Introduction to Radar (2016)


Course Information

Dates: 15-19 February 2016

Course code: EEE5119Z

Venue: Menzies Seminar Room, 6th Floor, Menzies Building (Upper Campus), University of Cape Town


Course Description

Course Handout: Introduction to Radar 2016
Download Course Handout: Introduction to Radar 2016

The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental principles underlying radar systems and to enable them to understand and apply these principles to generic radar systems. The subject is specifically structured around these aims. On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • describe the main principles underlying radar systems.
  • understand the role of each component of a radar system.
  • use the radar equation to describe the performance of radar systems.
  • understand how target and environmental characteristics affect the choice of system design parameters.
  • describe and assess the relative advantages of different types of radars.


Course Overview

The course covers the areas listed below:

  • Overview of key principles: Radar components and processing, radar system functions, radar types, radar applications
  • Radar range equation: Point target derivation, system noise, SNR, system losses
  • Radar waveforms and ambiguity function: CW, single pulse, pulse soppler, coherent vs incoherent, range estimation and range ambiguities, ghosts, sensing Doppler frequencies – Doppler ambiguities, pulse compression, FMCW, phase coding, other waveforms, eg. passive radar, noise radar, ambiguity function definition and properties
  • Transmitters: Waveform generation, power conversion, mixers, duplexors, RF devices – magnetrons, and travelling wavetubes, synchronisation and timing issues
  • Antennas and phased arrays: Radiation patterns, beamwidth, sidelobes and gain, antennas, phased arrays
  • Propagation, scattering and clutter: Propagation, attenuation, refraction, diffraction, etc., scattering, radar cross-section, target fluctuation, clutter, surface and volume clutter, ground clutter for airborne radar
  • Radar receivers RF aspects: Preamplifiers, down-conversion, limiters, noise figures
  • Radar signal processing: Matched filters, range processing, Doppler processing, Fourier transforms, conventional phase shift beamforming, STAP
  • Detection and the radar equation: Detection principles, statistical detection theory, pulse envelope detector, radar equation, integration, CFAR
  • FMCW radars: Doppler effect, FMCW/Pulse compression, FMCW, Ambiguities
  • Parameter estimation and tracking radars: Key basics of estimation theory, range accuracy, frequency estimation, direction of arrival, tracking radars – lobing and monopulse
  • Synthetic aperture radar: Cross-range resolution, synthetic aperture and resolution, azimuthal chirps, SAR image formation, MoComp.



Piet van GenderenProf Piet van Genderen is now an emeritus professor, having previously been a full professor at the International Research Centre for Telecommunications and Radar of the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.

He has (co-)authored over 200 publications, seven patents and a few books. He has been the general chairman of the European Microwave Week in 2004, and has been chair or member of the technical program committees of many international conferences dedicated to radar.