Radar systems are invaluable tools/weapons for every modern military force, whether on the ground or in the air. Given the complexity of modern radar, though, they are not easy to test or maintain.
However, a leading high-frequency test-and-measurement instrument maker, Rohde & Schwarz, has compiled various ways to evaluate radars, using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) test equipment that might already be sitting in a laboratory for high-frequency component testing. The company has collected its radar target generation guidance in a new, 41-page application note, “Real-time Radar Target Generation,” available for free download from the company’s website.
Standard RF/microwave test equipment can be used to perform elaborator measurements on many different radar systems. Rather than building one-of-a-kind test systems with fiber-optic delay lines and digital RF memories (DRFMs) to simulate delays in reflections from radar targets, the application note shows how to use “standard” test equipment to generate multiple radar target echoes for testing radar systems to 40 GHz. The approach combines two of the company’s workhorse microwave test instruments—the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S SMW vector signal generator—to accomplish the RTG and radar system testing.
The application note provides performance information on the different COTS test equipment used for the radar testing, along with a bibliography that contains additional information sources for the types of tests used to evaluate military and automotive radar systems as well as frequency-agile radar systems. In addition, the application note provides example instrument settings for performing different radar tests, including coexistence testing of airport radars with Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communications networks.