Radar & ECM Technology

November 16, 2022 Megan Stamy


In today’s highly volatile global security environment, technology is being used to help monitor conflicts and embargoes, carry out early warnings, and maintain critical situational awareness necessary to identify threats and support humanitarian efforts. Anritsu electronic test and measurement solutions contribute to critical front-end validation of RF and Optical equipment performance and integrity required to maintain accuracy and consistency of monitoring system functions.

Radar Technology

RADAR is an acronym that stands for Radio Detection and Ranging. The basic concept is that a pulsed electromagnetic wave of known power and frequency is transmitted in a specific direction where it encounters a target that reflects some portion of the signal back, which is measured by a receiving device. Radars can use Continuous Wave (CW) signals, Synthetic Aperture, Doppler or basic pulses, and a wide variety of other signal waveforms to achieve target identification and tracking. Radar systems have evolved significantly in how they are constructed, the signals used, the information that can be captured, and how this information can be used in different applications. Radar is used in a wide array of both military and civilian applications, including:

  • Surveillance (threat identification and motion detection)
  • Detection and tracking (target identification/pursuit and maritime rescue)
  • Navigation (air traffic control and ground movement collision avoidance)
  • High-resolution imaging (terrain mapping and landing guidance)
  • Weather tracking (storm avoidance and forecasting)
  • Airport Surveillance (aircraft separation and safety of flight)

Currently, there is a new push into “Mode-Agile” radars for use in contested environments as a means of defeating enemy counter radar (jamming) systems. These new systems incorporate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques to assess and react in real-time.

Likewise, scientists and engineers are constantly working on stealth technology. Using various designs and materials, their mission is to make military aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles virtually invisible to radar detection systems. Consequently, military and major aerospace companies maintain radar testing facilities as part of radar performance design engineering and certification. Tests are conducted at these labs to verify that stealth designs are successful in reducing Radar Cross Section (RCS) values to a level that can protect our forces.

In addition to traditional identifying and tracking radars, other utilizations include:

  • Ground Penetration (buried caches or equipment)
  • Ground Surveillance (ground vehicle movements)
  • Doppler Pulsed (weather)
  • Moving Target Indicator (air-to-air intercepts)
  • Pulse Compression (weather)
  • Signal Amplitude and Target Movement

A number of methods are currently being used to make improve the accuracies of radar data, including pulse measurements, narrowband or band-limited methods, triggered methods, and wideband methods. More common measurements include:

  • High-Speed Digitizer Method
  • Point-in-Pulse Measurements
  • Pulse Profile Measurements
  • Pulse-to-Pulse

Discover which Anritsu electronic test equipment is valuable in establishing acceptable RF measurements for radar-based systems prior to deployment and for ongoing sustainment and maintenance.

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