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Author Topic: Getting started on building a radar kit
mmwave
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Posts: 14
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Post Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 3, 2012, 16:11
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Over the last month I have been working to put together an FMCW radar kit. I'm just about ready to put together the first prototypes (still waiting for parts, some of which were delayed by Hurricane Sandy).

The kit will be a shield for the very popular Arduino microcontroller boards. All the RF and analog components will be integrated on to a single board and fit within the footprint of an Arduino (the SMA connectors will protrude form the back).

There are a number of reasons to go with the Arduinio.
0) They are cheap and easy to get (Radio Shack etc.)
1) Lots of people know how to use them (and easy to learn)
2) It allows control of the radar and motorized positioners in one unit
3) Arbitrary waveforms can be uploaded and used to drive the VCO
4) USB interface is conveniently implemented

This kit will operate in the 5.8 GHz band with ~10 mW output power, and a ~1.5 dB NF LNA. The architecture is a pretty basic FMCW radar with a VCO driven by a DAC (which is driven by the Arduino).

I also plan to sell antennas, probably of the printed Vivaldi or quasi-yagi types.

-Tony Long KC6QHP

http://www.reactancelabs.com
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charvatg
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Posts: 115
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 3, 2012, 16:47
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Fell out of my set when i viewed these photos!

Nice work, i am eager to see this kit come together.

Greg

mmwave
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Posts: 14
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 11, 2012, 17:14
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Making progress...... Just one more component to install and code to finish up.
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charvatg
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 15, 2012, 21:16
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That is really nice!

mmwave
Newbie
Posts: 14
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 19, 2012, 04:54
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For a little fun I tried something with the prototype...

Leo
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Posts: 17
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 19, 2012, 18:47
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This is fun!

charvatg
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Posts: 115
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 27, 2012, 07:16
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Very cool!

mmwave
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Posts: 14
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: November 27, 2012, 15:04
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Update: We've discovered a few glitches in the prototype boards and have developed fixes for them. Some work is underway to further improve performance, but we have taken some doppler recordings and processed them with the Python scripts posted elsewhere on this forum. The chirp generation using the Arduino/DAC works well and produces a nice triangle wave. Next up is to produce some SAR images with this board. Within the next couple weeks I will submit the rev 2 board layout which hopefully will be the final rev before production.

-Tony

charvatg
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Posts: 115
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: December 1, 2012, 09:48
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Keep us posted!

mmwave
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Posts: 14
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Post Re: Getting started on building a radar kit
on: December 3, 2012, 03:18
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Here's the latest Doppler image, processed using the Python scripts located elsewhere in this forum. The top 5 curves are cars going away from me, and the bottom two are cars coming towards me.

Tomorrow one of these units is going to Leo at UC Davis.

-Tony
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