PARSAXPARSAX radar laboratory


Ing. Fred van den Zwan
Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft

The PARSAX radar laboratory includes a few modern multi-functional reconfigurable high-resolution Polarimetric-Agile Doppler Radars in S- and X-bands. They are used as a platform for the development, testing and experimental validation of novel sensor system architectures, radar waveforms, sensing signals and data processing algorithms for the detection, tracking, identification and recognition, parameters estimation of the many targets of interest. Applications include atmospheric remote sensing, air-, automotive, railroads and maritime traffics control, navigation and safety, surface (ground and sea) and airspace (e.g. drones) surveillance. Collected within continuous measurement campaigns, different kind of data are used for the development and validation of modern electromagnetic, signal-level and statistical models of complex targets for the use in user-oriented model-based decision algorithms, for the study of novel approaches for the development of cognitive sensing systems.

Congestion of different wireless services in electromagnetic spectrum results in a need of multi-functional multi-user wireless front-ends with beam, waveform and polarization agilities. PARSAX system was the first of its kind waveform-agile wireless system, which could provide simultaneously communication and variety of sensing capabilities. Extension of the PARSAX system with an active electronically steered array front end will be next major step in development of a test-bed for future multi-functional wireless system (including 5G communications).
The PARSAX system has been developed to provide high quality experimental data of electromagnetic scattering from different natural (precipitation, sea waves, migrating birds, etc) and anthropogenic (air- and ground transport, wind-mills, etc) phenomena and be a flexible research platform on electromagnetic spectrum usage, new algorithms for remote sensing (detection, classification and identification of remote objects), data fusion, and sensor management.
The current PARSAX system operates at S-band centered at 3.315 GHz and at X-band centered at a frequency between 9.4 GHz and 10 GHz with a signal bandwidth of 50 MHz. Two independent transmit and four independent receive channels with software defined radio waveforms provide the multi-functionality of the system. In combination with a fully polarized transmit and receive antenna systems, this provides unprecedented agility of the wireless signals transmitted and received by the system.
The theoretical and validated methods provided by PARSAX are used in many applications such as atmospheric remote sensing ad surveillance or tracking. Thus not only FMCW signals are used in the PARSAX radar system but also any arbitrary signal for instance SFCW, PCM (Phase Coded) signals and noise-like signals (binary or multi-level coding).
The regular users of the infrastructure are TU Delft (EEMCS, Climate Institute, Transport Institute, Safety and Security Institute), TNO, KNMI, Wageningen University, NLDA, Thales. Active electronically steered array extension will add to the potential users such companies as NXP.

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