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Books on the subject of ground penetrating radars provide definitions of pulse and stepped frequency radars, mentioning the structure of their signal and other technical details.

However, I was not able to find a source or comparison on practical results of those designs.

What are the practical differences between pulse and stepped frequency radars? Is there any difference in resolution, the complexity of hardware, attenuation, power consumption, signal processing...?

I'm asking this question because I am asked to design an imaging radar as homework and I cannot choose which method should I use, textbooks that I can find provide only technical background.

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There are many papers in Microsoft or Google Scholar, which I have not looked but 8 steps of pulsed step frequency , either simulataneous (harder) or incremental, can gain as much as 15 dB SNR in ground clutter rejection, in the mid 400MHz range.

I know a former colleague went on to succeed at surface coal mining exploration using very rigid phased array fixed antenna with multi hop synthetic aperture scanning over a large area in Saskatchewan (circa 90's) before becoming Eng Mgr at BNI which produced many state of the art wireless systems before being bought out by Nortel. Unfortunately they only bought the technology and nobody wanted to move from Winnipeg, so it was a billion dollar loss another one of their bad decisions to a once great company as good as Cisco.

A worthy project is to make low cost land mine detectors for those at risk.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey Tony! Thanks for your answer. Are there any drawbacks you can mention. What is the disadvantage of pulsed radar over stepped frequency modulated continuous wave radar? We are planning it to make it as mobile as possible so decided to use around 1GHz which allows for mine detection the requirements given to us. But I saw many GPR radar commercially use pulse signal. \$\endgroup\$
    – freezer
    May 28, 2017 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ pulse single f has much more clutter and false detection. The end result must match your specs for false positives and true negatives. what are your specs? \$\endgroup\$ May 28, 2017 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I read a paper which uses from 200MHz to 1600MHz and as I saw stepped frequency modulations uses much higher steps like 140 or so. That article was using 2MHz min step size thus 700 steps max. I am not sure if the components can achieve such change speed for generation of next frequencies. We want to achieve 50cm depth range and 10cm range resolution. And a system weights about 2 kg maks. \$\endgroup\$
    – freezer
    May 28, 2017 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ hint : first find google Scholar & microsoft scholar sites then MaX out your learning skills \$\endgroup\$ May 28, 2017 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I already searched books and articles. And need to make some certain decision to make it end in one week to create gantt chart type diagram. So ı will have time afterwards for details maybe but need to know some key things. \$\endgroup\$
    – freezer
    May 28, 2017 at 18:42

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