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Radar Challenge Florence

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Hosted by 2020 IEEE International RADAR Conference, Florence

Announcing the Radar Challenge

The Radar Challenge is a series of events co-hosted with radar conferences that enables participants to experience the magic of radar in a personal, tangible and experiential way. The events require participants to sense a scene using their self-engineered “home-brew” radar. The goal is to build a community of radar builders that collectively explore the art of the possible in making “COTS-based” radars.

The Challenge

Challenge participants are challenged to develop a low-cost COTS passive radar system. An outdoor terrace will be made available at the Unversity of Pisa Department of Information Engineering building, which has a view towards the Pisa airport. From the terrace participants should demonstrate the capability of their system to detect and locate aircraft flying in or out of the airport.

Challenge Criteria

Submissions to the challenge will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Design Ingenuity
  • Cost and Performance/Price Ratio
  • Demonstrated Performance such as accuracy and detection/track range
  • Hardware and Software Design Overview and Bill of Materials


  • Bill of Materials (BOM) must include source & price


The following deadlines apply to the challenge:

  • 30/06/20 Submission of one to three page concept paper
  • 10/07/20 Notification of participation invitation
  • 19-20/09/20 Challenge Event
  • 23/09/20 Prize Presentation


Based on the submitted concept papers, teams will be invited to participate in the challenge event. Participating teams will be judged based on the demonstrated performance of their solution as well as their concept paper. Prizes will be award for the winning teams.



I am new to this space and the technologies involved. Can you offer any general advice regarding where to get started and which hardware is worth looking into?

Does the challenge involve detecting existing ADS-B pings from aircraft? Or, are you referring to other passive radar coming off aircraft?

We are referring to passive radar using illuminators of opportunity and not ADS-B.




The challenge is organised by the 2020 IEEE Radar Conference and the IEEE AESS Radar Systems Panel. In the case of questions, feel free to contact:
Alex Charlish ([email protected]) or Frank Robey ([email protected])

Check the website regularly for news as well as tips on getting started!

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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