Radar systems were once synonymous with military applications. But with the rise of automotive collision-avoidance/cruise-control radar systems at 60 and 77 GHz, and rear-looking radar systems at 24 GHz, the military no longer has exclusive rights to radar designs. And with the spread of radar technology comes the challenge to test the growing numbers of products. Radar signals, of course, are pulsed waveforms, often with such complications as Doppler shifts, pulse- to-pulse modulation, and even linear frequency modulation (FM), affectionately referred to as "chirp" modulation because of its sonic similarity to the sound of birds chirping.
Fortunately, at least one measurement company has not been resting during this radar renaissance. Agilent Technologies (www.agilent.com) has sponsored a timely White Paper on measuring radar waveforms, "Perfecting Pulsed RF Radar Measurements." which is tucked into each August 2007 issue of Microwaves & RF and also available from the Microwaves & RF website at www.mwrf.com. Written by Agilent's John Barfuss, the White Paper explains the key RF radar measurements and how most of them can be handled by just two instruments: a peak power meter and a properly equipped spectrum analyzer. If you are working on radar electronics, or just curious, don't miss the free education provided by this White Paper, in the August issue of Microwaves & RF.
by Jack Browne, MWRF Technical Director
Editor's Note: For a free copy of Agilent Technologies' new Radar Fundamentals Poster, go to http://www.agilent.com/find/radarposter.