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Phased array radar systems engineering 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, phased array radar systems greatly reduce size, weight and power (SWaP), making it an attractive technology for defense applications such as radar, communications, space, and electronic warfare.

Additionally, a phased array antenna is typically a computer-controlled array of antennas.

Normally, when a signal is broadcast from multiple antennas there is a risk of an interference pattern that can cause a reduction in signal strength. For radars, this can lead to a misrepresentation of the radar target’s size, as well as false positives or negatives.

However, an interference pattern can be used to improve a radar’s accuracy. By carefully controlling several beams of radio waves, a constructive interference pattern can be created which boosts the signal strength.

Without question, digital beamforming technology is growing in popularity with its ability to support many beams simultaneously offering a very flexible system. 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.

Today, phased array radar systems engineering is branching out beyond the military into civilian applications. That’s mainly due to innovations in IC design and processes. Phased array technology is now used in autonomous driving, weather tracking, air traffic control and others.

Phased array technology also allows for flat-panel antenna designs. These greatly reduce size, weight and cost, and are among the leading innovations that are expanding phased array applications beyond the aerospace and defense markets.

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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