DIY Coffee-Can Radar
"Build a Small Radar System Capable of Sensing Range, Doppler, and Synthetic
Aperture Radar Imaging." That is the title of a course offered by the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. It is a 3-week class in the design,
fabrication, and test of a laptop-based radar sensor capable of measuring Doppler, range,
and forming synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. Teams of three students will receive
a radar kit and will attend a total of 5 sessions spanning topics from the fundamentals
of radar to SAR imaging. A final SAR imaging contest will test your ability to form a
SAR image of a target scene of your choice from around campus; the most detailed and
most creative image wins. However, it is not necessary to attend the class to build the
radar because all of the material is available online for garage (or basement, attic,
closet, etc.) experimenters.
David Schneider did just that and wrote an article about his
experience for the November 2012 edition of IEEE's Spectrum magazine. Trekkies
will appreciate the reference therein.