Build a Small Phased Array Radar Sensor
Date: TBD | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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Are you interested in learning about phased array radar systems by building and testing your own?
MIT Professional Education is offering a unique course in the design, fabrication, and testing of a laptop-based, time-division multiplexed, digital phased array radar sensor capable of ground moving target imaging (GMTI). Lectures will be presented on the topics of applied electromagnetics, antennas, RF design, analog circuits, radar system modeling, and digital signal processing while at the same time you build your own phased array radar system and perform field experiments. Each student will receive a radar kit designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff and a course pack.
This course will appeal to those who want to learn array-based radar systems engineering or digital beamforming, use radar technology in a product or experiment, or make components or sub-systems.
During the course you will bring your radar kit into the field and perform experiments including range time intensity (RTI) plots, digital beamforming, and GMTI imaging of an urban target scene.
Each student will receive a radar kit designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff and a course pack.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (50%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (25%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (34%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (33%)
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (33%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (50%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (40%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%)
The participants of this course will be able to:
- Understand how radar systems work.
- Understand antennas, aperture, and digital beamforming.
- Understand pulse compression and basic radar signal processing.
- Design and build a small phased array radar system.
- Acquire and process GMTI imagery in the field.
Who Should Attend
This course is targeted for engineers and scientists who plan to design phased array radars or sensors; use phased array radar systems in a product or as the final product; work on phased array radar systems, components, or subsystems; or are interested in using phased array radar systems for observation of physical phenomenon. Students will learn how radar systems work by attending lectures, building their own phased array radar, and acquiring data in the field. Those who should attend include:
- Developers of radar systems or components
- Users of radar technology
- Purchasers of radar technology such as automotive and government organizations
- Commercial enterprises seeking to use or add radar technology to their product or develop a radar-based product
- Defense industry or government personnel who want to learn how phased array radar systems work
- Defense industry or government organizations seeking to quickly educate employees
- Unmanned vehicle or robot developers seeking to use radar sensor packages
- Scientists who are interested in using radar technology for the observation of nature
You do not have to be a radar engineer but it helps if you have at least a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or physics and are interested in any of the following: electronics, electromagnetics, signal processing, physics, or amateur radio. It is recommended that you have some familiarity with MATLAB. Each student is required to bring a laptop with the Microsoft Windows operating system installed.
Session 1--1.5 hours: Introduction to the Course and Radar Basics (Lecture)
Session 2--1 hour: Modular RF Design (Lecture)
Session 3--1 hour: Antenna Basics (Lecture)
Session 4--1 hour: System Description and Radar Build Instructions (Lecture)
Session 5--1.5 hours: Radar Construction (Lab)
Session 6--1.5 hours: Radar Construction and Initial Tuning (Lab)
Session 7--1 hour: Pulse Compression and Ranging (Lecture)
Session 8--1 hour: Detection Processing (Lecture)
Session 9--2.5 hours: Ranging Experiment and Radar Debugging (Lab)
Session 10--1.5 hours: Ranging Experiments (Lab)
Session 11--1 hour: Ranging Experiment and Wrap-up (Lab)
Session 12--1 hour: Doppler Processing (Lecture)
Session 13--1 hour: Digital Beamforming (Lecture)
Session 14--1.5 hours: DBF Experiment (Lab)
Session 15--1.5 hours: DBF Experiments and Radar Debugging (Lab)
Session 16--1 hour: DBF Experiments and Radar Debugging (Lab)
Session 17--1 hour: DBF Experiments and Radar Debugging (Lab)
Session 18--2.5 hours: DBF Experiments (Lab)
Session 19--1.5 hours: DBF Experiments (Lab)
Session 20--1 hour: DBF Experiments (Lab)
Session 21--1.5 hours: Imaging Contest and Course Wrap-up
Class runs 9:30 am - 5:30 pm every day except Friday when it ends at 3:30 pm.
Registration is on Monday morning from 8:45 - 9:15 am.
Please note that laptops are required for this course, along with MATLAB (minimum 2009b; Instrument Control Toolbox preferred). OS requirement: Windows 7 or later, or Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Additional recommended software includes: Atmel Studio 6.1 (Optional for firmware modification and development) and Flip (Optional for flashing firmware via USB).
member of technical staff, sandia national labs
"1. Hands-on learning experience, building a physical phased-array radar sensor. 2. Location: Boston! MIT is where all the magic happens. 3. Small class allowed for more attention from instructors."
"Contained material that was useful to those both with and without previous radar experience. Excellent design and documentation of the phased array radar allowed for easy construction and use with minimal technical problems. Very well thought out."
"The course covered the "basics of phased arrays" which aren't exactly "basic" and in addition, delved further into the subject by introducing and employing current state-of-the-art technologies driving the field of radar and sensor-driven array technologies."
"Having hardware on hand. It was amazing. Any radar class anywhere can make you read a textbook and throw lecture notes at you, but having hardware and code and taking data and seeing with my own eyes what types of inputs and OUTPUTS come from a radar system were just incredible."
"In a production environment, a good engineer has a broad knowledge. It is rare to have such an engineer who has a precise understanding of such a broad field as radar. Radar isn't taught in schools so those of us "Radar Engineers" have to learn as we go. This class has changed things for me entirely."
ABOUT THE Lecturers
Mr. Todd Levy
Todd J. Levy received his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2004. He was employed at L-3 Communications and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory prior to joining MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 2011, where he is currently an associate staff member of the Airborne Radar Systems and Techniques group. Throughout his career, Mr. Levy has worked on a wide spectrum of signal processing applications ranging from radio frequency direction finding to decoding intent from biological signals for use in controlling prosthetic limbs. His current research interests are in developing radar detection algorithms.
Professor Michael Watts
Michael Watts is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He received his B.S.E.E. from Tufts (1996) and his S.M. (2001) and Ph.D. (2005) from MIT. From 1996 to 1999, he was a member of the technical staff at Draper Labs, and from 2005 to 2010 he was a member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where he led their silicon microphotonics effort. Michael’s research focuses on electromagnetics, photonics, and optical networks, with particular interest in microphotonic circuits for application in communication networks, high-frequency scenarios, and new sensor modalities. A key example of his work is an ultralow-power, high-bandwidth silicon microphotonic communications platform.
Dr. Nicholas O'Donoughue
Nicholas A. O'Donoughue received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Villanova University, in 2006, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and 2011, respectively, both in Electrical & Computer Engineering. In 2012, he joined the Airborne Radar Systems & Techniques Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His PhD thesis was titled "Stochastic Time Reversal for Radar Detection," and his current research areas at the Laboratory include system analysis and advanced techniques for electronic warfare systems, with a special focus on electronic protection in airborne surveillance radar.
Dr. O'Donoughue is a recipient of the 2006 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, the 2006 Dean Robert D. Lynch Award from the Villanova University Engineering Alumni Society, and the 2006 Computer Engineering Outstanding Student Medallion from Villanova University. Dr. O'Donoughue has published more than twenty-five technical journal and conference papers, including two that were chosen as Best Student Paper. Dr. O'Donoughue is a member of several IEEE societies, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu.
Dr. Shakti Davis
Shakti K. Davis received her B.S. from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces in 1999 and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2002 and 2006, respectively, all in electrical engineering. In 2006 she joined the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and is currently a member of the Airborne Radar Systems and Techniques group. Her research areas at the Laboratory include radar signal processing for moving target detection and classification with a focus on space-time adaptive processing (STAP) and feature-based processing methods.
Dr. Patrick Bell
Patrick J. Bell is a Member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. from the University of Virginia in 2001 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003 and 2006, all in electrical engineering. Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 2006, Dr. Bell has conducted research in microwave circuit design, including power amplifiers for MILSATCOM systems on moving platforms, agile frequency synthesizers, and active wideband phased arrays for airborne electronic warfare systems. He is currently a member of the RF and Quantum Systems Technology Group. Dr. Bell is a member of the IEEE and the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.
Dr. Bradley Perry
Bradley T. Perry received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 2001, 2002, and 2005, respectively. He has been a member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts since 2005. Dr. Perry is currently working in the areas of microwave circuit and antenna design with the RF and Quantum Systems Technology group at the Laboratory. Recent work at the Laboratory has included compact receiver and transmitter designs for ground-based electronic warfare systems and active decoys, along with work on RF cancellation techniques 0for simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) applications.
Dr. Perry is a member of Commission B of URSI and the IEEE Antennas and Propagation and Microwave Theory and Techniques Societies. He served as the Chairman of the Boston section of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society from 2006 through 2008 and continued in the role of Past Chair through 2009. Dr. Perry has presented work at numerous IEEE AP-S and AMTA symposiums and published articles in a number of refereed journals. Dr. Perry is currently serving as the Student Programs Chair for the 2013 IEEE Phased Array Systems and Technology Symposium.
Dr. Jeffrey Herd
Jeffrey S. Herd received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1982, 1983, and 1989, respectively. From 1983 to 1999, he was with the Antenna Technology Branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. From 1992 to 1994, he was a visiting scientist with the Antenna Group of the Institute for High Frequency Physics, German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) in Wessling, Germany.
In 1999, he joined the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he is currently an Associate Group Leader in the RF and Quantum Systems Technology Group. Dr. Herd’s research interests include ultra-wideband phased arrays, multifunction T/R modules, digital sub-array architectures, and wideband digital receivers.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Links & Resources
- Chips that can steer light
- Microchips’ optical future
- Shining brightly
- DIY Phased Array Radar From Pegboard and Wi-Fi Antennas
- Build a Small Radar System Capable of Sensing Range, Doppler, and Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging
Please note that laptops with MATLAB are required for this course.