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How to Choose the Right Computers for my SkyRadar Lab?

One of the advantages of the SkyRadar solutions is that an unlimited amount of learners can access the radars concurrently via the customers Intranet or even Extranet. A simple LAN solution works. But what computer to choose to get the maximum benefit from the SkyRadar products?

In principle any recent computer and computer screen works. But if you choose the lower end, you risk slow processing, pixelated visualisation, perturbed colors, etc. Better get it right, as no other training radar solution has a better quality-per-cost ratio per working position as SkyRadar - so do not save money at the wrong end, you already made the most economical choice.

SkyRadar uses its HTML5-based client app FreeScopes to interact with and to visualize all data. There is no local installation required, just an intranet-based connection to the CloudServer or the radar.

Perfect benefit depends on the following parameters, which will be explained in detail below:

  • Browser
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Hard Disk
  • Display

Choose the right Browser

In principle all HTML5 browsers should do. But we suggest to use Google Chrome. It is free, and always the fastest when it comes to implementation of recent HTML5 standard updates. Mozilla, which is run by a foundation, is also good but not always fast enough in implementing updates.

Microsoft and Apple browsers are a bit trickier. They often run some more or less hidden vendor-lock-in strategies. They are not always HTML5 compliant and include proprietary features which might perturb your learning experience. Microsoft Edge appears to be quite ok, but you never know what the people at Microsoft decide in the future. But please get rid of MS Internet Explorer - it is completely outdated by now.

So stay clean, go for Chrome.

Get a Good CPU

Choose one of the models with 4 digits which we list hereafter, for example i7-5950HQ, i7-4910MQ, etc.

In the following we use nnnn as a placeholder.

Please note that CPU is the most effective part for SkyRadar client app FreeScopes.
Core i5 or i7 alone or GHz will not specify the power of CPU, the main characteristic is CPU model. This by the way is generally good to know when you buy a new computer!!!

These models are OK:

  • Intel Core i9-*
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnHQ
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnXM
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnX
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnS
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnEQ
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnQE
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnMQ
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnQM
  • Intel Core i7-nnnnK
  • Intel Core i7-8nnnU
  • Intel Core i5-nnnnS
  • Intel Core i5-nnnnK
  • Intel Core i5-nnnnHQ
  • Intel Core i5-nnnnEQ
  • Intel Core i5-8nnnU

You may alternatively choose any model from this list where the benchmark value is above 6000.

Get Enough RAM

SkyRadar solutions send the raw IQ data to each client computer. Most calculations are processed in the FreeScopes app. That gives every student the freedom to independently conduct his or her own experiments. You may imagine that running a Fast Fourrier Transform or a SAR calculation in your browser requires quite a lot of virtual memory. Choose 8 GB or more and you are on the safe side. Generally we say: the more the better. Always be prepared for some great SkyRadar updates. And remember complex mathematics are our best friend :-) hidden in the browser, so you do not need to bother with it.

Hard Disk

Your IT service people have better things to do than cleaning up hard disks from whatever students put there. We could write a book on what we found there. We do only need a small configuration of the proper firmware and browser operations. Specs are not important to us. Any HDD or SSD with any size is OK.

Display

Let us come to the fun part of it. Could you imagine watching the movie Star Wars on a little display. OMG no. Same with the great SkyRadar visualizations and simulations. Be a friend to your students eyes. And have then enjoy the A-Scopes, B-Scopes, PPI-displays etc. Go at least 17" monitor. If you have a ready equipped laboratory or laptops with 15" displays is also does the job. But don't blame it on us if your students will not love you for that.

Once you have some budget left, get them some 17" displays or bigger - and the force will be with you ...

Network

We always suggest to use the CloudServer to connect the radars with the student computers. The CloudServer acts as a Router. You can simply connect it to your Local Area Network (LAN or WLAN). In the easiest approach, you simply connect a WIFI card to the CloudServer.

You can connect all computers of your institution (Intranet and even Extranet). So students can access after class. Simple let the radar switched on.

Requirements to the Classroom

We do not put much requirements to the room. Whatever room you have works. You can do more if you have more space. A classroom of 15 m length or more would be super. Experience shows that it is always good to use a lab with access to the outside. So you can point the radar outside or even take it out, measure cars, moving people etc. Anything goes - we set no limit to your imagination.

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