Problem Solving 101 with Andy Harrison

At Artech House, we ask our authors what problems their books can help readers solve. In this series, we share what our authors aim to do in their writing. Read on to find out what Andy Harrison, who wrote Introduction to Radar Using Python and MATLAB had to say:

What are the features of your book and the specific benefits a reader can expect to derive from those features?  

  • The ability to perform trade studies of radar subsystems, including transmitter power, antenna type, receiver type and detection methods is of great value to the radar engineer.  This text and software provides the engineer with the background and tools necessary to perform various design trade studies and analysis.  The software tool suite provides many graphical outputs suitable for use in technical reports.
  • Waveform selection plays a key role in radar performance for the particular application.  The text and software will give the engineer the tools necessary to perform analysis and design of various waveforms for use in radar systems. This is accomplished through the study of the ambiguity function for each particular waveform from simple linear frequency modulation (LFM) waveforms to more complicated coded waveforms.  This tool suite also allows the user to analyze their own custom waveforms.
  • Target tracking filters are critical to applications such as autonomous navigation, multi-sensor fusion and weapons guidance.  This text gives a clear and concise presentation of tracking filter fundamentals, each parameter associated with the filter and how each affects tracking performance.  This text and software gives the engineer various tracking filters for simple trajectories as well as maneuvering targets.
  • Radar cross section prediction is an important but often difficult topic in radar engineering. This text and software gives the engineer the tools necessary to predict the radar cross section of targets ranging from simple canonical shapes to more complicated geometries. Various radar cross section measurement techniques are covered. This text will also give the professional a clear understanding of how important target scattering is in areas of target detection, target tracking, pulse integration, and target discrimination.
  • Three-dimensional radar imaging is an application area that has seen increasing interest for terrain mapping, through wall imaging and target discrimination.  This text gives the background and tools for the engineer to produce synthetic aperture (SAR) images.  This is accomplished by giving a tomographic formulation and implementation for SAR imaging.  This formulation is then extended to three-dimensional problems and the tool suite provides examples of each.
  • The major feature of this text is the associated tool suite.  The user-friendly GUI updates plots and images as the user changes parameters.  This results in a very interactive tool that helps the user gain valuable insight about the topic of interest.  Full access to both the Python and MATLAB source code gives the user the ability to customize and extend each tool for their particular application or include as part of a larger simulation.

Please name the audiences at which this book is aimed. How will this audience use your book?

  • The first audience is the huge number of engineering professionals working in areas of radar analysis. In Huntsville, AL alone, there are over 20,000 engineering professionals, many working in various areas of radar design, analysis, and testing. The Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Advanced Research Center (ARC) has been involved with the analysis, characterization and testing of various radar systems of importance to MDA for over 40 years.  Also in Huntsville, are both the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). Both of these organizations employee numerous radar systems engineers that cover many areas from hardware in the loop testing to algorithm design and analysis.  These engineers would benefit greatly from this text and software toolset and I believe would be a major audience for marketing.
  • Another audience is the engineering professionals involved in areas radar cross section prediction and measurement. Again, Huntsville is home to MDA, Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), the Redstone Technical Test Center (RTTC) and the Cruise Missile Defense Systems (CMDS) Project Office. All of these organizations would be very interested in the radar cross section discussion and tools in the text.  As with the audience in section 1., these are both government and contractor employees, which together make up a large audience.  In addition, each of these groups described also has associated organizations in other parts of the county, such as the Threat Modeling Center in Colorado, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) in Ohio, and the various radar project offices located across the country.
  • A third audience for the text is students who are currently studying or are interested in radar systems. Whether this is university students focused in radar studies or junior engineering professionals or more experienced professionals who are changing the focus of their careers to radar related areas.  I taught two radar courses for John’s Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.  I have also taught radar courses at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center and at the University of Alabama Huntsville.  I believe that these could potentially grow to very large audiences who would want to use the text and associated software in educational settings.


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