Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Radar

Blighter radars use the state-of-the-art frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) transmission technology.  FMCW has significant advantages over existing Pulsed and Pulse-Compression radar systems.

No Local Dead-zone

FMCW is the technique by which the radar resolves and measures targets in range.  As FMCW uses a continuous transmission, it measures targets at all ranges within the range gate.  In practice, FMCW radars can detect targets at effectively zero range and at maximum instrumented range simultaneously.  In the case of Blighter radars, they can detect targets as close as 10 metres from the front of the radar antenna, out to whichever instrumented range mode is used (e.g. 2 km, 5 km, 8 km, 16 km or 32 km).

Traditional pulsed or pulse compression radars have a dead-zone at short-range that can only be filled by time-consuming secondary short-range scans.

Power Efficiency

Another advantage of FMCW technology is that it achieves much greater power efficiency than pulse based radars.  Modern solid-state transmitters are more efficient when operated continuously, rather than in pulses.  The benefits of this are that the radar requires less input power and that the transmitter components are subject to much less thermal stress than in pulsed systems, thereby improving reliability and tolerance of hot desert climatic conditions.  The low power consumption of Blighter radars (just 38 Watts for a 360° long-range solution) reduces the system power requirements and makes it possible for standalone operation from one or two solar panels, combined with a deep cycle battery.

It should be noted that a number of competing e-scan radars generate so much heat that they require air conditioning to operate in extreme temperatures (thereby demanding even greater power).  Blighter radars require no such additional cooling.