Radar Signal Generator

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"We achieved low power consumption with a lightweight and robust design using NI’s innovative, low-phase noise and signal purity synthesizer, QuickSyn."

- Levon Grigoryan, 10X Engineering LLC

The Challenge:
Designing and developing a portable, easily maintained, high-functional radar signal generator for laboratory and field experimentation.

The Solution:
Designing powerful and cost-effective hardware based on the QuickSyn standalone synthesizer from NI.

Author(s):
Levon Grigoryan - 10X Engineering LLC
Davit Zargaryan - Find this author in the NI Developer Community

About 10X Engineering

Founded in 2013, 10X Engineering LLC is an NI Silver Alliance partner (RF and Wireless specialty) with the knowledge and experience to deliver innovative engineering solutions for RF products (units, devices, components), quality and line testing, custom-designed ATE system assembly, verification, and development. Our offering includes solutions for a variety of industrial sectors, such as RF software defined radio, radiolocation, spectrum monitoring, and more. Our procedures ensure that every received request is followed, including project technical and software functional requirements clarification, RF measurement methodology selection, and hardware configurations. If needed, we take responsibility to prove a concept and demonstrate the flexibility and reliability of our solution.

Overview

The range resolution of a pulsed radar system is limited fundamentally by the bandwidth of the transmitted pulse. We can achieve a wide bandwidth with a short-duration pulse. However, the shorter the pulse, the lower the transmitted energy and the poorer the radiometric resolution. We can use the radar signal generation system for radar receiver testing, development, research, maintenance, and educational purposes. The system supports a variety of signal generation with precise control over output power, amplitude envelope, and modulation. The high compatibility with external systems is guaranteed due to the flexible hardware and software combination. The radar signal generator includes non-interconnected components, an ultra-low phase noise frequency synthesizer, and a waveform generator. Each component can operate itself as a separate hardware. The possibility of external synchronization, triggering, CW, and pulsed signal generation makes it a comfortable device for radar-associated component and device testing. In a wide range of applications, devices under test must be characterized by using pulsed signals instead of CW signals, so the developed device fully covers the above requirements.

The portable system proposed includes a touch (antivandal sensor) panel for user comfort and to avoid using the keyboard and mouse. The system can be GPS synchronized where the timing markers can be used as a trigger for signal generation, carrier frequency hopping, and more.

Technical Parameters

  • Frequency range: up to 20 GHz
  • Output power: 10 dBm
  • Wide instantaneous bandwidth
  • Supported modulation: frequency/amplitude/phase modulation/pulse modulation
  • Generated waveform type:
     CW
     LFM (sawtooth, triangle)
     Pulsed CW
     Pulsed LFM
     BPSK, burst
     FMCW
     FMICW
  • Waveforms parameters pulse duration, PRI, duty cycle, and more are user programmable
  • Trigger exporting and importing

Any custom signal conditioning (high output power, more channels, phase shifters, and more), software functional is possible. For more technical information and support, please contact us.

Conclusion

We achieved low power consumption with a lightweight and robust design using NI’s innovative, low-phase noise and signal purity synthesizer, QuickSyn. We could achieve more flexibility and functionality in radar signal generation processes with the user-friendly interface based on LabVIEW.

 

Author Information:
Levon Grigoryan
10X Engineering LLC
info@10x.am

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