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with known radar cross section (RCS) at a given range, the

radar range equation (sometimes referred to as simply the

radar equation) is used.

The received signal power, Pr, depends on a variety of

system parameters as well as the targets RCS and range.

forms for different applications (e.g., point target vs. extended target).

forms, it may be easier to simply derive the equation, as the

derivation is fairly straightforward.

1

Radar equation

Received signal power, Pr, is an essential radar parameter.

The radar range equation, used to determine Pr, involves

the geometry and system parameters.

Bistatic geometry

2

Radar equation

The power density incident on the

scatterer, Ss, is

1

Ss Pt G t

2

W m

2

4Rt

Pt is the transmit signal power (W)

Gt is the transmit antennas gain in the direction of the scatterer

Rt is the range from the transmitter to the scatterer (m)

The power intercepted by the scatterer, Prs, is

Prs Ss A rs W

Ars is the scatterers effective area (m2)

The power reradiated by the scatterer, Pts, is

Pts Prs 1 f a W

fa is the fraction of intercepted power absorbed

3

Radar equation

The power density at the

receiver, Sr, is

1

Sr Pts G ts

2

W m 2

4Rr

Gts is the gain of the scatterer in the

direction of the receiver

Rr is the range from the receiver to the scatterer, (m)

The power intercepted by the receiver, Pr, is

Pr Sr Ar W

Ar is the effective area of the receiver aperture, (m2)

Combining the pieces yields

Pr

Pt G t A r

Ars 1 f a G ts W

4 R t R r 2

4

Radar equation

The terms associated with the scatterer may be combined

into a single variable, , the radar scattering cross section

(RCS).

A rs 1 f a G ts m 2

composition as well as on the observation geometry.

For bistatic observations

q0 , f0 ; qs , fs ; p 0 , p s , m 2

where

(q0, f0) = direction of incident power

(qs, fs) = direction of scattered power

(p0, ps) = polarization state of incident

and scattered fields

5

Radar equation

In monostatic radar systems the transmit and receive

antennas are collocated (placed together, side-by-side) such that

q0 = qs, f0 = fs, and Rt = Rr so that the RCS becomes

q, f; p 0 , ps m

2

Pr

Pt G t A r

W

4 R

2 2

Monostatic geometry

6

Radar equation

If the same antenna or identical antennas are used in a

monostatic radar system then

G t G r G and A t A r A

and recognizing the relationship between A and G

2 G 4A

A and G 2

4

we can write

Pt G 2 2 Pt A 2

Pr

4 R

3 4

4 2 R 4 Monostatic geometry

Pt G 2 2 L

Pr

4 3 R 4

where L < 1

7

Radar equation

Extraction of useful information using signal analysis requires

that the signal be discernable from noise, interference, and

clutter.

Noise usually originates inside the receiver itself (e.g.,

receiver noise figure) though may also come from external

sources (e.g., thermal emissions, lightning).

Interference is another coherent, spectrally-narrow emission

that impedes the reception of the desired signal (e.g., a

jammer). [May originate internal or external to radar]

Clutter is unwanted radar echoes that interfere with the

observation of signals from targets of interest.

8

Radar equation

Receiver noise power, PN

PN k T0 B F , W

k is Boltzmanns constant (1.38 10-23 J K-1)

T0 is the absolute temperature (290 K)

B is the receiver bandwidth (Hz)

F is the receiver noise figure

Pt G 2 2

SNR Pr PN

4 3 R 4 k T0 B F

may be expressed in decibels

SNRdB 10 log 10 SNR

Many applications require SNR > 10

9

Radar range equation example

Example

Radar center frequency, f = 9.5 GHz

Transmit power, Pt = 100 kW

Bandwidth, B = 100 MHz

Receiver noise figure, FREC = 2 (F = 3 dB)

Antenna dimensions, 1 m x 1 m (square aperture)

Range to target, R = 20 km (12.5 miles)

Target RCS, = 1 m2 (small aircraft or boat)

Find the Pr , PN , and the SNR

First derive some related radar parameters

Wavelength, = 3.15 cm

Antenna gain, G = 4A/2 (assuming l = 1)

A = 1 m2 and Rff = 127 m

G = 12,600 or 41 dBi

10

Radar range equation example

Pt G 2 2

Find Pr Pr

Solve in dB

4 3 R 4

Pr(dBm) = Pt(dBm) + 2G(dBi) + 2 (dB) + (dBsm) 3 4(dB) 4 R(dB)

Pt(dBm) = 80 G(dBi) = 41 (dB) = -15 (dBsm) = 0

4(dB) = 11 R(dB) = 43

Pr(dBm) = -73 dBm or 50 pW

Find PN PN k T0 B F W

Solve in dB

PN(dBm) = kT0(dBm) + B(dB) + F(dB)

kT0(dBm) = -174 B(dB) = 80 F(dB) = 3

PN(dBm) = -91 dBm or 0.8 pW

11

Radar range equation example

Several options are available to improve the SNR.

Increase the transmitter power, Pt

Changing Pt from 100 kW to 200 kW improves the SNR by 3 dB

Increase the antenna aperture area, A, and gain, G

Changing A from 1 m2 to 2 m2 improves the SNR by 6 dB

Decrease the range, R, to the target

Changing R from 20 km to 10 km improves the SNR by 12 dB

Decrease the receiver noise figure, F

Changing F from 2 to 1 improves the SNR by 3 dB

Decrease the receiver bandwidth, B

Changing B from 100 MHz to 50 MHz improves the SNR by 3 dB

only if the received signal power remains constant

Change the operating frequency, f, and wavelength,

Changing f from 9.5 GHz to 4.75 GHz degrades the SNR by 6 dB

Changing f from 9.5 GHz to 19 GHz improves SNR by 6 dB

12

More radar range equation examples

Radar range equation example #1 Radar range equation example #2 Radar range equation example #3

parameter units value parameter units value parameter units value

Constants Constants Constants

c m/s 3.00E+08 c m/s 3.00E+08 c m/s 3.00E+08

k J/K 1.38E-23 k J/K 1.38E-23 k J/K 1.38E-23

Target parameters Target parameters Target parameters

R m 29 R m 1000 R m 1000

m2 1 m2 1 m2 1

Radar paramters Radar paramters Radar paramters

f GHz 1 f GHz 1 f GHz 10

Pt W 10 Pt W 10 Pt W 10

loss -- 0.5 loss -- 0.5 loss -- 0.5

Lx m 0.3 Lx m 0.3 Lx m 0.3

Ly m 0.3 Ly m 0.3 Ly m 0.3

T K 290 T K 290 T K 290

B Hz 3.00E+06 B Hz 3.00E+06 B Hz 3.00E+06

F -- 2 F -- 2 F -- 2

Derived parameters Derived parameters Derived parameters

m 0.3 m 0.3 m 0.03

G -- 12.6 G -- 12.6 G -- 1256.6

Rff m 0.6 Rff m 0.6 Rff m 6.0

DR m 50 DR m 50 DR m 50

Ae m2 0.09 Ae m2 0.09 Ae m2 0.09

linear dB linear dB linear dB

parameter units value value units parameter units value value units parameter units value value units

Radar received signal power Radar received signal power Radar received signal power

Pt W 10 40 dBm Pt W 10 40 dBm Pt W 10 40 dBm

Gt -- 12.6 11.0 dBi Gt -- 12.6 11.0 dBi Gt -- 1256.6 31.0 dBi

Gr -- 12.6 11.0 dBi Gr -- 12.6 11.0 dBi Gr -- 1256.6 31.0 dBi

2 m2 9.00E-02 -10.5 dBsm 2 m2 9.00E-02 -10.5 dBsm 2 m2 9.00E-04 -30.5 dBsm

m2 1 0.0 dBsm m2 1 0.0 dBsm m2 1 0.0 dBsm

loss -- 0.5 -3.0 dB loss -- 0.5 -3.0 dB loss -- 0.5 -3.0 dB

(4)-3 -- 5.04E-04 -33.0 dB (4)-3 -- 5.04E-04 -33.0 dB (4)-3 -- 5.04E-04 -33.0 dB

R-4 m4 1.41387E-06 -58.5 dB R-4 m4 1E-12 -120.0 dB R-4 m4 1E-12 -120.0 dB

Pr W 5.06303E-08 -43.0 dBm Pr W 3.58099E-14 -104.5 dBm Pr W 3.58099E-12 -84.5 dBm

Sr W/m2 5.06303E-08 72.8 dBu Sr W/m2 3.58099E-14 11.3 dBu Sr W/m2 3.58099E-12 31.3 dBu

Received noise power Received noise power Received noise power

PN W 2.40E-14 -106.2 dBm PN W 2.40E-14 -106.2 dBm PN W 2.40E-14 -106.2 dBm

Received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) Received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) Received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)

SNR -- 2.11E+06 63.2 dB SNR -- 1.49E+00 1.7 dB SNR -- 1.49E+02 21.7 dB

Range measurement accuracy Range measurement accuracy Range measurement accuracy

dR m 0.024 dR m 28.951 dR m 2.895

13

14

How big must a target be for = 1 m2

15

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