UCLA Extension

Introduction to Airborne Radar

This introductory course provides a systems view of airborne radar. Basic formulas are presented along with an explanation of their significance to the design process. Radar performance calculation is described as a means of evaluating key trade-offs. Practical examples are presented with simulations that help to justify the reasons for design choices.

Complete Details

The course briefly touches on most of the important issues in the broad subject area of airborne radar, including:

  • Hardware units (antenna, receiver, etc.)
  • Waveform design (choice of radio frequency and pulse repetition frequency)
  • Environmental effects (radar clutter, atmospheric effects)
  • Radar applications (ground mapping, target tracking, weapon delivery)
  • Simulation of radar performance

The course is intended for:

  • Managers and technologists seeking a broad overview of airborne radar
  • Entry-level engineers who have little or no background in radar
  • Subsystem designers who are looking for a system-level view of radar

Benefits include:

  • An up-to-date view of the key issues involved with airborne radar design
  • System-level insight without lengthy mathematical derivations
  • Discussion of recent developments, such as low observable and low probability of intercept design

Course Materials

The text, Introduction to Airborne Radar, George Stimson (SciTech Publishing, 1998), and lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. These notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Jay Virts, MS, Senior Engineering Manager, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, California.. Mr. Virts is an expert in the areas of signal processing, radar clutter and performance simulation, algorithm design, flight test data analysis, radar mode design, and development and test of demonstration radar systems. He is currently manager of two activities within Raytheon and is responsible for $23M of government contracts.

Mr. Virts holds a BS in Mathematics from Santa Clara University, MS in Mathematics from UCLA, MSEE in Signal Processing from the University of Southern California, and EEE in Communication Theory from the University of Southern California. He has been an instructor in the Raytheon Learning Institute for more than 10 years, teaching the Introduction to Airborne Radar course.

Course Program

  • Introduction to Radar. Basic Radar Functions and Terminology. Examples and Applications of Radar. Range and Range Rate Calculation. Basic Radar Block Diagram and Hardware Units.
  • Accuracy vs. Resolution. Principles of Electromagnetic Radiation. Refraction vs. Reflection. Decibels. Gain/Loss. Choice of Radio Frequency. Atmospheric and Backscatter Effects. Radar Antennas.
  • PRI/PRF. Range Gating. Detailed Radar Block Diagram. Peak vs. Average Power. Radar Range Equation and the Detection Process. Police Radar Example.
  • Introduction to Phasors. I/Q decomposition. Range and Doppler Ambiguities. FM ranging. Pulse Compression.
  • The Doppler Effect. The Pulsed Spectrum. Translation to Video Frequencies.
  • Digital Filters and the FFT. Additional Information on Range and Doppler Ambiguities. Introduction to Radar Clutter.
  • Effect of PRF upon Clutter. PRF Selection. Discussion of Low and Medium PRFs. PFA and PD calculation. I/Q Gain and Phase Imbalance. A/D Conversion.
  • High PRF. Introduction to Target Tracking. Low Observable Radar Design Considerations.
  • Radar Detection Figures of Merit
  • Radar Signal and Data Processing
  • Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Special Topics, including a Detailed Discussion of Radar Clutter

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815