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The choice of transform parameters for SAW radar intercept is dictated by the limitations of available digital output stages and by the nature of the input signal, rather than by limitations imposed by the surface-acoustic-wave components. The choice of parameters needed to design a radar-intercept compressive receiver for use in a pulsed-signal environment is discussed, as is the resulting `trade-offÂ¿ between time and frequency resolutions. Details are given of a compressive receiver where a modular approach has been adopted to produce a SAW subsystem with 4 MHz resolution over 1 GHz input bandwidth. The problem of high output data rates has been overcome by the use of specially designed digital output circuits to interface to a data processor.