PHOtonic-based full DIgital Radar

PHODIR project focuses on the study, design and realization of a full digital transceiver radar demonstrator based on photonic technology both for signal generation and for RF received signal processing. Hybrid technologies merging second generation optical systems and conventional radar architecture could be the answer to issues deriving from electronic devices poor performances such high SFDR (Spurious Free Dynamic Range), ENOB (Effective Number Of Bits) and high phase noise level that are nowadays impeding the construction of a fully digital radar transceiver.
Starting from a conventional radar architecture, the main innovative solutions exploited in the project, in order to overcome electronic devices related issues, are the generation of high frequency signals in the optical domain at the transmitter section and the use of ultra-high bit rate and short width optical pulses train for RF received signal sampling.


Some of the key aspects of the project are:

  • Design of a new full digital radar transceiver architecture based on photonic technology;
  • Realization of a radar transmitter with high phase coherence, large bandwidth and ultra-high microwave frequency;
  • Realization of a full digital receiver based on ultra-fast optical sampling and signal processing.

Theoretical support and experimental test-bed thanks to instrumentations and competences in very high-bit rate Gb/s Optical Time Division Multiplexing Systems and techniques for ultra-fast optical sampling have been provided by CNIT.



Ghelfi P., Laghezza Scotti Serafino Capria Pinna Onori Porzi Scaffardi Malacarne Vercesi Lazzeri Berizzi Bogoni

A fully photonics-based coherent radar system (Journal Article)

Nature, 507 (7492), pp. 341-345, 2014, (PHODIR).

(Links | BibTeX)

Ghelfi P., Laghezza Scotti Serafino Capria Pinna Bogoni

The first fully photonics-based radar demonstrator: Concept and field trial (Conference)

2014, (PHODIR).

(Links | BibTeX)


Laghezza F., Capria Cacciamano Berizzi Ghelfi Bogoni

Electro optical radar transmission chain modeling and simulation (Conference)

2011, (PHODIR).

(Links | BibTeX)

Laghezza F., Berizzi Capria Cacciamano Serafino Ghelfi Bogoni

Reconfigurable radar transmitter based on photonic microwave signal generation (Journal Article)

International Journal of Microwave and Wireless Technologies, 3 (3), pp. 383-389, 2011, (PHODIR).

(Links | BibTeX)


Laghezza F., Berizzi Capria Cacciamano Ghelfi Serafino Bogoni

Reconfigurable radar transmitter based on photonic microwave signal generation (Conference)

2010, (PHODIR).

(Links | BibTeX)


Ship Detection with DVB-T Software Defined Passive Radar (Inproceeding)

Proceedings of 2010 IEEE GOLD Remote Sensing Conference, pp. –, Livorno, 2010, (PHODIR).