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Access Type

Campus Access

Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Phase Tilt, Digital Beamforming, FPGA, Low Cost, Radar, CASA


Digital beamforming is a powerful signal processing technique used in many communication and radar sensing applications. However, despite its many advantages, its high cost makes it a less popular choice than other directional antenna options. The development of a low cost architecture for digital beamforming would make it a more feasible option, allowing it to be used for a number of new applications. Specifically, the Collaborative, Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) project’s Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS) system, a low cost weather radar system, could benefit from the incorporation of digital beamforming into small, inexpensive but highly functional radars. Existing DBF architectures are implemented in complex systems which include a number of expensive processing modules and other associated hardware. This project shows a low-cost digital beamforming architecture that has been developed by utilizing today’s powerful and inexpensive FPGA devices along with recently available low-voltage-differential-signaling enabled multi-channel analog to digital conversion hardware. The utilization of commercially available devices rather than custom hardware allows this architecture to be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of most. This makes it a viable alternative to the classic dish antennas for the DCAS system, allowing a reduction in size and cost which will benefit deployment. The flexibility of an FPGA-based DBF system will result in a more robust radar system. With this in mind, an architecture has been developed, fabricated and evaluated.

First Advisor

Russell Tessier