Implementation of a GNU radio and python FMCW radar toolkit

Themba W. Mathumo, Theo G. Swart, Richard W. Focke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The use of GNU Radio in order to explore FMCW radar is growing rapidly, where it is used for radar signal processing. In this paper we implement FMCW surveillance radar for drone detection on SDR using GNU Radio and the USRP B210. The requirement was to design and implement an FMCW surveillance radar to detect a drone with a radar cross-section of 0.1 m2 and a maximum range of 150 m for the purpose of point detection. The signal processing takes the beat frequency which has pulse compression gain and performs coherent integration. It windows and displays the results on a range Doppler map using two-dimensional fast Fourier transform. The pulse repetition frequency of the waveform is selected as 2200 Hz with a chirp bandwidth of 28 MHz, allowing for resolving a maximum velocity of 30 m/s unambiguously, which is the typical maximum speed of a small drone. Experiments were conducted using a human being and a car target as a drone was not available. The B210 induced a phase drift in the results which causes a Doppler shift. The phase drift was resolved by creating a phase equalization matrix, which was used to correct the phase drift in real-time. Verification of the designed radar system yielded a 63% probability of detection and probability of false alarm of 1.7 × 10-6.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE AFRICON
Subtitle of host publicationScience, Technology and Innovation for Africa, AFRICON 2017
EditorsDarryn R. Cornish
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538627754
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017
EventIEEE AFRICON 2017 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 18 Sept 201720 Sept 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE AFRICON: Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa, AFRICON 2017


ConferenceIEEE AFRICON 2017
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • Doppler radar
  • Frequency modulation
  • Radar signal processing
  • Software defined radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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