The complete scheme of the first photonics-based fully digital coherent radar system demonstrator is presented. The proposed architecture relies on a novel flexible photonic transceiver, based on the software-defined radio paradigm, capable of generating and receiving signals with arbitrary waveform and carrier frequency. The system core is a single mode-locked laser, whose inherent phase and amplitude stability allows generating high-quality carriers over an extremely broad frequency range, as well as directly digitizing high-frequency signals with unprecedented precision. The implementation of the field trial demonstrator is presented in detail, focusing on both the photonic transceiver and the antenna's front-end, as well as on the employed digital signal processing. The excellent performance is proved by the results of the in-field experiments carried out with noncooperative targets in real scenarios. The outcomes from the aerial and naval target detections are here presented and discussed.
Scotti, F., Laghezza, F., Serafino, G., Pinna, S., Onori, D., Ghelfi, P., & Bogoni, A. (2014). In-field experiments of the first photonics-based software-defined coherent radar. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 32(20), 3365-3372. https://doi.org/10.1109/JLT.2014.2322904