Design and performance of an ultra-wideband stepped-frequency radar with precise frequency control for landmine and IED detection

Brian R. Phelan, Kelly D. Sherbondy, Kenneth I. Ranney, Ram Mohan Narayanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has developed an impulse-based vehicle-mounted forward-looking ultra- wideband (UWB) radar for imaging buried landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). However, there is no control of the radiated spectrum in this system. As part of ARL's Partnerships in Research Transition (PIRT) program, the above deficiency is addressed by the design of a Stepped-Frequency Radar (SFR) which allows for precise control over the radiated spectrum, while still maintaining an effective ultra-wide bandwidth. The SFR utilizes a frequency synthesizer which can be configured to excise prohibited and interfering frequency bands and also implement frequency-hopping capabilities. The SFR is designed to be a forward-looking ground- penetrating (FLGPR) Radar utilizing a uniform linear array of sixteen (16) Vivaldi notch receive antennas and two (2) Quad-ridge horn transmit antennas. While a preliminary SFR consisting of four (4) receive channels has been designed, this paper describes major improvements to the system, and an analysis of expected system performance. The 4-channel system will be used to validate the SFR design which will eventually be augmented in to the full 16-channel system. The SFR has an operating frequency band which ranges from 300 - 2000 MHz, and a minimum frequency step-size of 1 MHz. The radar system is capable of illuminating range swaths that have maximum extents of 30 to 150 meters (programmable). The transmitter has the ability to produce approximately -2 dBm/MHz average power over the entire operating frequency range. The SFR will be used to determine the practicality of detecting and classifying buried and concealed landmines and IEDs from safe stand-off distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadar Sensor Technology XVIII
ISBN (Print)9781628410143
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
EventRadar Sensor Technology XVIII - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: May 5 2014May 7 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherRadar Sensor Technology XVIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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