10 Military Radar Applications

Radar was initially discovered and developed for use by the military to advance military activities around the world. Today, the military continues to rely on radar for many uses and has managed to achieve great success on that front. Of all applications of radar, the military carries the bulk of all its uses as outlined below.

1. Used for Air defense: Military radars are used to cover all fixed, mobile, and transportable 2-D and 3-D systems used in the air defense mission. JORN is currently the world’s largest air defense radar.

2. Battlefield, Missile Control, and Ground Surveillance: These radars also include battlefield surveillance, tracking, fire-control, and weapons-locating radar systems, whether fixed, mobile, transportable, or man-portable.

3. Navigation: These radars consist of ship-borne surface search and air search radars as well as land-based coastal surveillance radars. These are part of radar-based fire-control and weapons guidance systems.

4. Military Air Traffic Control: The military also uses radar for air traffic control just like the civilian radars. These include both land-based and ship-borne ATC radar systems used for assisting aircraft landing, and supporting test and evaluation activities on test ranges.

5. Identification of moving target: This is mainly done by a radar known as Moving Target Identification (MTI). By sensing Doppler frequencies, MTI radar can differentiate echoes of a moving target from stationary objects and clutter, and reject the clutter. Its waveform is a train of pulses with a low PRR to avoid range ambiguities. What this means is that range measurement at the low PRR is good while speed measurement is less accurate than at a high PRR’s.

6. Ship Navigation and Safety: High-resolution Shore-based RADARs are used for beaconing and as an aid of navigation. During poor visibility due to bad weather conditions, the RADAR provides safe travel by warning potential threats. They are also used to find the depth of the sea.

7. Pulse-Compression: This radar is similar to high-range resolution radar but overcomes peak power and long-range limitations by obtaining the resolution of a short pulse but with the energy of a long pulse. It does this by modulating either the frequency or the phase of a long, high-energy pulse. The frequency or phase modulation allows the long pulse to be compressed in the receiver by an amount equal to the reciprocal of the signal bandwidth.

8. Tracking: This kind of radar continuously follows a single target in angle (azimuth and elevation) and range to determine its path or trajectory, and to predict its future position. The single-target tracking radar provides target location almost continuously. A typical tracking radar might measure the target location at a rate of 10 times per second. Range instrumentation radars are typical tracking radars. Military tracking radars employ sophisticated signal processing to estimate target size or identify specific characteristics before a weapon system is activated against them. These radars are sometimes referred to as fire-control radars.

9. Search and rescue: These are radars that are designed to locate ships and airplanes that are stationed over very large distances that could prove cumbersome to maneuver. They usually have a very good ranger accuracy that will help the military pinpoint the exact location and range of the object in question. Besides locating planes and ships, these radars are also used to locate people who may be in distress and require immediate assistance. A lot of the search and rescue missions by the military are done using radar technology which can be able to detect various images using the more advanced thermal imaging technology.

10. Fire control radars: These are designed to give the highest possible precision of both range and bearing. If these are used for aircraft targets, tracking of the target may be at least partially automatic. Information from these sets will be fed into a computing mechanism that operates the artillery weapons. Fire control radars are mainly used by the military to get the highest precision in terms of target acquisition.

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