Receiver Station

A passive radar receiver station has been installed at the rooftop of the BME university in december, 2015. The main aim of the permanent installation of the quad channel coherent receiver is to provide a widely accessible platform for passive radar researches. The receiver unit operates in the UHF band and capable of receiving DVB-T transmissions. Currently there are three operating transmitters at Budapest. These can be found at the Széchenyi-hill, Hármashatár-hill and one is the Száva street. The radar utilize these transmitters as the illuminators of opportunity. The remote access of the receiver station is supported by a proxy server. The high-speed record of the raw IQ samples can be triggered remotely and the recorded multichannel samples are accessible through a gigabit Ethernet connection. The antenna system of the passive radar receiver is directed towards the Ferenc Liszt International airport. Using this setup low altitude landing and taking-off airplanes can be observed.

Special thanks to HA7WEN Levente for the realization of the station!

Receiver main parameters:

  • RF bandwidth: 480 - 800 MHz

  • IF IQ bandwidth: 8.33  MHz

  • Operating frequency: 634 MHz

  • Antenna system:

    • Surveillance antenna: Quad element linear antenna array with MRA alignment. The signal radiating element is a fractal patch antenna.

    • Reference antenna: High-gain Yagi antenna

Installed antenna system of the passive radar receiver with the ground station antenna of the SMOG-1 pico satelite in the background.

Quad element antenna system of the station

The antenna system is steered in the direction of the airport at Budapest.

Subsystems of the receiver station in the outdoor rack cabinet. The quad channel receiver can be found in the black thin rack and the proxy server, which provides remote access is placed on the top of it (gray box).

A more detailed description on the software defined receiver architecture of this demonstrator can be found in the following publication: