Radar Fundamentals, Imaging, and Advanced Concepts

COURSE NO.: 3000


The course begins with fundamentals (frequency, wavelength); moves rapidly to introduce the radar range equation; and then
provides summaries of radar hardware, antennas, radar cross section, clutter, external noise, detection processing, the ambiguity
function, monopulse, and the accuracy of radar measurements. Following this is a detailed discussion of radar imaging, covering
synthetic aperture radar SAR), inverse SAR, superresolution, and target recognition. Finally, more advanced topics are introduced,
including pulse-Doppler techniques, moving target indication (MTI), space-time adaptive processing (STAP), bistatic radar, low-
probability-of-intercept (LPI) radar, weather radar, and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).


Include the text “Radar Foundations for Imaging and Advanced Concepts” by Roger Sullivan, Ph.D., plus extensive notes.


This material is essential for practicing engineers, whether working directly in radar or in related areas such as communications or
signal processing. Furthermore it will be extremely useful for anyone with a bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, or
mathematics, who wishes to acquire a deeper understanding of one of the most useful applications of these fields – radar.
Graduate students and professors in related fields will also strongly benefit. Although an undergraduate-level understanding of
mathematics (especially calculus) and physics (especially basic electromagnetic theory) is strongly recommended, the course briefly
reviews many basic principles before jumping into more advanced areas.


The course provides a systematic, quantitative description of virtually all topics relevant to modern radar. Examples of actual radars
are frequently cited. The treatment is quantitative but not overwhelming. All new concepts are defined, and all quantitative results
are either derived or referenced. For the serious student, the accompanying textbook provides homework problems for each topic
and a 50-page glossary of radar terminology.


  1. Introduction to Radar.

    Definition of radar; brief history; review of electromagnetic waves; pulses; pulse repetition frequency (PRF); “dB”;
    antenna; radar cross section (RCS); thermal noise; signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); the “Radar Equation”; unambiguous
    range and velocity; monostatic and bistatic/multistatic radar; range gates; radar nomenclature.

  2. Fourier Transforms: bandwidth, Parseval's Theorem, convolution, Nyquist sampling, Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT),
    Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).

  3. Radar Systems.

    Radar hardware: typical block diagram; transmitters; receivers/exciters; analog-to-digital converters; in-phase and
    quadrature (I and Q); noise figure; phase noise; waveguides. Aperture antennas: near and far fields; radiation pattern;
    gain; rectangular and circular apertures. Phased-array antennas: the “visible region”; grating lobes; two-dimensional
    arrays; passive and active arrays.

  4. Interaction of Radar Systems with the External Environment.

    Radar cross section: Simple targets -- flat plate, sphere, cylinder, corner reflector; complex targets; polarization
    scattering matrix. Propagation and clutter: refraction; atmospheric absorption (clear air, rain); multipath; reflectivity
    of land, sea, atmosphere (precipitation). External Noise: atmospheric and galactic.

  5. Elementary Radar Signal Processing.

    Detection of signals in noise and clutter: probabilities of missed detections and false alarms; non-coherent and coherent
    integration; non-fluctuating and fluctuating targets; Swerling cases; binary integration (accumulating “yes-no decisions”);
    targets in clutter. Waveforms: Time and frequency domains; matched filter; radar ambiguity function”; linear-FM pulses;
    pulse-compression; search radar equation. Accuracy of radar measurements.

  6. Angle Measurement.

    Definitions; monopulse; comparison with single-aperture; couplers; glint.

  7. Introduction to Imaging Radar.

    Range-Doppler processing; rotating target, correlation of Doppler and cross-range; inverse synthetic aperture radar
    (ISAR); down-range and cross-range resolution; general 3D ISAR equation; point-spread function (PSF); 2D ISAR; 3D
    ISAR; near-field ISAR; examples of 3D ISAR PSFs; polar-format algorithm (PFA).

  8. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

    Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR); spotlight, stripmap, scanSAR; constant range and Doppler contours; slant and
    ground planes; SAR equations; down-range and cross-range resolution; SAR form of radar equation; SAR image quality
    parameters, multiplicative noise ratio (MNR); PFA and subpatch processing; LFM waveforms in SAR/ISAR—deramp,
    deskew; autofocus; moving targets in SAR; vibrating targets; range-migration algorithm (RMA); object height
    measurement, layover; interferometric SAR (IFSAR); forward-look SAR; foliage penetration (FOPEN).

  9. Super-Resolution and Sidelobe Reduction in SAR Imagery.

    Spectral estimation techniques applied to SAR imagery: periodogram; minimum-variance method (MVM); reduced-
    rank MVM; adaptive sidelobe reduction (ASR); space-variant apodization (SVA); super-SVA; high-definition vector
    imaging (HDVI).

  10. Automatic Target Detection/Recognition (ATD/R) in SAR Imagery.

    Vector representation of target and interference signals; adaptive-matched-filter; ATD/R methods; detection-
    discrimination- classification; feature extraction; model-based classification; confusion matrices.

  11. Airborne Pulse-Doppler Radar.

    Eclipsing, pulse-tagging, PRF jitter/switching; mainlobe and sidelobe clutter; typical clutter pattern for airborne radar;
    advantages of high/medium/low PRF; guard antenna; majors and minors; example of multimode airborne radar.

  12. Moving Target Indication (MTI).

    “Classical” MTI: two and three-pulse cancellers; extension to DFT; Moving Target Imaging (MTIm); FFT as a bank of
    matched filters; minimum detectable velocity; exoclutter and endoclutter processing; multiple beams; Displaced
    Phase-Center Aperture

  13. Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP).

    STAP overview (M pulses, N apertures); representation of target, noise, clutter, jamming; fully-adaptive STAP—theory,
    example results; partially adaptive STAP; STAP and SAR; “hot clutter”.

  14. Electronic Warfare (EW), Bistatic Radar, Low-Probability-of-Intercept Radar (LPIR).

    Electronic Protection (EP): active (jamming), passive; Electronic Attack (EA); Electronic Support (ES); Bistatic Radar:
    definitions, coordinates, SNR, RCS, “pulse-chasing”; LPIR: definitions, simplest case, more general case; Low-Probability
    of Exploitation (LPE) Radar.

  15. Advanced Radar Concepts.

    Weather Radar; Ground-Penetrating Radar.


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