A green radar screen with two planes.

Join the Analog Devices IEEE Radar Challenge

In this blog series, we’ve been exploring beamforming concepts with the hands-on CN0566 (Phaser) kit

 CN0566 (Phaser) kit.

And perhaps you’ve been thinking: “If only I had one of these kits--I could do so much!”  If so, then you may be pleased to learn that  Analog Devices is teaming up with IEEE AESA and MathWorks to sponsor the “IEEE AESS Radar Challenge 2024”!   And for this competition, we are giving away a limited number of free Phaser kits.   

The Radar Challenge 

We’re offering this radar challenge for the first time, and you can find all the details on it here.   

 Radar Conference Banner

The goal is to take an interesting radar concept, model it in Matlab, and then build it with real hardware (the Phaser).   And since we’re all trying to learn, the conclusion of the project is to present your work at the 2024 IEEE Radar Conference in Denver Colorado.  At the conference, others can learn from you and perhaps add to your work in the future.  Those that complete the challenge, and present at the conference, can keep their Phaser kit.  Hopefully, others from your university or business can use it for future exploration or prototyping.   

What Would I Do? 

The radar concept you focus on is up to you.  You are not expected to be an expert on the topic--choose something that seems interesting.  It also does not need to be a new topic!  Just the activity around simulating and demonstrating an existing radar concept with real hardware will be very instructive.  For example, some topics that we see a lot of interest in are: 

  • Drone Tracking 
  • Radar SAR Imaging 
  • Virtual Arrays 
  • Clutter Suppression 
  • Antenna Design 
  • Improved Calibration Techniques 
  • Adaptive Beamforming Concepts
  • 2 Dimensional Scanning
  • Larger, or Multibeam, Arrays (we'll send you 2 Phasers!)

 Radar concept

For more inspiration, I’d recommend first reviewing the Phaser hardware hereThat may give you some ideas of what can be doneThen, look at an introductory radar book like "Small and Short-Range Radar Systems" by Gregory L. Charvat, or "Introduction to Radar With Python and Matlab" by Andy Harrison.   

 Book Cover            Book Cover

How Do I Get Started? 

Maybe you’re already thinking about what a cool radar project would be.  Great!  Now find a few others to join you!  It will be more fun and have a higher chance of success if a small team can share the work and challenges.  In creating this event, we were mostly thinking about university students – senior design teams, or postgraduates.  However, teams from companies or organizations (IEEE, AOC, etc.) can also apply.  There are a few restrictions, please see the official posting.   

Then register your team by following the instructions here.  The deadline for submissions is very soon:  Oct 31, 2023.   

What is the Process? 

We only have a limited number of Phaser kits, so not all submissions can be accepted.  However, the IEEE AESA committee will review the submissions and select teams to move forward.  Those selected teams will receive a free Phaser kit, as well as access to some very useful Matlab libraries.  They will also be assigned mentors from Analog Devices and MathWorks.  These mentors will meet regularly with the team and help with any hardware, software, or simulation issues.   

Once you receive your Phaser kit, there will be two simple tasks to familiarize yourself with the hardware and how to control it with Matlab.  Then the focus is on your topic and how to build a demonstrable system of its key concepts.  It all culminates in a presentation/demo at the IEEE Radar Conference the week of May 6 – 10, 2024.  That conference is in Denver Colorado, and at least one team member will need to be there in person for the presentation.   


I hope you will consider applying for this IEEE Radar challenge.  Many great radar concepts will be very exciting to see working on real hardware.  And I hope to see you in Denver at the IEEE Radar Conference next year!