Low cost passive radar through software defined radio

Ryan, M. J. (2016) Low cost passive radar through software defined radio. [USQ Project]

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Abstract

Passive radars utilise existing terrestrial radio signals, such as those produced by radio or television stations, to track objects within their range. This project aims to determine the suitability of low cost USB TV tuners as hardware receivers for a Software Defined Radio (SDR) based passive radar receiver. Subsequently determining its effectiveness in producing inverse synthetic aperture radar images using data collected from Digital Television signals. Since the initial identification of passive radar, Militaries the world over have been using it as a part of electronic warfare. The evolution of SDR has enabled greater access to the technologies required to implement passive radar, with the greatest limitation being the cost of the required hardware. The availability of low cost hardware was therefore investigated to determine its suitability and subsequently the availability of passive radar to a wider audience.

Research was conducted into the available SDR receivers, and comparison of specifications was made against the low cost receiver used in the project. A functional hardware platform based around the Realtek RTL2832U chipset has been developed to determine its suitability as a low cost receiver verifying its ability to coherently receive radio signals for target identification. A complex ambiguity function was implemented to interpret sampled data windows, with the output of these windows to be compared to the requirements for an inverse synthetic aperture radar input, thus determining the suitability of the device. Interpretation of the received data has identified that although the hardware is capable, a real time implementation of data processing is not yet possible, impeding the ability to determine the suitability of the receiver as an inverse synthetic aperture receiver. The results of testing show that the hardware is capable of receiving and producing radar images, however due to the bandwidth of DVB-T signals , and the bandwidth limitations inherent in RTL-SDR dongles, they have proven not to be suitable for DVB-T based inverse synthetic aperture radar receivers.


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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Electrical & Electronic Engineering project
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Supervisors: Maxwell, Andrew; Price, Liam
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2017 22:50
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2017 22:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: terrestrial radio signals; passive radar; software defined radio
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090602 Control Systems, Robotics and Automation
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31475

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