Interferometric techniques using Software Defined Radars

Open Access
Nagarmat, Tejas
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 20, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Julio Urbina, Thesis Advisor
  • Software Defined Radar
  • Interferometry
The incoherent scatter technique for ionospheric research has proven its ability to measure most of the parameters of interest that define the ionosphere. Penn State has been developing advanced cost effective instruments and technologies for future meteor radars to study the basic properties of the global meteor flux, such as average mass, velocity and chemical composition. Cross-correlative interferometric techniques not only allow us to accurately determine the trajectory and the speed of meteors, but also help in overcoming the geophysical clutter observed at these altitudes. The Applied Signal Processing and Instrumentation Research Laboratory (ASPIRL) at Penn State has developed a state-of-the art radar instrumentation, the Penn State University Software Defined Radar (PSUSDR), by developing a generalized instrumentation core that can be customized using specialized output stage hardware using low cost field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The use of open source software tools and a generalized object oriented software framework make this system a promising proposition for all future radar research. In this work, I propose the implementation of general post processing interferometric techniques for PSUSDR and the specific modifications to suit the needs of the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar (PFISR) facility, Alaska. The instrument design concepts and some of the emerging technologies developed for this meteor radar are also discussed followed by simulations and analysis for the same.