Friday, January 21, 2011

Radar Intro. Also my first substantial blog post.

This IAP I'm taking "Build a Small Radar System Capable of Sensing Range, Doppler, and Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging". The class started two Mondays ago and we received the kit of parts last Friday (the class meets Mondays and Fridays only). I probably should have started documenting the project then, but I'm going to try to synthesize the progress.

Monday's lecture was on history of RADAR (hmm I should write "radar"). They briefly went over the kit and the part that intrigued me was that the same oscillator was used for the transmitting antenna and the local oscillator for the receive antenna. I didn't understand how it was possible to do ranging given that it's not possible to pulse the VCO without being deaf to RF signals. Ahh: pulse compression. More on this another day, maybe? It's not hard.

Friday's lecture was on antenna propagation and probably discussed Smith charts. I, for some reason, thought class started an hour later than it actually did so I missed this part. Incidentally there was one question on Smith charts on the "Extra Class" level (highest level) of the Ham radio exam I took yesterday which I did not pass. I passed the first two levels and should be getting my callsign soon if not already but I don't know because the FCC call sign database has not been working properly much of today. Whoa: end digression.

Actually, end post.

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