Course is closed
Lead Instructor(s)
On Campus
Course Length
5 Days
Course Fee
2.9 CEUs
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Are you interested in learning about radar by building and testing your own imaging radar system? MIT Professional Education is offering a course in the design, fabrication, and testing of a laptop-based radar sensor capable of measuring Doppler and range and forming synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. Lectures will be presented on the topics of applied electromagnetics, antennas, RF design, analog circuits, and digital signal processing while simultaneously building your own radar system and performing field experiments. Each participant will receive a radar kit designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff and a course pack.

This course will appeal to those who want to learn how to develop radar systems or SAR imaging, use radar technology, or make components or sub-systems.

During the course you will bring your radar kit into the field and perform experiments such as measuring the speed of passing cars or plotting the range of moving targets. A SAR imaging competition will test your ability to form a SAR image of a target scene of your choice from around campus.


Please note that laptops with USB Type A ports or appropriate dongle are required for this course. The operating system must be Windows 7 or later, Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Participants are required to have MATLAB installed prior to attending the course: minimum 2016a or later preferred. The MATLAB Instrumentation Control Toolbox is also required.

A 30-day trial version of MATLAB is freely available at

All MATLAB functions will be available for download.

Participants are required to have the Arduino IDE and SAMD core board package (for Arduino Zero Microcontroller) installed prior to attending the course. The Arduino IDE is freely available at

All MATLAB functions will be available for download.

Each participant will receive a radar kit designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory staff and a course pack.

Participant Takeaways

  • Understanding how radar systems work.
  • Understanding antennas and aperture.
  • Understanding pulse compression and SAR imaging.
  • Designing and building a small radar system.
  • Acquiring and processing Doppler vs. time radar plots in the field.
  • Acquiring and processing range vs. time radar plots in the field.
  • Forming SAR imagery of urban terrain.

Who Should Attend

This course is targeted for engineers and scientists who plan to design radars; use radar systems in a product or as the final product; work on radar systems, components, or subsystems; or are interested in using radar systems for observation of physical phenomena. Participants will learn how radar systems work by attending lectures, building their own radar set, and acquiring radar data in the field. Those who should attend include:

  • Developers of radar systems or components
  • Users of radar technology
  • Purchasers of radar technology such as automotive and government organizations
  • Commercial enterprises seeking to use or add radar technology to their product or develop a radar-based product
  • Defense industry or government personnel who want to learn how radar and SAR imaging works
  • Defense industry or government supervisors seeking to quickly educate employees
  • Unmanned vehicle or robot developers seeking to use radar sensor packages
  • Scientists who are interested in using radar technology for the observation of nature

Participants do not have to be a radar engineer but it helps if you have at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or physics and are interested in any of the following: electronics, electromagnetics, signal processing, physics, or amateur radio. It is recommended that you have some familiarity with MATLAB. Each participant is required to bring a laptop (with a stereo-audio input) with MATLAB because this will be used for data acquisition and signal processing.

Program Outline

Class runs 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 am - 3:30 pm on Friday.

Day One
Session 1--1 hour:  Radar Basics (Lecture)
Session 2--1 hour:  Modular RF Design (Lecture)    
Session 3--1.5 hours:  Antennas (Lecture)
Session 4--1.5 hours:  Radar Kit Technical Explanation (Lecture)    
Session 5--1 hour:  Q & A (Discussion)

Day Two
Session 6--3 hours:  Radar Kit Fabrication Instructions (Lecture and Lab)    
Session 7--1 hour:  Doppler Experiment Example (Lecture)    
Session 8--3 hours:  Doppler Experiment (Lab)

Day Three
Session 9--3 hours:  Pulse Compression and add-to kit (Lecture and Lab)
Session 10--1 hour: Ranging Experiment Example (Lecture)    
Session 11--3 hours:  Ranging Experiment (Lab)

Day Four
Session 12--1.5 hours:  SAR Imaging (Lecture)
Session 13--0.5 hour:  SAR Imaging add-to kit (Lecture)    
Session 14--1 hour:  SAR Imaging Experiment Example (Lecture)
Session 15--3 hours:  SAR Imaging Experiment (Lab)

Day Five
Session 16--3 hours:  SAR Imaging Experiment continued (Lab)    
Session 17--1 hour:  SAR Imaging Results & Competition (Lecture and Discussion)

Other Instructors

Links & Resources



Suggested Reading:

  • G. W. Stimson, Introduction to Airborne Radar, 2nd ed. SciTech, 1998.
  • Generally page through this book and read specifically Chapters 1, 4-6, 9, 14, 31 
  • Chapters 1-2 in M. L. Skolnik, Introduction to Radar Systems, 3rd ed. McGraw Hill, 2001.


"I learned many new concepts during the course and the presenters were very helpful and excellent."
Professor, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
"The explanation of the radar theories and the hands-on building and testing of our radar systems really helped me get a better understanding of everything. Also, the course instructors were very knowledgeable (and entertaining!!)"
Field Applications Engineer, Analog Devices, Inc.
"Somewhere between INCREDIBLE and FANTASTIC."
Principal Engineer, Infineon Technologies

The type of content you will learn in this course, whether it's a foundational understanding of the subject, the hottest trends and developments in the field, or suggested practical applications for industry.

Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools - 60%|Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends - 25%|Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world - 15%
Delivery Methods

How the course is taught, from traditional classroom lectures and riveting discussions to group projects to engaging and interactive simulations and exercises with your peers.

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format - 34%|Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning - 33%|Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations - 33%

What level of expertise and familiarity the material in this course assumes you have. The greater the amount of introductory material taught in the course, the less you will need to be familiar with when you attend.

Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience - 50%|Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field - 40%|Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level - 10%