How many types of radar are there?

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How many types of radar are there?

Posted Date: 2023-09-15

Radio detection and ranging (radar) makes use of mirrored radio waves to detect and decide the gap, angle, and velocity of objects relative to the radar system. A fundamental radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves within the radio or microwave spectrum (these will be pulsed or steady), a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna (usually the identical antenna is used for each transmitting and receiving), and a receiver-processor to investigate the mirrored radio sign. Whereas the expertise foundation of radar is simple, particular implementations meet the wants of varied purposes.

This FAQ evaluations how radar is applied, together with varied sorts of automotive radar, bistatic radar, monostatic and pseudo-monostatic radar, passive radar, phased array radar, and dual-polarized radar by aeroecologists and meteorologists.

Automotive radar will be labeled by operate and by working vary. The Worldwide Telecommunications Union (ITU) defines two purposeful classes of automotive radar techniques:

Class 1: Radar techniques designed to supply consolation capabilities for the driving force equivalent to adaptive cruise management (ACC) and collision avoidance (CA) radar, with measurement ranges as much as 250 meters.

Class 2: Radar for high-resolution safety-related purposes equivalent to blind-spot detection, lane-change help, rear-traffic-crossing-alert, and identification of pedestrians and bicycles close to a car. The vary is decrease than Class 1, with a most of fifty to 100 meters, relying on the applying.

Automotive radars are additionally labeled primarily based on the measurement vary:

  • With a spread of as much as 50 meters, short-range radar normally has a big area of view and excessive decision.
  • Mid-range radar, with a spread as much as 100 meters and a medium area of view.
  • Lengthy-range radar ranges as much as 250 meters, with a slender area of view and medium to low decision.

Automotive radar is additional described in its operate in superior driver help techniques (ADAS) purposes (Determine 1). For instance, nook radar makes use of 4 radar techniques, one on every nook of the car. Nook radar is utilized in ADAS techniques equivalent to flip help, automated emergency braking, and susceptible street consumer (pedestrian) detection. It’s thought-about a mid-range radar (as much as 70 meters), however with a wider area of view, like a typical short-range radar.

How many types of radar are there?
Determine 1: Automotive radar will be labeled in line with its location and use in ADAS techniques. (Picture: Renesas)


Relying on the applying, varied bands of frequency modulated steady wave (FMCW) radar are utilized in automotive techniques. The system transmits a continuing wave modulated over a selected interval giving the transmitted sign a sort of ‘time stamp.’ Many FMCW radars use the Doppler impact to find out the relative price of motion of the goal along with its vary. 3D or 2D positions of the goal will be decided if a number of channels utilizing spatially distributed antennas are included.

Monostatic, bistatic and multistatic
In a traditional monostatic radar system, the transmitter and receiver are collocated. In a bistatic radar, the transmitter and receiver are separated by a distance much like the anticipated goal distance (Determine 2). A system that features a number of spatially distributed monostatic or bistatic radar parts overlaying a standard space is named multistatic radar.

Determine 2: In a bistatic radar, the anticipated distance to the goal is similar, or near, the separation between the transmitter and receiver. (Picture: Wikipedia)

The bistatic angle is the angle subtended between the transmitter, the goal, and the receiver in a bistatic radar. The scale of the bistatic angle can be utilized to categorise radar techniques:

  • When the bistatic angle is zero, the system is a monostatic radar, collating the transmitter and receiver.
  • The system is a pseudo-monostatic radar when the bistatic angle may be very small however not zero. For instance, in some pseudo-monostatic radar techniques, the transmitter and receiver are separated by tens of kilometers for electrical isolation, however the anticipated goal vary is over 1,000 kilometers.
  • The system is a ahead scatter radar when the bistatic angle is sort of 180 levels. The varied radar parts are configured in a fence-like configuration to detect targets passing between transmitters and receivers. Ahead scatter radar can detect stealth plane for the reason that radar cross-section is set solely by the plane’s silhouette seen by the transmitter and isn't affected by stealth coatings or shapes. Ahead scatter radar is tough to implement for the reason that measurements of vary, bearing, and the Doppler impact are very small, and have a tendency towards zero, whatever the goal’s location within the ‘fence.’
  • In all different instances, the system is named bistatic radar.

Semi-active and passive
Semi-active radar is a type of bistatic radar utilized in long-range missile techniques. In a semi-active radar, the missile acts as a passive detector of a radar sign originating from an exterior supply.

Passive radar is a type of bistatic or multistatic radar that depends on non-radar transmitters of alternative. The system measures the time distinction between the arrival of the sign coming immediately from the transmitter and the mirrored sign from the goal to find out the bistatic vary of the goal. Passive radars may measure the bistatic Doppler shift of the mirrored sign and its arrival course, which can be utilized to calculate the goal’s location, course, and pace. Some passive radars use a number of transmitters or receivers to make unbiased measurements and considerably enhance the accuracy of the monitoring estimates.

Phased array radar
Phased array radar makes use of a computer-controlled array of electronically scanned antennas to create a radar beam that may be steered in particular instructions with out bodily transferring the antennas. Developed for protection techniques, phased array radars are used at the moment in ADAS techniques, satellite tv for pc communications, and different purposes to assist autonomous driving, climate monitoring, air site visitors management, and communications.

Antenna expertise that helps small, light-weight, and low-cost arrays is crucial in increasing part array expertise into non-military purposes. A phased array radar can make use of superior waveforms and beamforming to carry out varied capabilities. Within the case of naval vessels, one phased array radar system can be utilized for floor detection and monitoring, air detection and monitoring of plane and missiles, and missile uplink in a semi-active radar structure. And a single phased array radar can deal with lots of of those capabilities concurrently. Earlier than utilizing naval phased array radars, every operate required a devoted radar system. Massive ground-based phased array radars are used to identify the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles hundreds of miles away and may establish and observe lots of of targets directly (Determine 3).

Determine 3: Phased array radar vary on this building-sized UHF design is used to identify ICBM launches in Europe and Asia. (Picture: BC Methods)

Radar for climate and birds
Twin-polarized radars emit indicators alongside two planes of polarization enabling these techniques to find out the approximate dimension, form, and number of objects throughout the environment. When the WSR-88D dual-polarized radar system utilized by the climate service transmits pulses of radio waves, the system retains observe of the part of every pulse. The system makes use of the Doppler impact to measure the course and pace of a goal’s motion. The WSR-88D radars have a mean transmitted energy of about 450kW. Every pulse is 1.57 x 10-6 lengthy with a 998.43 x 10-6 listening interval between pulses. For an hour, the cumulative transmission time is simply about 7 seconds, with the listening part lasting about 59 minutes and 53 seconds.

As well as, the WSR-88D mechanically raises the scanning angle increased and better because it rotates. The scanning sample and pace fluctuate relying on the climate. In precipitation mode, the WSR-88D completes an entire set of sweeps each 4 to six minutes, producing a three-dimensional image of the environment across the radar website.

A brand new operate enabled by dual-polarization is the calculation of the ‘correlation coefficient’ that measures the diploma to which the vertical and horizontal polarizations fluctuate synchronously over time. Meteorological phenomena have massive correlation coefficients. For instance, the correlation coefficient of rain clouds is shut to 1. Flying birds have decrease correlation coefficients. Actions of raindrops are typically comparatively easy. Actions of flying birds are extra complicated, flapping wings versus coasting, and birds have a wider vary of sizes than raindrops in a cloud.

Aeroecologists use the low radar correlation coefficients of birds to filter out weather-related knowledge and estimate the variety of birds in a flight utilizing the energy of the radar return sign (Determine 4). Radar sign energy is measured by the reflectivity issue (Z) on a logarithmic scale (dB Z). The upper the dB Z, the upper the hen density. Nevertheless, a excessive dB Z doesn't readily correlate to the variety of birds.

Determine 4: Twin-polarized radar screens the climate and tracks hen migrations. (Picture: BirdCast)

A number of small birds can have the identical dB Z as a single massive hen, and it’s not unusual for a number of species and totally different sizes of migratory birds to be flying by means of an space concurrently. To estimate the variety of birds, aeroecologists use an assumed common hen dimension. The assumed common dimension relies on ground-based observers’ visible sightings of hen migrations in actual time.

Radar is a extremely versatile expertise applied in a spread of lively and passive architectures. Initially developed for army makes use of, radar is presently deployed in varied purposes, together with a number of sorts of automotive radars, air site visitors management techniques, communications, and monitoring the climate and migrating birds.


Bistatic radar, Wikipedia
Doppler radar, Wikipedia
How do radar ornithologists take away climate techniques from clouds of birds?, BirdCast
Radar transceivers: a key part for ADAS & Autonomous Driving, Renesas