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Electronic Attack of a Dual Band Radar

MEng Dissertation: Aadil Valli Essop


Aadil Valli Essop is currently working at Denel Land Systems, in the field of System Engineering, in Artillery Development.

He grew up in Johannesburg, and completed his Mechanical Engineering undergraduate degree at the Rand Afrikaans University.

He attended various modules of the MEng (Radar and Electronic Defence) programme at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 2014.

Click on the photo to read an interview with him, which is part of the ‘Meet our Alumni‘ series.

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Adobe-PDF-downloadEssop, Aadil Valli. Electronic Attack of a Dual Band Radar. MEng (specialising in Radar and Electronic Defence) Dissertation. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, 2014.


Radars are required as sensors for Ground Based Air Defence System’s (GBADS). The GBADS is used for point or area defence against aerial attack by aerial platforms. Radars of a GBADS are used in the following roles:

  1. Air Surveillance and Target Acquisition
  2. Tracking

In the “Air Surveillance and Target Acquisition” role, the radars provide “Early Warning” to the effectors so that the hostile target/targets can be engaged. The effectors used in the GBADS Battery are generally:

  1. Short Range Air Defence (SHORAD) Missiles
  2. Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) Missiles
  3. Anti-Aircraft Guns

In the “Target Tracking” role, the radar provides target designation information to the effector, which uses the information to locate and engage the target.

It is therefore logical that any radar used in a GBADS must be robustly protected against Electronic Attack (EA), to ensure it is able to provide the functions of Air Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Target Tracking. A potential candidate for radar with these functions, within a GBADS is a novel Dual Band Radar (DBR). Simultaneous transmission of dual band (“X” and “L”) radar pulses in a single radar, are used to determine target range, speed, direction and height. This type of radar has inherent design features such as dual band operation, multiple frequency pulse transmission and “digital beam-forming on receive” technology, which make it “difficult to jam”.

The objective of this thesis is to determine if this radar can be attacked electronically, what techniques would be most suitable, determine the effectiveness thereof and then propose electronic protection (EP) measures.

The “radar-ES-EA” interaction was modelled as having a “signal” level dimension and a “system” level dimension. The system-level approach analysed and modelled radar performance (Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) vs. Range, Pd vs. Range) and radar performance degradation (Jammer Power vs. Radar Power, Burn-through Range, etc.). The signal-level approach allowed possible EA techniques to be determined through visualisation of the radar signal interactions. Following the above-mentioned methodology showed that the DBR can be electronically attacked effectively, proposed ES and EA algorithms that would be most useful and also suggested an EA system architecture that can be used for testing EA of a DBR. The latter outcome was an additional optional outcome of the study. Finally, EP measures were proposed, to reduce or eliminate the effects of EA proposed in this study.