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The design of windows-based software for a PC-based, low-cost radar video signal generator

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2 Author(s)
Olsen, D.W. ; Electron. Syst. Lab., Georgia Tech. Res. Inst., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Willis, M.J.

In the field of electronic warfare (EW), the development, test, validation, and debugging of radar warning receiver (RWR) hardware and software in the laboratory necessitates the simulation of radar threat signals. This requirement often leads to the development of expensive, high-fidelity, radio frequency (RF) simulators. Because they are expensive, they are scarce. They are also often hard to configure, operate, maintain, and relocate. Moreover, they are frequently in heavy demand, and engineers can rarely utilize them for lower priority, everyday design and debugging tasks. This paper describes a software program that is used in conjunction with a PC-based, low-cost (<$2500 parts cost) radar video signal generator (VSG) circuit-card assembly to provide scan-modulated pulse waveform data in the video domain. Although this software/hardware system cannot replace large scale simulators for complete or formal validation testing, it provides an inexpensive, easy-to-use, transportable tool to support engineering and debugging tasks. The VSG card software was written in Microsoft Visual Basic and makes extensive use of Microsoft Windows graphical user-interface features. The software allows the user to load selected channels with waveform data; to start and stop waveform generation; to direct waveforms to any of twenty outputs (four quadrants, five frequency bands); to load scenarios consisting of multiple waveforms into channels; and to load and execute dynamic waveform scripts. These capabilities, along with utilities that allow the user to edit waveform and scenario files and the VSG hardware itself, provide the user with an effective signal-generation suite that in some cases can completely eliminate the need for an RF simulator. The VSG software and hardware were designed and are in use at the Georgia Tech Research Institute as part of an effort for Wright Laboratory to improve and enhance test tools available for the evaluation of radar warning receivers

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronics Conference, 1997. NAECON 1997., Proceedings of the IEEE 1997 National  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

14-18 Jul 1997