The radar signal environment includes three major elements: targets, clutter and jamming. Target models include position, trajectory and velocity (and acceleration) versus time, and radar cross-section (RCS). Clutter includes a variety of reflections: ground, sea, precipitation, multipath and even chaff. Jamming may be based on noise or spoofing techniques. A fourth key element is phase coherence, which is essential to the calibration and testing of phased-array antennas.

Utilizing the N8241A
Accurately simulating this environment requires numerous types of waveforms. The Keysight N8241A AWG meets this need by generating three types of signals: baseband, IF and I/Q. It can also produce a wide range of signal modulations and signal scenarios.

The N8241A offers two playback modes that facilitate efficient testing of radar systems. One is a dynamic sequencing capability that allows segments of the signal to be strung together dynamically—and in any order—as the waveform is played back (Option 300). The other is direct digital synthesis (DDS), which allows you to separate the slowly changing attributes of a scenario—carrier frequency, phase and timing—from the rapidly changing signal modulation (Option 330).

Simplifying signal development
Two software tools accelerate the creation of complex signal scenarios: the Waveform Generation Toolkit and the Keysight Signal Studio for Pulse Building (N7620A). Combining the pulse-builder software with an N8241A AWG and a Keysight E8267D PSG vector signal generator enables rapid development of complex radar signals:

  • Emitter simulation with I/Q corrections
  • Linear FM chirp
  • Nonlinear chirps
  • Barker coding
  • BPSK, QPSK and custom QPSK
  • AM step, including amplitude offset and step size
  • FM step, including frequency offset and step size

These capabilities enable the creation of challenging scenarios such as multi-channel/multi-emitter and coherent multi-channel/single emitter. The solution starts with Keysight’s advanced arbitrary waveform generators: the Keysight N8241A (LXI) and N6030A (PXI).