High-power transmitters are one of the critical elements in a radar system. The radar waveform needs to be amplified without
distortion to the desired output power level by the high-power transmitter. In addition to affecting the overall performance of
the radar system, the design of the transmitter affects many other factors, such as size, weight, power consumption, operating
cost, reliability and maintenance.
This paper provides basic guidelines for designing a radar transmitter and addresses the critical requirements faced by the
hardware designer. Available technologies and recent advances that enable designers to meet these requirements are discussed.
Vacuum electron devices and solid state technologies are examined, as well as the design trade-offs that must be considered
when selecting the more suitable of the two approaches. Specific devices, such as the Traveling Wave Tube (TWT) and other
vacuum electron device-based transmitters, including the Microwave Power Module (MPM), solid state amplifier, Active
Electronic Scanned Array (AESA), and a combination of these technologies are discussed in detail. Techniques for achieving
the critical requirements of a modern radar system, such as good spectral purity, excellent amplitude and phase stability and
very low spurious, are also discussed. In particular, this paper emphasizes the practical design of reliable hardware for
achieving high microwave power in the 1 to 40 GHz power range.