it focuses the waves into a precise.
The "elevation angle.TARGET LOCATION The radar needs 3 pieces of information to determine the location of a target. 1. The "azimuth angle." the angle of the radar beam with respect to north." the angle of the radar beam with respect to the ground. 2. 3.
. The distance (D) from radar to target.
at "time interval 1" (T1)." the component of target velocity moving toward or away from the radar. then 2D = c*t or D = (c*t)/2. For example." Doppler radars measure the change in "D" from T1 to T2. another pulse returns a target distance "D2. Since the pulse travels to and from the target. If t is the time it takes. At "time interval 2" (T2). and the time interval between T1 and T2. are used to compute target velocity.Distance is determined by measuring the time it takes for the EM pulse to make a round trip from the radar to the target and back using the relation: distance = time (t) * velocity The pulse travels at the speed of light (c). an EM pulse transmitted by the radar is intercepted by a target at distance "D1". can also measure "radial velocity.
TYPES OF RADAR
. like NEXRAD*(next radar generation). the total distance is 2D. These changes. the radar's wavelength. TARGET VELOCITY
geophysical surveys. The system also makes jamming more difficult. ground mapping.. a target can be automatically tracked. Conical scan systems send out a signal slightly to one side of the antenna's boresight . Continuous-wave radar. It is used in aviation (Primary and secondary radar). law enforcement. and thus the general direction of the target relative to the boresight
. resulting in a weaker signal overall (or a flashing one if the rotation is slow enough). Most radars designed since the 1960s are monopulse systems. depending on the types of hardware and software used. Bistatic radar. indicating which direction has a stronger return. and biolo MONOPULSE RADAR: Monopulse radar is an adaptation of conical scanning radar which sends additional information in the radar signal in order to avoid problems caused by rapid changes in signal strength. If the target is to one side. but add one more feature. Instead of broadcasting the signal out of the antenna "as is". This varying signal will reach a maximum when the antenna is rotated so it is aligned in the direction of the target.Radars configurations include Monopulse radar. One problem with this approach is that radar signals often change in amplitude for reasons that have nothing to do with beam position. etc. A target centered on the boresight is always slightly illuminated by the lobe. by looking for this maximum and moving the antenna in that direction. they split the beam into parts and then send the two signals out of the antenna in slightly different directions. weather surveillance. Jamming a conical scanner is also relatively easy. Doppler radar. and then rotating the feed horn to make the lobe (projecting part) rotate around the bore sight line. sea vessels. and provides a strong return. it will be illuminated only when the lobe is pointed in that general direction. When the reflected signals are received they are amplified separately and compared to each other. MONOPULSE BASICS: Monopulse radars are similar in general construction to conical scanning systems.
Passive radar A bistatic or multistatic radar that exploits non-radar transmitters of opportunity is termed a passive radar or passive coherent location system or passive covert radar. detecting targets which pass between the transmitter and receiver. As a result. It is a generalisation of the bistatic radar system. it was very expensive and generally more difficult to maintain BISTATIC RADAR: Bistatic radar is the name given to a radar system which comprises a transmitter and receiver which are separated by a distance that is comparable to the expected target distance. bistatic radars may be designed to operate in a fence-like configuration. This is a special case of bistatic radar. with the bistatic angle near 180 degrees.
. target and receiver (the bistatic angle) is close to zero. but if the angle subtended between transmitter. then they would still be regarded as monostatic or pseudomonostatic. Conversely. Page in 1943 in a Naval Research Laboratory experiment. or multiple receivers and multiple transmitters. or two receivers and one transmitter. a radar in which the transmitter and receiver are collocated is called a monostatic radar SPECIFIC CLASSES OF BISTATIC RADAR: PSEUDO-MONOSTATIC RADAR: Some radar systems may have separate transmit and receive antennas. FORWARD SCATTER RADAR: In some configurations. with one or more receivers processing returns from one or more geographically separated transmitters.Monopulse radar was extremely "high tech" when it was first introduced by Robert M. known as a forward scatter radar. one receiver and two transmitters.for example. Multistatic radar A multistatic radar system is one in which there are at least three components .
So. is the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the waves It is commonly heard when a vehicle sounding a siren approaches. Most modern weather radars use the pulse-doppler technique to examine the motion of precipitation. and it is decreased during the recession.
. sounding satellites. Doppler radars are used in aviation. police speed guns. while these radars use a highly specialized form of doppler radar. and radiology. It does this by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection. it is identical at the instant of passing by. The Doppler effect (or Doppler shift). DOPPLER EFFECT: The emitted signal toward the car is reflected back with a variation of frequency that depend on the speed away/toward the radar (160 km/h). This variation gives direct and highly accurate measurements of the radial component a target's velocity relative to the radar. the term is much broader in its meaning and its applications. the wavelength of the waves is also affected. This is only a component of the real speed (170 km/h). Since with electromagnetic radiation like microwaves frequency is inversely proportional to wavelength. This variation of frequency is maximum when the emitted the wave travel parallel to the motion and diminish when the angle between the beam and the target increase to become null at right angle. The received frequency is increased (compared to the emitted frequency) during the approach. the relative difference in velocity between a source and an observer is what gives rise to the doppler effect.DOPPLER RADAR: A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. Thus. then analyzing how the frequency of the returned signal has been altered by the object's motion. but it is only a part of the processing of their data. Thus the Doppler shift gives only the radial component of the motion. passes and recedes from an observer. named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who proposed it in 1842.
to catch speeding violators.U. There are three ways of producing the Doppler effect. or Frequency modulated (FM). or a group of targets. Use in Tactical Air Control Both airborne and shipboard radar is a major link in an operational system. The return frequencies are shifted away from the transmitted frequency based on the Doppler effect if they are moving.
CONTINUOUS-WAVE RADAR: Continuous-wave radar system is a radar system where a known stable frequency continuous wave radio energy is transmitted and then received from any reflecting objects. Further experience made it possible to determine whether the target was a battleship. Practice and experience in reading the scope soon showed that radar could do much more. Continuous wave (CW). It directs fighter aircraft to a favorable position for intercepting enemy aircraft. you could determine their course and speed. The air control officer can determine the number of fighters so they can
.S. By plotting successive positions of enemy ships and aircraft. aircraft. The main advantage of the CW radars is that they are not pulsed and simple to manufacture CW radars also have a disadvantage because they cannot measure range The military uses continuous-wave radar to guide semi-active radar homing (SARH) air-to-air missiles
APPLICATIONS OF RADAR TECHNOLOGY: Radar was originally devised as an instrument to detect approaching ships or aircraft. Army soldier using a radar gun. destroyer. Also. an application of Doppler radar. an aircraft's altitude could be determined. Radars may be Coherent pulsed (CP).
Ship position could be fixed by the bearing and distance information of land target on radar screen. adjust the gain and tuning until background noise just dimly visible 5. equipped with high-powered radars. In port or in harbour. adjust the brightness to rotation trace just dimly appeared 4. Airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. depend on the coastal or open sea 3. adjust the anti-clutter sea/rain slightly if the sea clutters/rain clutters obstructs the area at sea (never over suppress the clutters completely as it reduce the target signal too) RADAR GUN:
. Navigation Marine radar systems can provide very useful radar navigation information for navigators onboard ships. Vessel traffic service radar systems are used to monitor and regulate ship movements in busy waters. before turning on the radar.successfully attack and destroy the enemy. turn the radar to ON 3.m.based radar . turn the range scale to 3 or 6 n. The Aviation Electronics Technician (AT) rating maintains AEW equipment. Operation procedures 1. ensure no person standing near by the radar scanner and then switch the radar (OFF/STANDY/ON) to STANDBY (wait up to 4 minutes for the radars magnetron to warm up) 2. USE IN SHIPS: Marine Radars are x-band or s-band radar to provide bearing and distance of ships and land targets in vicinity from own ship (radar scanner) for collision avoidance and navigation at sea. is used in tactical air control. These aircraft extend the range of air control radar by operating in areas outside the range of the ship board or land.
etc. radio transmitters and receivers. They can also track the fastest vehicle in the selected radar beam. able to track vehicles approaching and receding both in front of and behind the patrol vehicle. However. Traffic radar comes in many models.A radar gun or speed gun is a small Doppler radar unit used to detect the speed of objects. and forecast its future position and intensity. Hand held units are mostly battery powered. vehiclemounted or static. It relies on the Doppler effect applied to a radar beam to measure the speed of objects at which it is pointed. Precipitation that occurs but doesn¶t reach the ground. hail. WEATHER RADAR: Since the 1940s. snow.
. is a type of radar used to locate precipitation. automatic door openers. A radar gun does not return information regarding the object's position. front or rear. Radar cannot detect the height of precipitation. Stationary radar is mounted in police vehicles. runners or other moving objects in sports. Radar guns may be hand-held. There are hand held. when the police vehicle is in motion. as the name implies. meteorologists have used Doppler radar to detect storm intensity and movement. and may have one or two antennae. calculate its motion. and for the most part are used as stationary speed enforcement tools. Both types of data can be analyzed to determine the structure of storms and their potential to cause severe weather. Moving radar is employed. called virga.). A weather radar. as well as pitched baseballs. is detected and recorded by radar. especially trucks and automobiles for the purpose of speed limit enforcement. the radar frequency is different when it comes back. then receive the same signal back as it bounces off the objects. estimate its type (rain. There are limits to using radar to predict and detect weather and precipitation. These are employed when the vehicle is parked. stationary and moving radar instruments. predict precipitation amounts and help give weather warnings and alerts. They send out a radio signal. and from that difference the radar gun can calculate object speed. Radar guns are. or weather surveillance radar (WSR). capable of detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to intensity of the precipitation. These devices are very sophisticated. in their most simple form. Modern weather radars are mostly pulse-Doppler radars.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR):
. the remaining charged atom is called an ion The ion gas can have a different temperature from the electron gas The electron/ion mixture is known as a plasma and is usually in motion (like our wind) So incoherent scatter radar can also measure wind speed
A ground-penetrating radargram collected on an historic cemetery in Alabama. The curvature of the Earth plays a part in limiting weather detection by radar.Mountains.In this case the echo is scattered The echo will contain a range of frequencies close to the transmitter frequency As the temperature increases. the electrons move faster So radar can act like a thermometer and measure the temperature of the ionosphere
Radar Can Measure Wind Speed : Radar Can Measure Wind Speed When an electron is removed from an atom. planes and insects. Doppler radar also looses its ability to detect precipitation with increased distance. USA. Sea and ground clutter occur when radar waves reflect off the ocean or birds. Radar Can Measure Pressure : Radar Can Measure Pressure The strength of the echo received from the ionosphere measures the number of electrons able to scatter radio waves or what we call electron pressure
Radar Can Measure Temperature : Radar Can Measure Temperature Some electrons are moving due to heat . Hyperbolic reflections indicate the presence of reflectors buried beneath the surface. possibly associated with human burials. trees or buildings can block the radar waves.
pavements and structures. and ice. This non-destructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum. The microwave energy scattered back to the spacecraft is measured. unexploded ordnance. The transmitting antenna radiates short pulses of the high-frequency (usually polarized) radio waves into the ground. It can detect objects. microwave pulses are transmitted by an antenna towards the earth surface. groundwater. soils. changes in material. Higher frequencies do not penetrate as far as lower frequencies. The SAR makes use of the radar principle to form an image by utilizing the time delay of the backscattered signals. the penetration depth also decreases. Military uses include detection of mines. ice.
SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR (SAR): What is Synthetic Aperture Radar? In synthetic aperture radar (SAR). fresh water. The depth range of GPR is limited by the electrical conductivity of the ground. soil. causing a loss in signal strength at depth. GPR is used to study bedrock. GPR uses transmitting and receiving antennas or only one containing both functions. When the wave hits a buried object or a boundary with different dielectric condielectric constants instead of acoustic impedances. As conductivity increases. GPR can be used in a variety of media. Ground penetrating radar survey of an archaeological site in Jordan. and voids and cracks. and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. Ground-penetrating radar antennas are generally in contact with the ground for the strongest signal strength. This is because the electromagnetic energy is more quickly dissipated into heat. GPR air launched antennas can be used above the ground. and tunnels.
.Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. but give better resolution. including rock. however.
an antenna mounted on an airplane takes many captures per second as the plane travels. Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) is a form of radar in which multiple radar images are processed to yield higher-resolution images In a typical SAR application. SAR requires that echo captures be taken at multiple antenna positions. and military systems require broad-area imaging at high resolutions. For example.IT IS USED IN Environmental monitoring. Multiple captures can be obtained by moving a single antenna to different locations
. Many times the imagery must be acquired in inclement weather or during night as well as day. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) provides such a capability. earth-resource mapping. a single radar antenna is attached to the side of an aircraft or spacecraft. A single pulse from the antenna will be rather broad (several degrees) because diffraction requires a large antenna to produce a narrow beam The advantage of a single moving antenna is that it can be easily placed in any number of positions to provide any number of monostatic waveforms. The more captures taken (at different antenna locations) the more reliable the target characterization.
A radar pulse is transmitted from the antenna to the ground
The radar pulse is scattered by the ground targets back to the antenna. which is generated by all electronic components. SAR capitalises on the motion of the space craft to emulate a large antenna (about 4 km for the ERS SAR) from the small antenna (10 m on the ERS satellite) it actually carries on board. i. Interference
. the ground resolution is limited by the size of the microwave beam sent out from the antenna.
In real aperture radar imaging. the recorded signal strength depends on the microwave energy backscattered from the ground targets inside this footprint. The microwave beam sent out by the antenna illuminates an area on the ground (known as the antenna's "footprint").e. The beam width is inversely proportional to the size of the antenna. the narrower the beam. the longer the antenna. Finer details on the ground can be resolved by using a narrower beam. Increasing the length of the antenna will decrease the width of the footprint. To overcome this limitation. In radar imaging.
Beam path and range Echo heights above ground The radar beam would follow a linear path in vacuum but it really follows a somewhat curved Noise Signal noise is an internal source of random variations in the signal. It is not feasible for a spacecraft to carry a very long antenna which is required for high resolution imaging of the earth surface.
Radar systems must overcome unwanted signals in order to focus only on the actual targets of interest. both passive and active. since it is initiated by elements outside the radar and in general unrelated to the radar signals. These unwanted signals may originate from internal and external sources. *************************************************************
. Jamming Radar jamming refers to radio frequency signals originating from sources outside the radar. transmitting in the radar's frequency and thereby masking targets of interest. Jamming is considered an active interference source.