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.
The radar which will be used for air surveillance has been pioneered under Controls and Signal Processing Research (CASPR) department of CUST.
Radars traditionally sweep the airspace with a narrow beam. However, modern radars have computer-controlled array antenna in which the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered in different directions without moving the antenna. This is why it is being hailed as huge achievement for a local Pakistani university.
Professor Aamer Iqbal Bhatti and his former PhD student from a government organization worked out the plan for designing and developing a prototype for the Phased Array Radar at CUST. The government organization approved the funding and the professor assembled a team to undertake this project.
The Phase Array Radar will help Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy. It will be able to benefit other interested and relevant parties as well.
The first field test was conducted at the rooftop of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University in 2011. The test was successful but it failed to solve the financial problems that plagued the project. Bismillah Electronics and Renzym did not back off on the project 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 good 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.
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.
Uses of Phased Array Radar
Phased array antenna systems will 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.