Building a Drone Tracking Radar with the ADALM-PHASER and PlutoSDR

The ADALM-PHASER is a kit designed to provide experience with phased array beamforming and radar concepts. The kit consists of a PlutoSDR, mixers, LO synthesizer, ADAR1000 beamformer chip, LNAs and array of patch antennas. It operates between 10-11 GHz, has 500 MHz BW FMCW chirps, and has 8 receive channels and 2 transmit channels. It is an open source kit that costs US$2800, and it is produced and available from Analog Devices. Currently the kit appears to not be in stock, but they note that they are working on getting more stock in soon.

The ADALM-PHASER a phased array kit for implementing radar and other phased array experiments.
The ADALM-PHASER a phased array kit for implementing radar and other phased array experiments.

Over on YouTube, Jon Kraft who appears to be affiliated with Analog Devices, is working on a series of videos that will ultimately result in a drone tracking radar being built with the ADALM-PHASER. Currently two videos have been released.

The first is an overview of radar concepts, giving an explanation of pulsed vs CW radar, and the various hardware options we have to implement low cost versions of these methods.

The second video covers more radar concepts like range resolution and shows us how to build a CW radar with the ADALM-PHASER system.

The three remaining videos are yet to be released, so keep an eye on his channel for updates.

Build Your Own Drone Tracking Radar: Part 1

Build Your Own Drone Tracking Radar: Part 2 CW Radar

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Mateo CT


I would like to inquire about the maximum achievable range with this kit. Could you provide that information?

Mike N7MSD

I’m a little concerned about how FOSS this can be due to all the wars & rumors of wars right now as I bought a KrakenSDR to play with passive radar among other things but the code was removed because they were scared of ITAR. MInd you, every lawyer came out saying they were fine as long as everything was public but, as I write this, the code is still officially pulled. (Though someone forked it but all dev seems to be halted.)

(*This has happened with other dual-use things before like the Seek Thermal Compact cell phone thermal camera, which the company initially released an SDK before removing it due to ITAR / EARs*)


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