In this article, we present the development and integration of an existing cost-effective, open-source software-defined radio (SDR) receiver into a complete, pulsed-radar system used to study meteor reflections that ablate in the Earth's atmosphere. The use of SDR technology in radar applications is not, in itself, a new concept, but details regarding construction of back-end processing, formatting, and storage have not been widely discussed. More specifically, SDR systems, in general, are used to provide a communication link, meaning that precise time of arrival and signal levels are not of primary importance, but these parameters are critical in a radar system. This article addresses in detail methods used to redesign an existing, open-source receiver into a pulse-synchronized radar system for use by anyone interested in cost-effective radar data acquisition solutions. Additionally, we provide test data from an experimental observation to validate operation and performance of the resulting system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering