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Radar Expert Explains How To Cheaply Add Radar To Your Own Hardware Projects 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-tracking-your-personal-airfleet dept.
szczys writes "Gregory Charvat has been playing with and teaching others about entry-level radar concepts for a long time. Now he's sat down and explained how you can do it yourself inexpensively. He says, 'One enabling technology for Radar was the cathode ray tube (CRT), which facilitated a method of measuring the time delay between transmitted and received waveforms. ... Today, rather than using a CRT we can use high-speed digitizers. This offers the obvious advantage of applying signal processing to acquired data so that only moving targets are detected, tracking can be achieved, imaging, and a multitude of other modes. But for hobbyist and consumer projects we do not need this much power, range, and can not afford the cost. We need the ability to sense like a long range radar (detecting only moving targets, imaging, Doppler, signatures, etc) but at short ranges and at low costs.' Charvat then proceeds to walk through several options for the amatuer hardware hacker."
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Radar Expert Explains How To Cheaply Add Radar To Your Own Hardware Projects

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What tech do auto makers use for the proximity detectors in car bumpers?

    Seems like that'd be an inexpensive, short range detector, even if it's not radar.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      I have a family member with a Ford Focus. This has reversing sensors that warn you if you are about to reverse into something.

      Whatever tech those are using seems like it would be good to try out.

      • I have a family member with a Ford Focus. This has reversing sensors that warn you if you are about to reverse into something.

        Whatever tech those are using seems like it would be good to try out.

        At least "trickle down" works in automotive tech. First I learned about them was when I tried to back a rented Lincoln into a wall and the alert went off. Thankfully.

        Now there's backup cameras in the new Honda Civic.

    • by stox (131684) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @07:38PM (#46340283) Homepage

      Utrasonic SONAR is used for parking proximity parking sensors.

      • FTFA:

        Additional impulse radar systems are being manufactured in quantity for automotive applications (blind spot detection, parking aids, etc), but details on these are not easy to find unless you directly engage the manufacturers. Manufacturers of automotive radar equipment include, Delphi, Continental, TRW, Bosch, Denso, and Autoliv.

        Some vehicles may use sonar. The article claims that at least come manufacturers are using a form of radar.

        • by _merlin (160982)

          Radar tends to be used for the collision avoidance features rather than the parking assistance stuff.

    • What tech do auto makers use for the proximity detectors in car bumpers?

      Seems like that'd be an inexpensive, short range detector, even if it's not radar.

      Ultrasonic. They were selling experimenter units at Radio Shack when I was in there last month. For general use, not specifically for automotive mounting. I think in retail, they're about $30.

    • Those are probably ultrasound. Ultrasound distance sensors are available at Radio Shack and included in Lego Mindstorm kits.

    • by anubi (640541)

      What tech do auto makers use for the proximity detectors in car bumpers?

      How about these? [aliexpress.com]

    • by drkim (1559875) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:34AM (#46343631)

      What tech do auto makers use for the proximity detectors in car bumpers?

      Ultrasonics. Just like the old Polaroid Camera auto-focus.

      http://www.northerntool.com/sh... [northerntool.com]

  • by mpoulton (689851) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @07:35PM (#46340249)
    The new single-chip radar solutions and FMCW radar modules are definitely much easier to use and more capable than what was available just a few years ago, but DIY radar is nothing new. Amateur radio operators have been playing with radar guns and door sensors for decades, and doing some pretty interesting things with them. I remember reading photocopies of articles from QST from the 1970's that explained how to hack door sensors to make speed detectors, as well as using them for long-distance voice and video transmission with parabolic reflectors. People have also been playing with marine radar, which is considerably more expensive but still affordable for a dedicated experimenter.
  • What is a CRT? It it pronounced like Kurt, or CeeeArrrrrTeeee? Do they come with any cool apps? I do like the idea of my own ray tube though. Sounds pretty up and coming. Anybody know of any upcoming IPOs investing in this tech?
    • by tjb6 (3421769)

      It's like a CRO, but considered more general purpose, more entertaining, but less useful to the tech head.
      Which is funny, as the average CRT just hums gently, while a CROw is pretty noises (Vaaark!)

    • What is a CRT? It it pronounced like Kurt, or CeeeArrrrrTeeee? Do they come with any cool apps? I do like the idea of my own ray tube though. Sounds pretty up and coming. Anybody know of any upcoming IPOs investing in this tech?

      If only there was a way a person could use Google to do a quick search to find out what a CRT is. If that were possible, then you wouldnt even need to spend all that time and effort to post a question on a Slashdot article in the vain hope somebody will tell you the answer.

      If only there was a way to use Google, everybodys life would be so much easier.

      Maybe some day a smart person will figure out a way to do this, but unfortunately it looks like you will have to wait for your answer. Sucks to be you.

    • by Mr Z (6791)

      It refers to the C Run Time, aka. the C standard library. Back in the day, only C programmers were able to operate radar. Nowadays, they can monitor radar with jQuery and node.js.

  • Now if I can only find a shark...

  • For anybody who knows... could a radar system partly or completely side-step the Doppler Dilemma ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org] ) by doing DSS or FHSS and cycling through a sequence of different carrier frequencies from pulse to pulse?

    • by tuxicle (996538)

      It's easier than that - use two blocks of different repetition frequencies (which gives two different Nyquist velocities), get two velocity readings. Some basic number theory will get you the right answer.

      Using two different carriers is going to alter the Nyquist velocity by such a small amount that it's not worth doing. Unless the carriers are very widely separated (go from say, 2.7 GHz to 5.8 GHz) but this requires a wideband (and necessarily low gain) antenna.

      That's not to say that FHSS is not used b

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