Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 137-140
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.37B036
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Discussion on Organization of Courses Content for Radar
Engineering Teaching
Wei Zuo, Yue Liu
Naval University of Engineering, Electronic Engineering Academy, Wuhan, China
Received 2012
This paper analyses the current situation of radar engineering teaching, through which it finds that each
course is not so independent that students may be left confused. So we rearrange the content based on two
goals, “how to detect targets” and “how to design system”. The new courses are easier to learn, and can
effectively arouse students’ interests in study.
Keywords: Radar; Course; Reform
The development of information technology extends the
means of information acquisition vastly. Owning to the advan-
tages like strong timeliness in obtaining information, long de-
tection distance, high measurement accuracy and flexible using,
radar, as the traditional detection equipment, is still one of the
important means in obtaining information. It is widely equipped
in Ground platform, offshore platform, aerial platform and
space platform, playing an irreplaceable role in civil and mili-
tary digestions. Compared with traditional technology, modern
radar is more complicated. A variety of new technologies like
signal generation, propagation, reception, processing and dis-
play in one body are applied to the equipment and it is across
multiple professional. So not only the need for Radar profes-
sional is large, but also it is heightened accordingly.
In China, the policy of higher education is valuing founda-
tion, widening caliber, high quality and seeking innovation.
With the guidance of this policy, many colleges incorporate
radar major into electrical engineering major. Big changes have
taken place on the related teaching content of radar. The scope
of knowledge has the tendency of expansion, and the courses
between each field have much overlap and cross. And many
problems appear in the teaching process can be expressed as
follows: the knowledge is not systematic enough, the arrange-
ment is not reasonable enough, implementing teaching is hard.
So it is necessary to analyze and sort deeply. This article is
based on information structure, focuses on how to detect, how
to achieve and improve detection. Besides, we will discuss the
filter and integration of the related teaching contents in Radar
Theory and Radar System which are compulsory courses in
radar major.
Analysis of Current Teaching Status on
Radar Major
Radar, as complex electronic equipment, synthesized various
technologies, its theory and system have alway s bee n impor tant
and difficult in teaching, mainly embodied in the following
respects: firstly, radar involves a wide range of knowledge and
complicated theory, so cross-reference and inter infiltration of
all kinds of technologies are common, which makes it difficult
in knowledge positioning. Secondly, there are many kinds of
radar and classification method, the interface between all kinds
of radar is not clear enough. In many cases, there are the rela-
tions of one to more and more to one between technology and
devices which makes it hard in organizing the teaching content.
Thirdly, the proportion of the soft knowledge like radar signal
processing theory, computer procedures and hardware pro-
gramming procedures is increasing day by day, new technology
emerges, dramatic expanding scope of teaching in radar course
and the contradiction between little study time and much con-
tent is more severe. Finally , the technology of radar needed is
increasing year by year, the integrity and rationality of quon-
dam teaching contents descend resulting from the updating and
complementing in teaching contents. Implementing teaching is
The most common organization method of radar teaching
content has three types. One is divided by function, first build
the ba sic concept of radar, as the main line to radar application
classification or system, introduce all kinds of radar one by one,
then decentralize related theory and technology to each chapter
according to the order of the appearance Finally summar ize the
new technology and modern radar. The advantage of this type
is that it is close to the application, and the theory corresponds
better to the devices, the disadvantage is that the explaining of
theory is not systematic enough, parts of subsequent chapters
rely to o much on the previous contents For example, Radar and
Detection[7][8] edited by Wang and Zhang is in such form. One
type is based on typical equipment, launched in the order of
extension (subsystem), in which principle and system are cor-
responded with the function of subsystem. The advantage of
this ty pe is the knowledge with strong relevance focuses on one
single chapter, the learner can understand every subsystem
more easily. But this type weakens the concept of system, lim-
its the universality of technology, it is fit for the demonstrating
of actual equipment, Radar Principle[3] edited by Cheng debao
uses such form. The last type is straightforward, for example,
Radar Handbook[1] and Radar System Introduction[2] edited by
the famous editor Merrill I.Skolnik, are based on important
equipment and technique in radar and introducing t hem one by
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
one. Each chapter are independent, self-contained, and is easy
to expand. For the reason of oversize, the continuing relation
between each chapter is not clear, so it’s generally used as a
reference book, not fit for teaching. For the widely used Radar
Principle[4][5][6] edited by Ding, the earlier version considered
more on the teaching needs. For the fact that a lot of supple-
ment has been added to the latest version, it is more difficult to
organize the contents. Also, the text book has always been em-
phasizing chapter 2, chapter 3 and chapter 4 that are focused on
technology. As a result of the above two factors, in the teaching
practice it cannot show prominent emphasis and it’s difficult to
grasp the overall situation. Overall, these types of organization
methods have their own strengths, but with the limited study
hours, there is still room for improvement in the teaching con-
tent organization to make students establish a complete radar
system concept as well as understand the radar principles and
techniques comprehensively. If analysis on the professional key
knowledge of radar can be conducted, then filter and integrated
to form a reasonable structure which refi n es the content to meet
the needs of radar teaching system, we can lay a solid founda-
tion for students to quickly grasp the radar expertise.
Radar Professio nal Key Knowledge and Refining
Integration Idea and the Main Line of Professional
Key Knowledge
Starting from the top-level course is an effective way to
guarantee the systematization and integrality. Facing the vast
and complex information, we can make use of the concept in-
formation architecture and interactive relationship to build a
knowledge system. Considering the complexity of the radar
equipment and radar technology, the relevance of the single
main line of the contents of the organization can not meet the
teaching needs. However, if too much main lines are used, the
idea would not be clear and contrary to the basic principle of
teaching:” clearly condition”. Therefore, finding the main lines
and information architecture is the primary problem to solve in
integrating knowledge.
To summarize and refine the professional key knowledge of
radar, we may wish to break the course boundaries between the
existing radar theory and radar systems, thus re-examining the
teaching content from the perspective of the learners. As for
beginner, the first concern is what radar is, how radar intention
expresses, which form the first main line to the axis of the basic
principles of radar, namely how to detect. Next to be mastered
is what means and technology we can use to achieve the func-
tion of radar, and what means to improve and expand its capa-
bility to detect. This forms the second main line of radar tech-
nology for the axis, namely the way t o achieve and improve. If
we firmly grasp these two main lines, we will pave the way for
knowledge integration even for curriculum and carrying out
The First Main Line: How to Detect
The goal of this main line is to establish the basic concepts of
radar, to grasp the basic principles of radar to obtain informa-
tion, familiar with the workflow of the radar and a number of
special radar. Mainly for beginner, from conceptual and func-
tional point of view, the line makes the learner have a general
and comprehensive understanding of the whole radar, and in-
troduce the key technologies appropriately. Around these
teaching objectives, the knowledge contained in the main line
of the points classification and each classification is showed in
Table 1. To expand as the main line around how to detect, this
part can be called Radar Detection Principles.
Table 1.
Knowledge classification and knowledge contained in each classifica-
tions in the first main line.
number Class of
knowledge Key Knowledge
1 Basic concept
of radar
Typical Radar
Basic Parts of a Radar
Frequency Radar Used
Applications of radar
Development of radar
2 Detection
basic of radar
Basic form of spot target and radar
equation in free space
Radar cross section(RCS)
The influence of environment to electric
wave spread
Noise in radar system
3 Measurement
of the angular
Radar antenna pattern
Machanical sc ann ing
Electronic scanning
Taper scanning
Monopulse radar
4 Measurement
of the target
Continuous wave radar
Pulse radar
Range ambiguities
Range tracking
5 Moving tar get
detectio n
Moving tar get detector
Clutter problem
Pulse doppler radar
6 Radar signal
Radar waveform
Radar Ambiguity Function
Measurement accuracy
Pulse compression
7 Special radar
Secondary radar
Bistatic(multistatic ) radar
Passive radar
8 Experiments
The influence of scan to radar picture
Experiment of solving range ambi guity
Digital cancellation
Moving tar get detector
Radio frequency, intermediate
frequency and video frequency
Ambiguity plan
Signal detection
Radar clutter
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 2.
Knowledge classification and knowledge contained in each classifica-
tion in the second main line.
number Class of
knowledge Key knowledg e
1 Radar
Radar transmitter structure
Vacuum tube transmitter
Solid-state tra nsmitter
Stabilization degree requirement and
frequency spectrum control of transmitter
Pulse modul ator
Transmitter power
2 Radar
Receiver structure
Basic theory of receiver
Frequency source
Frequency conversi on and cross
modulation suppression
Radio frequency front end
Great dynamic range and plus contr ol
Radar signal
Radar signal detection
Matching filter
Pulse acc umulation
Constant false alarm rate(CFAR)
Radar data
and tracking
Composition of data processing syst em
Plot data formation and processing
Track processing
Target identifica tion
Picture processing in radar
Tracking while scan(TWS) and
5 Radar display
The grating type display technology
Grating display technology
Coordinate transform and video
frequency filter
Typical radar
system and
Phased array radar technology
Radar imaging technology
Bistatic (multistatic) radar technology
Secondary radar
LPI radar
Passive radar technology
Radar anti-interference technology
Civil radar
Radar structure and craft
Radar e qui pment devel op ment around the
7 Experiments
Radio freque ncy, intermediate frequency
and video frequency
Ambiguity function
Radar signal detection
Detect or designing
Pulse acc umulation
Signal processing synthesis experience
Linear frequency modulation and
Phase codin g s ignal and compression
Data processing
Array antenna and phase control
Radar interfere and anti-interfere
The Second Main Line: How to Realize and Improve
The goal of this main line is to master modern radar detec-
tion mainstream technology (excluding radar antennas, radio
wave propagation, which is separate content), typical radar
system and key technologies, mainly for personnel who has
already absorbed some basic knowledge of radar and needs to
study in depth. It is impossible to take everything into account
because the knowledge of radar professionally is very hetero-
geneous. In teaching, we t ry to closely link to the signal flow in
the content organization, typically balance content selection
that is to highlight the representation of the various types of
content, also strive to talk about deeply and thoroughly on the
key issues, so that students can learn by analogy, to achieve the
effects of points to surface. Around the teaching objectives, the
knowledge contained in the main line of the points classifica-
tion and each classification is illustrated in Table 2. This part
of the content can be called Radar Technology and System.
Because the technology is closely related to the device, the
knowledge points of the second main line uses extension (sub-
system) as the main classification basis. The radar display
technology and device have been gradually rasterized and
standardized, so we should reduce the proportion of knowledge
in the second main line. Typical radar system and key technol-
ogies reflect the detection capabilities, and introduce the cha-
racteristics of new technologies. If the space is too large, it can
be divided into several sections.
Radar is such a sophisticated system that it is very difficult to
make students understand all technologies in school, based on
analyzing content organization method in existence and inte-
grating radar specialty key knowledge. we complete content
organization according to “information framework” of “how to
conduct detection” and “how to achieve and improve detection”.
This way is clear in ideas and interface, convenient for imple-
ments and easy to extend. It can be content with the radar spe-
cialty didactical requirement which proved by practice. Of
course, it is necessary to scheme proper experimentation for
deepening understanding.
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