FMCW Base Module - Description & Data Sheet

FMCW Base Module - Data Sheet


At the heart of the system is an FMCW transceiver. A variable trigger wave allows to generate also a Frequency Shift Key Mode. In addition, the transceiver can operate in Doppler mode. The transmitter can emit very short pulses through the antenna and monitor the reflected pulses. The pulses are reflected of fixed objects (buildings, trees…) and moving objects (cars, people…) which pass the antenna beam. The FMCW Base Module provides the opportunity to study Doppler effects.
The signals are digitally processed using a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), data is visualized through the analysis and visualization software SkyRadar FreeScopes.
The system in its standard configuration has a range up to 50 m (detecting objects of the size of a car). The standard version comes with an array antenna.


SkyRadar's base unit is a close range training and research radar for indoor and outdoor experiments, designed for ATC and military training centers as well as for universities as tool for research and education.

General Features

  • Active radar, designed for perfectly save indoors and outside operation in close and near range (transmitter output power significantly lower as such of a mobile phone).
  • The following operating modes can be technically enabled in the hardware
    o   FMCW
    o   Doppler
  • Antenna
    o   4 array patch antenna (3 Rx channels, 1 Tx channel)
    o   Default operation 24 GHz
  • Powerful and fast radar image processor.
  • All measurements are performed in near-to real time. No sub‐sampling or substitution techniques.
  • Optimized for detection of real targets in a 3-dimensional space within laboratories or outside , remote controlled remote controlled aircrafts. No limiting target table or rail system required.
  • Extendable with rotary tripod, parabolic reflector, linear conveyor for SAR operations.

Possible Exercises

The following subjects can be trained with the system, depending on the included FreeScopes Packages:

  • Experiments on FMCW, Doppler
  • Using the Range FFT
  • Experiments on A-Scope, B-Scope and Plan-Position-Indicator (PPI)
  • Calibrating a radar using amplification, filters and settings
  • Experiments on amplification of source as well as of the signals
  • Clutter processing e.g., through Sensitive Time Control (STC)
  • Radar Cross Section (RCS) analysis allowing for an understanding of the varying detectability of objects based on material, absolute and relative size, reflection angle, distance and strength of the signal.
  • Allows analyzing performance and false alarm tolerances through adjustment of the sensitivity.
  • Adjustable decision threshold allowing for experiments on background noise.
  • Detecting false targets (with the object generator)
  • And much more.

Benefiting from the massive learning environment of FreeScopes 7

In FreeScopes 7, students can freely and individually assemble radar block diagrams (filters, algorithms and scopes) per drag-and-drop. He / she can work on live data just in time. FreeScopes can be connected to SkyRadar's NextGen training radars and to the 24 GHz FMCW radar.


Per drag-and-drop, students can now freely and individually assemble radar block diagrams (filters, algorithms and scopes) and work on live data just in time.

The system can be supplied in a package with several extensions of FreeScopes or it can be extended progressively.

Hereafter we introduce the modules for virtual control centers:

  • FreeScopes Basic I
  • FreeScopes Basic II
  • FreeScopes ATC I
  • FreeScopes ATC II
  • Digital Beam Former

All Data can be transferred in real-time to a numerical analytics environment like MATLAB with SkyRadar's freely available programming interface (read more).

The system can be extended with various elements like
Rotary Tripod, CloudServer, Synthetic Aperture Radar and more.

Feature 1

The system comes in its basic configuration with
NextGen 8 GHz FreeScopes Basic I.
(go the the FreeScopes Basic I Description)

The users are enabled to do manipulations independently on their computers. Free floating panels of the FreeScopes Control Center allow each student to set up his own signal conversion chain, analyzing raw data, data after FFT, STC etc. 

It is a basic configuration of a Virtual Radar Control Center, allowing  for control and visualization of the  8 GHz pulse radar

The principles of Radar Systems can be trained.

The data can be visualized through included virtual instruments:

  • A-Scopes
  • B-Scopes
  • PPI

The Control Center reads out I and Q data, from SkyRadar's 24 GHz FMCW Radar.

It includes several controls such as

  • Tx Power Control
  • Contrast
  • Source Suppression (DC suppress)
  • Static Threshold
  • STC
  • C-FAR (1D)
  • FFT (1D)
  • IQ Data Block (I, Q, Magnitude)
  • MTI

The users are enabled to independently run experiments on their computers. 

Thanks to a high resolution dual channel sampler, FreeScopes allows to analyze the I and Q data independently and in an integrated version. This performance exceeds the performance of any other existing radar training system worldwide.


NextGen 8 GHz FreeScopes Basic II

We also suggest to use the FreeScopes Extension Basic II.
(Go to the FreeScopes Basic II Description).

The Module provides a set of features including:

  • 3D Scope
  • C-FAR (2D)
  • RCS
  • FFT (2D)
  • Windows Functions ( Hann, Hamming, Blackman and more) 
  • Spectrogram
  • Burst



NextGen FreeScopes ATC I

This module is mandatory for ATCO and ATSEP students.

The FreeScopes ATC I Module provides a set of features including:

  • Radar Plots
  • Radar Tracks
  • Moving Target Detection (MTD) 
  • The visualization is done in compliance to the standards of ICAO and EUROCONTOL.

It makes the step from the theoretic understanding of the radar image to typical conventions on how target plots and tracks are displayed.

The included features are a landmark in practical radar training as they are missing in most of the training radars available in the market. But being qualified on plots and tracks is mandatory for ICAO 10057 oriented qualification.


NextGen FreeScopes ATC II

This module is mandatory for ATCO and ATSEP students.

The FreeScopes ATC II Module builds on ATC I.

It provides a set of features including:

  • iMM (interactive Multiple Model)
  • Kalman filter,
  • Zero Velocity filter
  • Clutter Map subtraction
  • Signal Delay Block
  • The visualization is done in compliance to the standards of ICAO and EUROCONTOL.


NextGen FreeScopes Beamforming FMCW

The solution is able to conduct comfortable digital beam forming. SkyRadar's array antenna includes 4 channel (1 Tx and 3 Rx). 3 Range-Doppler maps with 256x256 pixels each are sent. Each pixel is a 32 Bit value, representing the I/Q output (16 Bits each) at the given position (speed/distance). This allows to calculate amplitude (averaged output with a Mean Range Doppler map) but also the phase information.


System Features

FMCW A-Scope

Power and Physical Characteristics  12V
Output power at transmitter +19 dbm  (~ 75 mW)
Maximum Range more than 50 m
Sampling Rate 50 fps / 2 Mega-samples per second
Dimensions with array antenna: 230mm x 270mm x 100mm
Net Weight 1.00 - 2.00 kg


Range and Antenna Standard
Max Bandwidth (configurable) 1 GHz (~ 4,2% of the centre operating frequency)
Sweep time value 79 µs
Resolution at 1 GHz Bandwidth 15  cm 
Spurious Emissions (ETSI 300 440) - 30 dBM
Range > 24 m (persons)
> 50 m (cars)
Minimium Distance 1.5 m
Antenna Patch Antenna
Horizontal - 3 dB Antenna Beamwidth 30° 
Vertical -3 dB Antenna Beamwidth 20°
Antenna Gain  + 17 dBi

Transmitter Features

Supply Voltage 12V
Supply Current 300 mA
Operating Temperature -20 … + 60 °C

Table: General operative characteristics of the Transceiver

  min. typ. max.
Carrier Frequency 23.8 Ghz 24,0 GHz 24,8 Ghz
Transmitter Output Power: 18 dBm 19 dBm (~75mW) 20 dBm

Table : Operative characteristics of the Transmitter 

Receiver Features

Receiver Gain (configurable)  + 20 dBi ... 80 dBi
Receiver Sensitivity – 132 dBm
Overall Sensitivity - 151 dBc

Table : Operative characteristics of the Receiver (subsection of the Transceiver)

Delivery and Export Regulations based on European Law

SkyRadar produces products to train the civil use of radar equipment. We actively take that mission to makes this world a better and safer place. We do not provide goods which are in conflict of the dual use regulation (unless with specific written consent of the European Regulation Bodies and if the purpose is a peaceful one). SkyRadar has received a general export permit 40066564 dated 22.08.2011.

SkyRadar emphasizes that the COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 428/2009 and its amendments are the only authentic legal reference and that the information in this document does not constitute legal advice.

According Paragraph 6A008, goods are subject to the above stated Regulation, when they comply to the following criteria: 


Explanation why SkyRadar does not comply to these criteria

a. Operating at frequencies from 40 GHz to 230 GHz and having any of the following: ...

The system operates at 24 GHz and operates with max 75 mW far below the critical threshold

b. A tunable bandwidth exceeding ± 6,25 % of the 'centre operating frequency'

The bandwidth is 4,2% of the centre operating frequency

c. Capable of operating simultaneously on more than two carrier frequencies

The system operates with one carrier frequency

d. Capable of operating in synthetic aperture (SAR), inverse synthetic aperture (ISAR) radar mode, or sidelooking airborne (SLAR) radar mode

The base module itself does not include SAR,  iSAR or SLAR features.

e. Incorporating electronically scanned array antennae

The system does not work with electronically scanned array antennae. It operates either with 1-2 horn antennae or with a static patch antenna.

The dual use regulation, in particular paragraph 6A008 does not control "Displays or monitors used for air traffic control (ATC)", as done by SkyRadar FreeScopes.

Section l.1 of paragraph 6A008 addresses "Automatic target tracking" providing, at any antenna rotation, the predicted target position beyond the time of the next antenna beam passage. This paragraph however does not "control conflict alert capability in ATC systems". Only that is done by the SkyRadar FreeScopes software. Target tracking in terms of trajectory projection, as done by military systems is explicitly excluded and not part of the system.

Paragraph 6A108 concerns Radar systems and tracking systems, other than those specified in entry 6A008. It covers Radar and laser radar systems designed or modified for use in space launch vehicles specified in 9A004 or sounding rockets specified in 9A104. This is not applicable to the SkyRadar training equipment.


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