A Wide Dynamic Range Playback System for Radar Signals
David Friedman & Paul Hiller
Improvements in the speed and resolution of both digital to analog converters (DACs) and analog to digital converters (ADCs) have resulted in a continual push to move more functionality into the digital signal processing arena. RF and analog signal processing methodologies such as filtering and frequency translation are being handled increasingly in the digital domain, where near-ideal filters are achievable and analog errors are eliminated. However, as discussed in the article entitled “A Wide Dynamic Range Radar Digitizer,”  converting to the digital domain introduces errors which limit overall system performance. One of the most important limitations is dynamic range, which is the range of signal amplitudes that can be captured by an ADC. This is determined by the number of conversion bits as well as by the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the analog components (amplifiers, mixers, etc.) which precede the ADC.
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