Detect airplane/UAV using Passive Radar technology

This video and the PDF present a simple way to build a passive radar system (using low cost hardware and free software) to determine the velocity and position of an aircraft . So far not small enough to be mounted on an UAV but maybe one day.


The video (51 min) is the presentation of  Eric Blossom at the 22th Chaos Communication Congress


The PDF of the presentation

Views: 14542

Comment by Nick on June 27, 2011 at 6:30am
What is the cost of something like this?
Comment by Ritchie on June 27, 2011 at 6:44am

Well the system I'm building is a 2.4GHz synthetic aperture radar system with 240MHz just the RF components are $300 and that is a frequency modulated continuous wave radar which is one of the most simple. With an ADC and processing no radar system is worth the metal its made from and doing that is where the size comes in. ADCs like the one I've found (24-bit 384kHz samping) are small enough and accurate enough but processing the massive amount of information is not for AVR chips and unless an airborne algorithm is used it simply would not be of any use.

Simple doppler stuff can be done with relative ease though but even that would require an ARM based setup.

I'd put a conservative estimate of $400 for a complete DIY setup.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on June 27, 2011 at 7:55am


But will it work good enough to be useful for anything than a development kit of itself.

Comment by Otto Leiben on June 27, 2011 at 9:40am


How far along are you on the SAR project? Range and Az 3ft resolution? What range do you expect?

Comment by Ritchie on June 27, 2011 at 10:32am


I expect this version to be less than useless in a UAV context because at 2.4GHz it will create havoc for anything on that frequency while I'm scanning.


I expect results like this because it is that system right down to the MATLAB files. I just hope to get a more compact circuitry built from SMD component rather than the coaxials and then shift frequency so I can shrink it down.

Comment by Amilcar Lucas on June 27, 2011 at 10:35am

Nice ! This looks like a job for FPGAs.

Maybe this will bring FPGAs into DIY UAVs. I love FPGAs and have been programing them for quite some years now. And I know that synthetic aperture radar is one of those applications that is better done in parallel hardware.

Even a small FPGA running at 100MHz can do a couple of GOPs is the application/programer do it correctly.

Comment by Amilcar Lucas on June 27, 2011 at 10:36am
Comment by ssk320 on June 28, 2011 at 6:31am
Ritchie: can you drop me a line? I would like to discuss your project. Suman


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