Capital University of Science & Technology (CUST) Islamabad has successfully conducted a field trial for Pakistan’s first ever Phased Array Radar.
Capital University of Science & Technology (CUST) in Islamabad has successfully conducted a field trial for Pakistan’s first ever Phased Array Radar.
Phased array antenna systems play a central role in our modern lives facilitating greater wireless bandwidths. These radars can help to predict the weather and make air travel safer. The uses of phased array radars extend to various fields from defense to weather to aviation. This type of radar can be specifically helpful for Air Surveillance
The radar which will be used for air surveillance has been pioneered under Controls and Signal Processing Research (CASPR) department of CUST.
Professor Aamer Iqbal Bhatti and his former PhD Ph.D. student, worked on a plan to design and develop a prototype for the PAR. After receiving approval for funding, the professor assembled a team to undertake the project.
Traditional radars use large dish rotating antennas. The new radars, however, have computer-controlled array antenna in which the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered in different directions without moving the antenna.
Calculations have to be precise to one billionth of a second to achieve this feat which is why this is a huge achievement CUST has successfully claimed.
The first field test was conducted at the rooftop of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University in 2011. Despite its success, financial constraints plagued the project. However, Bismillah Electronics and Renzym stayed on despite the problems and the project continued.
The circuits and signal processing modules were ready by 2016 and required testing. The sponsor for the project provided a sound testing team that worked for a whole year with the Professor and his project partners. The work has finally concluded and the project is ready.
The Project team is greatly indebted to the management at CUST, especially, Prof Mansoor Ahmed for giving the project complete facilitation at the campus, according to University.
What is Phased Array Radar?
A phased array is a group of antennas whose effective (summed) radiation pattern can be altered by phasing the signals of the individual elements. By varying the phasing of the different elements, the radiation pattern can be modified to be maximized in given directions
Phased-array radar systems are being used since World War II for military and commercial aviation purposes. These systems use multiple antennas in a two-dimensional array to transmit the same phase-shifted waveform, using the principle of beamforming. Each antenna is equipped with a phase shifter to create constructive and destructive interference to steer the beam in the required direction.
Phased-array radar can be either active or passive. Passive arrays have a receiver antenna array that receives a common external RF source, whereas active arrays use a transmitter array coupled with the receivers.