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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2011

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), System Design, Data Processing, Soft Processor, Radar Controller, Phased-Arrays

Abstract

Weather monitoring and forecasting systems have witnessed rapid advancement in recent years. However, one of the main challenges faced by these systems is poor coverage in lower atmospheric regions due to earth's curvature. The Engineering Research Center for the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) has developed a dense network of small low-power radars to improve the coverage of weather sensing systems. Traditional, mechanically-scanned antennas used in these radars are now being replaced with high-performance electronically-scanned phased-arrays. Phased-Array radars, however, require large number of active microwave components to scan electronically in both the azimuth and elevation planes, thus significantly increasing the cost of the entire radar system. To address this issue, CASA has designed a "Phase-Tilt" radar, that scans electronically in azimuth and mechanically in elevation. One of the core components of this system is the Phased-Array controller or the Array Formatter. The Array Formatter is a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based master controller that translates user commands from a computer to control and timing signals for the radar system. The objective of this thesis is to design and test an FPGA-based Array Formatter for CASA's Phase-Tilt radar system.

First Advisor

Russell G Tessier

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