How to Build a Synthetic Aperture Radar Using a Laptop Coffee-Can

This application note describes how to build a synthetic aperture radar using a laptop coffee-can radar system. The radar was developed using the OpenCourseWare2 (OCW) online free course materials provided through MIT and was originally described in a 2012 IEEE Spectrum article. A few years later Dr. Jim Carroll and Dr. Gent Paparisto of AWR Group, NI, decided to redesign the coffee-can radar system using the circuit and system design capabilities within NI AWR Design Environment to “re-caffeinate” the original design. The “re-caffeinated” design uses Microwave Office circuit design software, Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software, and AXIEM and Analyst EM simulators and delivers better performance, is less expensive to make, and has a smaller footprint than the original system.