Cost-Effective Sensors for Improved Target Characterization and Energy-Efficient Radar Systems

Technology #12144


The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing cost-effective sensors that will greatly improve the utility of new and existing military radar systems, using signal-processing techniques that can classify certain targets and potentially reduce radar power consumption. Radar systems emit electromagnetic waves, and receive and process reflected waves to evaluate target characteristics in an area of interest. These reflected waves, when processed, can provide operators with information about an object’s size, distance and speed. Many existing radar systems are large, heavy, consume substantial power, and do not provide additional information about the types of targets detected. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed signal-processing techniques that will classify and differentiate human, vehicle and potentially other targets. In addition, the researchers have developed signal-processing techniques to potentially reduce radar power consumption for detection, tracking and classification of targets.These capabilities have been demonstrated in small radar sensors developed on defense contracts.These easy-to-operate sensors require only a small amount of energy, and offer the additional benefit of potentially reducing false alarms. With the ability to improve target classification, decrease the number of false alarms, and reduce radar power consumption, this technology is well-positioned to capture a sizeable portion of radar technology sales.The global radar market is expected to reach $50 billion by 2017.


Energy-efficient micro-sensors for improving the target characterization capabilities of military radar systems


  • Differentiates between many different types of targets, permitting more accurate object identification and reducing the number of false alarms
  • Can be implemented with digital signal processing and automatic or semi-automatic operation, enhancing ease of use
  • Utilizes patented, energy-efficient signal processing, decreasing operating costs and enabling greater flexibility in situations where power sources are limited


University of Florida researchers have developed sensors for improving military or commercial radar systems in terms of target classification, false-alarm reduction and operational power efficiency. The researchers developed patented digital signal-processing techniques, which they demonstrated with frequency modulation continuous wave (FMCW) sensors they developed for defense applications. The sensors offer the potential for improved radar performance and lower operating costs.