In the process of developing an upgraded Radar system for one of our contracts, we came across a need for a system that would allow development and testing of software processing algorithms. By leveraging commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and the rapid-prototyping capabilities of our machine shop, we were able to quickly assemble a solid-state X-band radar platform.

Assembly of x-band radar platform

Assembly of x-band radar platform

The system includes a two-axis servo turret for motion control, a high-speed FPGA with broadband ADC/DAC for receive/transmit, and uses USB 3.0 connected computer to process the captured data.

With easy integration with Matlab, various algorithms can be tested in different environments allowing realistic development and testing. Batteries in the case provide several hours of operation for the turret and RF components and the entire system can be carried by one person with easy setup and teardown for operation away from the lab.

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