By Cece Wildeman
The Rocky Mountain Collegian
Researchers at CSU, as well as other universities and companies across the nation, have recently developed a radar system that will be used by the military for the detection and tracking of objects in urban areas.
The project was funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2005, and since then, a team of about 25 has been working on the project.
Edwin Chong, a CSU professor and the principle investigator on the team, said the team worked on three main parts of the project: designing waveforms, designing receivers for different waveforms and developing ways to schedule the waveforms over time depending on what is received by the radar.
“This was particularly a challenge because these are things you don’t find in weather radar,” Chong said.
Bill Farland, vice president for research at CSU, said Chong’s team dealt with optimizing radar so it can be used over complex terrain, such as a city.
“This could be an improved ability to tracking and detecting targets by tenfold,” Farland said.
Tony Maciejewski, a CSU professor and department head of electrical and computer engineering, said our society is already seeing how this radar system could work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Their information is key,” he said. “And how you can get that information and communicate that information saves lives.”
Although the basic idea for the radar system is developed, Chong and his team will continue work to improve the system, Chong said.
“When it comes to technology development like that, you’re never done,” he said. “You are always continuing to develop and improve what we have.”
It is hard to say when the military will begin using the new radar system because there are many steps to development and deployment of technology, Chong said.
A final report was submitted to DARPA after the team’s methods were tested by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.
“This technology could be useful for other purposes beyond the military such as airport or university security or in the mountains,” Chong said in a press release.
But still, he said, it needs quite a bit more development before it can be used in the field.
He said that such a radar system is important in modern society because of the seemingly rapid urbanization that is taking place.
“It is important to develop technologies that are important and relevant,” he said.
Senior Reporter Cece Wildeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.