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We describe a prototype ultrawideband radar. We show how the system was designed and how the hardware was developed for the radar prototype. Waveform generation, radar parameters, and signal processing for the stepped frequency waveform are discussed. The radar operates from 500 MHz to 3 GHz with a nominal resolution of 6 cm in air. The advantage of the stepped frequency approach over an impulse radar is better matching between the transmitted waveform and the receiver. We use range gating to improve the system dynamic range. The advantages are illustrated with laboratory measurements and field measurements from glacial ice and permafrost in Svalbard, showing penetration depths of 11 m. Antennas which do not require contact with the ground were developed and used in the experiments.