What is AESA Radar | AESA Radar Block Diagram

This page defines AESA radar basics. It mentions AESA Radar block diagram with principles of working operation and benefits or advantages of AESA radar technology.

What is AESA Radar:
AESA stands for Active Electronically Scanned Array. The radar which uses this type of antenna is known as AESA radar. It is also known as active phased array radar (APAR). It consists of individual radiating elements (i.e. antennas). Each of these antennas are equipped with solid-state Transmit/Receive modules having low noise receiver, Power Amplifier and digitally-controlled gain/phase elements.

AESA radar working operation


The figure depicts AESA radar block diagram. This type of radar houses both analog beamforming as well as digital beamforming elements. The array of antenna elements are used in AESA radar.

Here both phase and amplitude of the input signal are controlled before being applied to individual antenna elements. Hence beam can be steered both in azimuth and elevation directions. Hence main lobe of the radiation pattern is beamed in the desired direction with directivity of concern.

Phased array antenna used in AESA radar will rotate its radiation pattern with no delay unlike mechanically steered radar type. Digital control of transmit/receive gain and as well as timing waveforms helps in beam steering.

The width of beam depends on number of elements in the antenna array. Smaller size targets are detected by using large number of elements as beam becomes sharper.

Now-a-days AESA radars are made using thousands of individual elements which are electrically inter-connected. This provides us complex antenna structure with better performance having reduced size and less weight.

AESA Radar Benefits or advantages

Following are the benefits or advantages of AESA radar.
➨ Rotates the pattern with no delay.
➨ Low sidelobes are achieved.
➨ Significant reduction in antenna radar signature is achieved compare to other radar types.
➨ AESA radar System is more reliable compare to other radar systems.
➨ Large higher voltage power supply is not required as all the individual modules operate at low power of about 40 or 60 watts.


Refer following radar tutorial links which covers radar measurements, doppler radar, FMCW radar, radar bands, radar scope, weather radar, radar range and resolution, ground radar etc.
Radar Measurements   Doppler Radar   FMCW RADAR   RADAR BANDs   RADAR SCOPE   Weather Radar   Ground Penetrating Radar System  RADAR RANGE and RESOLUTION 

Radar calculators

Following are useful radar calculators to calculate radar range, radar PRF, radar resolution etc.
Radar Range calculator   Radar PRF vs Range   Radar Range Resolution 

RF and Wireless Terminologies