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Phased array radar systems technology uses an arrangement of antenna elements where the relative phase of each element is varied to steer the radiation pattern or beam.

The beam can be aimed in various directions electronically, overcoming the limited speed and reliability problems of a mechanically steered antenna.

Consequently, it greatly reduces size, weight and power (SWaP), making it an attractive technology for defense applications such as radar, communications, space and electronic warfare.

Digital beamforming has gained traction more recently with its ability to support many beams simultaneously offering a very flexible system. Beamforming allows the radar to scan an area without any mechanical parts physically moving the antenna. It can also produce a pattern of multiple beams, each covering a cross section of the 360° plane.

Additionally, advances in data converter technologies with advanced process nodes have made direct sampling of RF frequencies possible. A variation of this is hybrid beamforming where sub-arrays are created, each having its own signal processing and data converters.

Phased array radar systems were invented for use in military to steer a beam of radio waves quickly across the sky to detect planes and missiles.

Since then, phased array radar technology has become widely used for many non-military applications such as in broadcast engineering where AM broadcast radio stations enhance signal strength in the city of license, while minimizing interference to other areas. 

Phased-array radar systems are growing in popularity and regularly finding new applications with advancements in technology.

An important advantage of a phased-array antenna is that the antenna array controls permit very fast jumps from one target to another (in the order of microseconds), which allows tracking of multiple targets.

Also, the array’s gain within the beam is very high, which leads to improved detection.

Want to know more about phased-array radar systems? Tonex offers Phased-Array Radar Systems Engineering Bootcamp, a 3-day course covering phased array radar principles, latest technological developments, software, system analysis, requirement, architecture, design and operation.

Additionally, Tonex offers another 45 courses in Aerospace & Defense Engineering, including:

Combat Systems Engineering Training (3 days)

Advanced Link 16 Training (3 days) 

DO-178 Training/DO-178C Training/DO-254 Training (4 days)

Applied Systems Engineering for Logisticians (3 days)

Intro to Fiber Optics and Infrared Sensors (3 days)

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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