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Explanation of Radar Signal Processing and Tracking System | Real Time System

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Radar Signal ProcessingRadar Signal Processing and Tracking System,
Real Time System Notes | Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Radar Signal Processing and Tracking
Radar system consists of

  • An input/output subsystem that samples and digitizes the echo signal from radar and places the sampled value in shared memory.
  • An array of digital signal processor to process sample values.
  • Data processors to analyze the produced data which interface with display system and generate commands to control radar and select parameters to be used by signal processors in the next cycle of data collection and analysis.

Radar Signal Processing and Tracking System
Signal Processing

  • To search for objects of interest in it’s coverage area, the radar scans the area by pointing its antenna in one direction at a time.
  • It sends a short radio frequency pulse and collects and examines the echo signal returning to antenna.
  • Echo signal consists only background noise, if transmitted pulse doesn’t hit any object.
  • If there is a reflective object at distance ‘x’ from antenna, the echo signal reflected returns approximately 2x/c seconds after transmitted pulse and is stronger than when there is no reflected signal.
  • If object is moving, the frequency of reflected signal is no longer equal to the transmitted pulse. Therefore by examining the strength and frequency spectrum of the echo signal, the system can determine where there are objects in a direction.
  • Specifically the system divides the time into small disjoint intervals. Each interval corresponds to a distance range and length of interval is equal to range resolution divided by c.
  • The digital sampled values are placed in a buffer called bin.
  • Sampled values in bin are inputs used by a digital signal processor to produce outputs of the form
    x(k) = \sum_{i=1}^{n}a(k,i)y(i)
  • Based on the characteristic of the transform, the signal processor decides whether there is an object in that distance range. If there is one, it generates a track record containing the position and velocity of the object and places the record in the shared memory.


  • Strong noise and man-made interference can lead the signal processing and detection process to wrong conclusion about presence of objects.
  • An application that examines all track records to sort out false returns from real ones and update the trajectory is called tracker.
  • Tracker assigns each measured value to a trajectory. If the trajectory is an existing one, measured value is assigned to it gives current position and velocity of object moving along trajectory. If new, measured value gives position and velocity of possible new object.
  • Trackers run one or more data processors which communicate with signal processor via the shared memory.
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