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Development Of A Doppler Radar Experiment Board For Use In Microwave Circuits And Electronics Courses

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Laboratory Development in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.399.1 - 15.399.13



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Paper Authors

author page

R.F. William Hollender Montana State University

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James Becker Montana State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of A Doppler Radar Experiment Board For Use in Microwave Circuits and Electronics Courses


The development of a Doppler radar experiment board and associated course content, observations from their first implementation in the fall 2009 offering of the microwave circuits course at Montana State University and plans for their revision and use in an upper division analog electronics course are described. The motivation for incorporating the experiment board into the microwaves course is to provide students a bridge between their understanding of the basics of microwave component design and the implementation of components into a microwave system. The trend toward higher levels of abstraction in the microwaves field suggests the growing importance of system-level understanding, as fewer students will continue on to component-level design in industry. A continuous wave Doppler system was selected as a vehicle for the component-to-system level transition due to the relative simplicity of the system and its common use in speed monitoring applications. The attempt to combine both component and system-level experiences into a single course was necessitated by the fact that the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in which the concept is being deployed has the resources to offer but a single course in microwave engineering. Thus it is expected that programs which seek to provide students a rather broad sampling of microwave circuitry and systems in a single course may benefit from the chosen approach.


Students enrolled in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Montana State University chose from a variety of upper division discipline-specific courses to satisfy their “professional electives” requirements. One of the upper division electives, taken both by senior- level undergraduates and graduate students, is EE 433 – Planar Microwave Circuits Design. Due to the relatively small size of the department (undergraduate and graduate population of approximately 300 students), EE 433 is the only course available to the students in the field of microwave circuits. For this reason, the course has tried to sample a significant number of topics from the field of microwave circuits, though in the past the course was almost entirely devoted to component-level design.

Over the last several years, a popular microwave engineering text1 has been used for the course, and prior to the fall of 2009, the content of the course could be summarized by the lecture topics and lab exercises listed in Table I. The fact that system-level knowledge is of value to students and implementation of system-level projects can be a motivational tool in a microwave course has been recognized by others.2,3 Indeed, the lab exercises devoted to detector design, power divider design and filter design were fashioned so that the components designed for each experiment were ultimately assembled to develop a primitive frequency-shift keyed (FSK) receiver.2,4

Hollender, R. W., & Becker, J. (2010, June), Development Of A Doppler Radar Experiment Board For Use In Microwave Circuits And Electronics Courses Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16579

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