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3D millimetre wave radar imaging using a low cost plasma display


It has long been known that Glow Discharge Detectors (GDDs or neon bulbs) are able to detect microwave, millimetre wave and even THz radiation. Recent work has also showed that in addition to the direct detection process, they are also capable of mixing or heterodyning two signals to generate a beat. This allows individual GDDs to be used as the core of Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar. Recent research has extended this process to using an array of GDDs to generate simple 3D radar images.


Dr Graham Brooker.

Research location

Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Program type



Our innovation is to realise that low resolution plasma displays can be used in place of individual arrays of GDDs to form the imaging sensor for a 3D millimetre wave radar. Initial work in generating simple direct detection images is promising. However, significant research is required to develop the optics, to improve the sensitivity of the arrays and to develop the readout hardware and software to produce a viable imager.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2063

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