Radar principles

Radar Principles

File : 1.69 MB, 204 pages

Navy Electrical and Electronic Training Series – Modul 18

1. Radar Fundamentals
2. Radar Subsystems
3. Radar Indicators and Antennas
4. Radar System Maintenance


The term RADAR is common in today’s everyday language. You probably use it yourself when referring to a method of recording the speed of a moving object. The term Radar is an acronym made up of the words radio detection and ranging. The term is used to refer to electronic equipment that detect the presence, direction, height, and distance of objects by using reflected electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic energy of the frequency used for radar is unaffected by darkness and also penetrates weather to some degree, depending on frequency. It permits radar systems to determine the positions of ships, planes, and land masses that are invisible to the naked eye because of distance, darkness, or weather.
The development of radar into the highly complex systems in use today represents the accumulated developments of many people and nations. The general principles of radar have been known for a long time, but many electronics discoveries were necessary before a useful radar system could be developed.

World War II provided a strong incentive to develop practical radar, and early versions were in use soon after the war began. Radar technology has improved in the years since the war. We now have radar systems that are smaller, more efficient, and better than those early versions. Modern radar systems are used for early detection of surface or air objects and provide extremely accurate information on distance, direction, height, and speed of the objects. Radar is also used to guide missiles to targets and direct the firing of gun systems. Other types of radar provide long-distance surveillance and navigation information.


Any radar system has several major subsystems that perform standard functions. A typical radar system consists of a SYNCHRONIZER (also called the TIMER or TRIGGER GENERATOR), a TRANSMITTER, a DUPLEXER, a RECEIVER, and an INDICATOR. These major subsystems were briefly described in chapter 1. This chapter will describe the operation of the synchronizer, transmitter, duplexer, and receiver of a typical pulse radar system and briefly analyze the circuits used. Chapter 3 will describe typical indicator and antenna subsystems. Because radar systems vary widely in specific design, only a general description of representative circuits is presented in this chapter.


Radar systems require an antenna to both transmit and receive radar energy and an indicator system to display the video information generated. This chapter will briefly describe some commonly used indicators and antenna systems. Antenna systems are described in more detail in NEETS, Module 10, Introduction to Wave Generation, Transmission Lines, and Antennas, and Module 11, Microwave Principles.


The effectiveness of your radar system depends largely upon the care and attention you give it. An improperly adjusted transmitter, for example, can reduce the accuracy of a perfectly aligned receiver; the entire system then becomes essentially useless. Maintenance, therefore, must encompass the entire system for best operation. Because of the complexity of most radar systems, trying to detail step-by-step procedures for specific maintenance actions in this chapter is impractical. However, the basic procedures for some maintenance actions that are common to most radar systems will be discussed. Also, an overview of support systems for radars will be presented. This will include electrical power, dry-air systems, and liquid cooling systems. Finally, safety precautions inherent to radars are listed.

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