Chair of Radar, Navigation and Electronic Systems
Incumbent: Prof. Nadav Levanon
Radar (Radio Detection And Ranging) is a branch in electrical engineering, founded before and during WWII, and eventually determined its outcome. Radar is still a critical component in modern warfare. It can be found in war planes, ships, submarines (sonar), missiles, air defense, surveillance, and more. The civilian use of radars is also growing, such as weather radars, air traffic control, automotive radars, remote sensing, medical imaging, etc.
Progress in electronic devices, especially signal processors, created a revolution in radar. The magnetron, originally developed for radar, moved to microwave ovens, and was replaced by coherent solid state amplifiers. Digital signal generators and processors make it possible to replace the narrow, high power pulse, with a sophisticated low-power long-duration waveform that can be compressed at the receiver into an effective narrow pulse. Such waveforms provide modern radar with long distance, narrow range and velocity resolution, hence high accuracy. .
In military applications radar keeps competing with counter measures, by seeking waveforms that are difficult to intercept. The ever changing threats keep posing new challenges to military radar, such as ground penetrating capabilities, or tracking trajectories of short-range rockets and mortars. The challenges that civilian applications pose are just as difficult. Automotive radars for cruise control and accident mitigation require extremely low probabilities of false alarms, despite expected interference from many similar radar units in other cars, in close proximity..
Israel's security depends to a great degree on technological capabilities. Yet, Israel is not exposed to classified know-how that US and NATO countries share. In radar Israel must rely on independent advanced research. Basic radar research needs an academic environment that is not hindered by deadlines, can publish, and can teach students. The radar and navigation chair at Tel Aviv University strives to become such and academic knowledge center. Radar courses have been taught at Tel Aviv University for more than 15 years, and TAU is leading the Israeli academic community in the radar field..
Navigation is a sister branch to radar. They share many common concepts and technologies. Both have military and civilian applications. The advent of satellite navigation (GPS) makes navigation easily available to civil use. Soon there will be a GPS receiver in each cell phone. This phenomena creates a new research area that deals more with applications than the core technology. Yet, there is progress in non-GPS navigation capabilities, starting from missile homing and ending with guiding a miniature capsule within the human body..
The purpose of the chair is therefore to advance academic research in radar and navigation, contribute to cooperation with research labs in universities, government laboratories and industry, both in Israel and overseas, and help graduate students through courses and research..
The chair incumbent is Prof. Nadav Levanon, a faculty member of TAU since 1970. Prof. Levanon has published two radar texts: Radar Principles (Wiley, 1988) and Radar Signals (Wiley, 2004). He is a fellow of the IEEE and of the IEE, and heads TAU's Yitzhak and Chaya Weinstein Research Institute for Signal Processing