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Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series (NEETS)
Module 18 - Radar Principles
Chapter 1:  Pages 1-41 through 1-45

Module 18 - Radar Principles

Pages i, 1-1, 1-11, 1-21, 1-31, 1-41, 2-1, 2-11, 2-21, 2-31, 2-41, 3-1, 3-11, 3-21, 4-1, 4-11, 4-21, AI-1, AII-1, Index-1 to 3




NEETS Module, Radar Principles, equation - RF Cafe

The product of PW and PRF is called the DUTY Cycle of a radar system and is the ratio of transmitter time on to time off.

The formula for the peak power (using average power) of a radar system is:

NEETS Module, Radar Principles, equation - RF Cafe

Antenna height and ROTATION SPEED affect radar range. Since high-frequency energy does not normally bend to follow the curvature of the earth, most radar systems cannot detect targets below the Radar HORIZON. The distance to the horizon for a radar system can be determined by the formula:

NEETS Module, Radar Principles, equation - RF Cafe

The slower an antenna rotates, the larger the HITS PER SCAN value. The likelihood that a target will produce a usable echo is also increased.

The bearing to a target may be referenced to true north or to your own ship. Bearing referenced to true north is TRUE BEARING and bearing referenced to your ship is RELATIVE BEARING, as shown in the illustration. The bearing angle is obtained by moving the antenna to the point of maximum signal return.


NEETS Module, Radar Principles, true bearing - RF Cafe


Radar systems that detect only range and bearing are called TWO-DIMENSIONAL (2D) radars. Radars that detect height as well as range and bearing are called THREE-DIMENSIONAL (3D) RadarS.

The target RESOLUTION of a radar system is its ability to distinguish between targets that are very close together.

RANGE RESOLUTION is the ability to distinguish between two or more targets on the same bearing and is primarily dependent on the pulse width of the radar system. The formula for range resolution is:


resolution = PW x 164 yards per microsecond


BEARING RESOLUTION is the ability of a radar to separate targets at the same range but different bearings. The degree of bearing resolution is dependent on beam width and range. The accuracy of radar is largely dependent on resolution.

ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS affect the speed and direction of travel of electromagnetic wavefronts traveling through the air. Under normal conditions, the wavefronts increase uniformly in

speed as altitude increases which causes the travel path to curve downward. The downward curve extends the radar horizon as shown in the illustration. The density of the atmosphere, the presence of water vapor, and temperature changes also directly affect the travel of electromagnetic wavefronts.

NEETS Module, Radar Principles, voer-the-horizon radar - RF Cafe

The major components in a typical PULSE Radar System are shown in the illustration. The Synchronizer supplies the timing signals to coordinate the operation of the entire system. The Transmitter generates electromagnetic energy in short, powerful pulses. The DUPLEXER allows the same antenna to be used to both transmit and receive. The RECEIVER detects and amplifies the return signals. The INDICATOR produces a visual indication of the range and bearing of the echo.


NEETS Module, Radar Principles, basic radar systam block diagram - RF Cafe

SCANNING is the systematic movement of a radar beam while searching for or tracking a target.

STATIONARY-LOBE SCANNING is the simplest type of scanning and is usually used in 2D search radar. Monopulse scanning, used in fire-control radars, employs four signal quantities to accurately track moving targets. The two basic methods of scanning are MECHANICAL and ELECTRONIC.

Radar systems are often divided into operational categories based on energy transmission methods - continuous wave (CW), frequency modulation (FM), and pulse modulation (PM).

The CONTINUOUS WAVE (CW) method transmits a constant frequency and detects moving targets by detecting the change in frequency caused by electromagnetic energy reflecting from a moving target. This change in frequency is called the DOPPLER SHIFT or DOPPLER EFFECT.

In the Frequency MODULATION (FM) method, a signal that constantly changes in frequency around a fixed reference is used to detect stationary objects.

The PULSE-MODULATION (PM) METHOD uses short pulses of energy and relatively long listening times to accurately determine target range. Since this method does not depend on signal frequency or target motion, it has an advantage over CW and FM methods. It is the most common type of radar.

Radar systems are also classified by function. SEARCH Radar continuously scans a volume of space and provides initial detection of all targets. TRACK Radar provides continuous range, bearing, and elevation data on one or more specific targets. Most radar systems are variations of these two types.


Answers to Questions Q1. and Q44.

A1. Horizontal plane.

A2. Range.

A3. Approximately the speed of light (162,000 nautical miles per second).

A4. 12.36 microseconds.

A5. Pulse width.

A6. Frequency.

A7.  NEETS Module, Radar Principles, equation - RF Cafe

A8. Average power.

A9. Duty cycle.

A10. Relative bearing.

A11. Three-dimensional.

A12. Frequency or phase.

A13. Target resolution.

A14. Beam width and range.

A15. Speed increases.

A16. Temperature inversion.

A17. Synchronizer.

A18. High-voltage pulse from the modulator.

A19. Duplexer.

A20. Single lobe.

A21. The reflected signals decrease in strength.

A22. Mechanical and electronic.

A23. Nutation.

A24. Frequency.

A25. Velocity.


A26. Fast-moving targets.

A27. Range.

A28. Travel time.

A29. Stationary.

A30. Pulse modulation.

A31. Pulse-Doppler.

A32. Track radar.

A33. Frequency modulated (FM).

A34. 360 degrees.

A35. Radar horizon.

A36. Wide vertically, narrow horizontally.

A37. 2D and 3D.

A38. Range and bearing.

A39. Increased maximum range.

A40. Higher operating frequency.

A41. a narrow circular beam.

A42. Acquisition.

A43. Very narrow.

A44. Capture beam.


NEETS Modules
- Matter, Energy, and Direct Current
- Alternating Current and Transformers
- Circuit Protection, Control, and Measurement
- Electrical Conductors, Wiring Techniques, and Schematic Reading
- Generators and Motors
- Electronic Emission, Tubes, and Power Supplies
- Solid-State Devices and Power Supplies
- Amplifiers
- Wave-Generation and Wave-Shaping Circuits
- Wave Propagation, Transmission Lines, and Antennas
- Microwave Principles
- Modulation Principles
- Introduction to Number Systems and Logic Circuits
- - Introduction to Microelectronics
- Principles of Synchros, Servos, and Gyros
- Introduction to Test Equipment
- Radio-Frequency Communications Principles
- Radar Principles
- The Technician's Handbook, Master Glossary
- Test Methods and Practices
- Introduction to Digital Computers
- Magnetic Recording
- Introduction to Fiber Optics
Note: Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series (NEETS) content is U.S. Navy property in the public domain.
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