THP Semifinalist: A Continuous Wave Radar

There aren’t many Hackaday Prize entries playing around in RF, save for the handful of projects using off the shelf radio modules. That’s a little surprising to us, considering radio is one of the domains where garage-based tinkerers have always been very active. [Luke] is bucking the trend with a FM continuous wave radar, to be used in experiments with autonomous aircraft, altitude finding, and synthetic aperture radar imaging.

[Luke]’s radar operates around 5.8-6 GHz, and is supposed to be an introduction to microwave electronics. It’s an extremely modular system built around a few VCOs, mixers, and amplifiers from Hittite, all connected with coax.

So far, [Luke] has all his modules put together, a great pair of cans for the antennas, everything confirmed as working on his scope, and a lot of commits to his git repo.

You can check out [Luke]’s demo video is available below.

SpaceWrencherThe project featured in this post is a quarterfinalist in The Hackaday Prize.

12 thoughts on “THP Semifinalist: A Continuous Wave Radar

      1. The only other options are rigid coax (basically a tube with a wire in the middle held by spacers) or microstrip line (seen them done on flex PCB, but have no idea on transmission characteristics)…

          1. Well, the guy is in Australia, so the FCC rules don’t apply.

            This is quite iffy issue, because even in the ISM bands you usually cannot transmit willy-nilly. Lot of countries require certification that your equipment conforms to the regulation before you can legally operate it. Which can be complex and expensive affair, even more so when it isn’t an off-the-shelf bought equipment (where the seller/importer has presumably done most of the paperwork already).

            Personally, I wouldn’t touch a radar with a bargepole, because even though I have a HAM license, it doesn’t fall under the permitted modes of operation and the last thing I need is a fine – the state administrations tend to be quite heavy handed on these issues.

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