Accurate Phase Calibration for Digital Beam-Forming in Multi-Transceiver HF Radar System

Hung Q. Nguyen, Jim S. Whittington, John C. Devlin, Ha L. Vu, Ngoc-Vinh Vu, Eddie Custovic


The TIGER-3 radar is being developed as an “all digital” radar with 20 integrated digital transceivers, each connected to a separate antenna. Using phased array antenna techniques, radiated power is steered towards a desired direction based on the relative phases within the array elements. This paper proposes an accurate phase measurement method to calibrate the phases of the radio output signals using Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. The method sequentially measures the phase offset between the RF signal generated by each transceiver and a reference signal operated at the same frequency. Accordingly, the transceiver adjusts its phase in order to align to the reference phase. This results in accurately aligned phases of the RF output signals and with the further addition of appropriate phase offsets, digital beamforming (DBF) can be performed steering the beam in a desired direction. The proposed method is implemented on a Virtex-5 VFX70T device. Experimental results show that the calibration accuracy is of 0.153 degrees with 14 MHz operating frequency.

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