Build a Small Radar System
Date: TBD 2016 | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
Application Deadline »
Are you interested in learning about radar by building and testing your own imaging radar system?
MIT Professional Education is offering a course in the design, fabrication, and testing of a laptop-based radar sensor capable of measuring Doppler and range and forming synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. Lectures will be presented on the topics of applied electromagnetics, antennas, RF design, analog circuits, and digital signal processing while simultaneously building your own radar system and performing field experiments. Each participant 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 how to develop radar systems or SAR imaging, use radar technology, or make components or sub-systems.
During the course you will bring your radar kit into the field and perform experiments such as measuring the speed of passing cars or plotting the range of moving targets. A SAR imaging competition will test your ability to form a SAR image of a target scene of your choice from around campus.
Each participant will receive a radar kit designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff and a course pack.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (60%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (15%)
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 and aperture.
- Understand pulse compression and SAR imaging.
- Design and build a small radar system.
- Acquire and process Doppler vs. time radar plots in the field.
- Acquire and process range vs. time radar plots in the field.
- Form SAR imagery of urban terrain.
Who Should Attend
This course is targeted for engineers and scientists who plan to design radars; use radar systems in a product or as the final product; work on radar systems, components, or subsystems; or are interested in using radar systems for observation of physical phenomena. Participants will learn how radar systems work by attending lectures, building their own radar set, and acquiring radar 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 radar and SAR imaging works
- Defense industry or government supervisors 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 bachelorís 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 participant is required to bring a laptop (with a stereo-audio input) with MATLAB because this will be used for data acquisition and signal processing.
Session 1--1 hour: Radar Basics (Lecture)
Session 2--1 hour: Modular RF Design (Lecture)
Session 3--1.5 hours: Antennas (Lecture)
Session 4--1.5 hours: Radar Kit Technical Explanation (Lecture)
Session 5--1 hour: Q & A (Discussion)
Session 6--3 hours: Radar Kit Fabrication Instructions (Lecture and Lab)
Session 7--1 hour: Doppler Experiment Example (Lecture)
Session 8--3 hours: Doppler Experiment (Lab)
Session 9--3 hours: Pulse Compression and add-to kit (Lecture and Lab)
Session 10--1 hour: Ranging Experiment Example (Lecture)
Session 11--3 hours: Ranging Experiment (Lab)
Session 12--1.5 hours: SAR Imaging (Lecture)
Session 13--0.5 hour: SAR Imaging add-to kit (Lecture)
Session 14--1 hour: SAR Imaging Experiment Example (Lecture)
Session 15--3 hours: SAR Imaging Experiment (Lab)
Session 16--3 hours: SAR Imaging Experiment continued (Lab)
Session 17--1 hour: SAR Imaging Results & Competition (Lecture and Discussion)
Course schedule, registration times, Special Events
Registration is Monday morning, 8:30 - 9:00 am.
Class runs 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 am - 3:30 pm on Friday.
Please note that laptops are required for this course. The operating system must be Windows 7 or later, Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Participants are required to have MATLAB installed prior to attending the course: minimum 2009a; 2011a or later preferred. A 30-day trial version of MATLAB is freely available at https://www.mathworks.com/programs/trials/trial_request.html. Participants are required to download and install Audacity from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ prior to attending the course. Participants are also expected to install a Griffin iMic into the USB port of their laptop. The Griffin iMic is provided as part of the radar kit. No driver is required for the Griffin iMic. All MATLAB functions will be provided on a CD.
Professor, university of puerto rico mayaguez
"I learned many new concepts during the course and the presenters were very helpful and excellent."
field applications engineer, analog devices, inc.
"The explanation of the radar theories and the hands-on building and testing of our radar systems really helped me get a better understanding of everything. Also, the course instructors were very knowledgeable (and entertaining!!)"
principal engineer, infineon technologies
"Somewhere between INCREDIBLE and FANTASTIC."
ABOUT THE Lecturers
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. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003 and 2006, all in electrical engineering. Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 2006, 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 Technology Group. He is a member of the IEEE and the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.
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. 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. His 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. Alan J. Fenn
Alan J. Fenn is a Senior Staff Member in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems and Technology Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He has conducted extensive research in the area of adaptive phased array antennas and electromagnetic systems for radar and communications. He joined Lincoln Laboratory in 1981, and from 1982 to 1991 was a member of the Space Radar Technology Group, where his primary research was in adaptive phased-array antenna design and testing. From 1992 to 1999, he was Assistant Group Leader in the RF Technology Group, managing programs involving measurements of atmospheric effects on satellite communications. From 1978 to 1981, he was a Senior Engineer in the Antenna Systems Design/Analysis Group in the RF Systems Department at Martin Marietta Aerospace, Denver, Colorado.
Fenn was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2000 for his contributions to the theory and practice of adaptive phased-array antennas. He was Technical Program Co-Chair of the 2001 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Symposium. He has served as an associate editor in the area of adaptive antennas for the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. He served as Technical Program Chair for the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Phased Array Systems and Technology.
In 1990, Fenn was a co-recipient of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society’s H.A. Wheeler Applications Prize Paper Award. He also received the IEEE/URSI-sponsored 1994 International Symposium on Antennas (JINA 94) award. He is an author of numerous articles and patents, and is the author of three books on antennas and electromagnetic systems. Recently, he developed an MIT OpenCourseWare online lecture series entitled “Adaptive Antennas and Phased Arrays.” He has a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois–Chicago and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University, all in electrical engineering.
Mr. Kenneth Kolodziej
Ken Kolodziej is an Associate Member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts. He received his B.E. and M.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 2007. Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 2010, Kolodziej has conducted research on RF and microwave circuits, including antenna, radar and communication systems. He is currently working in the RF Technology group, designing compact transceivers and RF cancellation techniques for simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) applications. Kolodziej is also a member of IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques, and Antennas and Propagation Societies.
Mr. John Meklenburg
John W. Meklenburg is an Associate Member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Since joining Lincoln Laboratory’s Airborne Radar Systems and Techniques group in 2011, Meklenburg has contributed to the development of signal processing algorithms, simulations, and hardware for ISR radar systems. Recently, his work has been focused on development of a simulation environment for Electronic Warfare analysis.
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 Ph.D. 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.
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. He has published more than twenty-five technical journal and conference papers, including two that were chosen as Best Student Paper. O'Donoughue is a member of several IEEE societies, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu.
Dr. Bradley Perry
Bradley T. Perry received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees 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. Perry is currently working in the areas of microwave circuit and antenna design with the RF 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 for simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) applications.
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. He has presented work at numerous IEEE AP-S and AMTA symposiums and published articles in a number of refereed journals. Perry is currently serving as the Student Programs Chair for the 2016 IEEE Phased Array Systems and Technology Symposium.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Links & Resources
- Chips that can steer light
- 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
- G. W. Stimson, Introduction to Airborne Radar, 2nd ed. SciTech, 1998.
Generally page through this book and read specifically Chapters 1, 4-6, 9, 14, 31
- Chapters 1-2 in M. L. Skolnik, Introduction to Radar Systems, 3rd ed. McGraw Hill, 2001.