Digital Beam Swing Radar Profiler (Ref 16/38)

Company: ESA BIC

Location: Harwell (Atlas Centre – R27)

S&AO Ltd was established to reinvent the market for atmospheric remote sensing by developing existing concepts into world leading technology and solutions. The current portfolio of designs includes a Radar Wind Profiler, a Lightning Detection Solution, and a Radar Cloud Profiler. These sensor designs have been developed by Dr Dirk Klugmann, the founder of S&AO, who is an internationally recognised expert in the field of atmospheric observation.

Project Background

Radar Wind Profiler is an established ground-based remote sensing instrument for observing profiles of the two-dimensional (horizontal) and three-dimensional wind vector. The currently dominating concept, based on decades old technology, relies either on beam forming by phase shifting the elements of two-dimensional patch array antennas realised in hardware, or on a number of separate antennas pointing in different directions.

More modern concepts, including such applying digital beam forming of the elements of two-dimensional patch array antennas, have been realised in the atmospheric research community. They have been hampered by the complex technological design and the overly ambitious operating parameters. S&AO Ltd intends to realise a less complex design of a new radar wind profiler based on digital beam forming with the capability for operational application.

The project will provide an important contribution towards the realisation of this new design.

Project Description

The project consists of a mandatory first phase and of an optional second phase. The optional second phase will be based on the outcome and findings from the first phase, and will be processed if time allows.

During the mandatory first phase, the two-dimensional antenna gain diagram of the transmit-receive (Tx/Rx) antenna system, when digital beam forming is applied, will be simulated, visualised and assessed for different heights. This will be realised using an established programming language (preferably Matlab or Python) as agreed with the successful candidate. This shall yield important parameters for the realisation of the concept, e.g. the characteristics and positions of the individual antenna elements.

If possible within the agreed time frame, the optional second phase will be used to realise a demonstrator for the concept drawing on the details and parameters found as result of the first phase. This includes the programming of a data acquisition (DAQ) and command-and-control (CC) system, which preferably will be realised in LabVIEW (optionally Matlab if agreed with the successful candidate). This will be connected to the front end of the system, that has to be assembled in a systems integration exercise.

The successful applicant will be introduced into the project by the founder and director of S&AO Ltd. The successful applicant will subsequently work with limited supervision, but the opportunity to access the founder and director of S&AO Ltd any time. Discussions and briefings will be scheduled with the successful applicant for key points / milestones of the project.

Spintern Specification:

A promising candidate is likely to be in the 3rd / 4th year of an electro engineering or physics / meteorology related undergraduate course and to provide sufficient mathematical and computing knowledge.

Candidates in the 3rd / 4th year of a computer science or applied mathematics related undergraduate course with an interest in hardware systems integration and basic electronics knowledge are also anticipated to have the chance for a successful application.

Candidates from completely different backgrounds that cover the skills set indicated above will also be considered.

The successful candidate is required to commute to the Harwell Campus for work on a daily basis during the working week.

The Nitty Gritty

8 weeks fixed term contract to be agreed with successful candidate but nominally with a start date around 27 June which is also the SPIN induction day at Harwell. Salary is £1,250 per calendar month.

Closing Date for Applications: 13 June 2016

Applications will be through the online form attaching a CV, before the closing date.  They will be checked for eligibility and forwarded to the employer.

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