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Radar Systems & Remote Sensing Lab


Research in RSL runs the gamut from experimental system development to theoretical signal processing and electromagnetics. Current topics of investigation include MIMO, pulse agility, compressive sensing, adaptive transmission, multi-mode operation, high-power spectral efficiency, antenna array/element optimization, and much more. Radar research encompasses multiple disciplines including RF systems design, estimation & detection theory, computational/theoretical EM, optimization theory, EMC/EMI, and signal processing. Faculty and students are engaged in a wide variety of projects ranging from the design, construction, and experimentation of actual radar systems in hardware to the theoretical analysis and development of advanced mathematical concepts.

RSL students have continued on to employment with Garmin, Selex Systems Integration, and Honeywell in the Kansas City area as well as Raytheon, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and many others.

In May 2011, KU RSL was honored to host the IEEE Radar Conference in Kansas City, MO. The conference was comprised of over 400 attendees from industry and academia hailing from 28 different countries including many of the world's most renowned experts in the field of radar. The technical program for the conference included 225 papers on state-of-the-art research as well as 14 tutorials on fundamental and advanced radar concepts.

Current RSL Faculty

Name Title Research Expertise
Christopher Allen Professor Microwave remote sensing and radar system design/analysis
Shannon Blunt Associate Professor, RSL Director Adaptive signal processing, interference cancellation, multistatic radar, and waveform diversity
Kenneth Demarest Professor Computational electromagnetic techniques and lightwave systems
Mark Ewing Associate Professor, FRL Director Structural vibrations of high performance structures, aircraft structural acoustics and interior noise reduction
Rongqing Hui Professor Novel Photonic Devices, Lidar Based Remote Sensing, Optical Communication Systems, Optical/RF Measurement and Biosensors
Glenn Prescott Professor, EECS Department Chair Digital signal processing applications and low probability of intercept communication
Sarah Seguin Assistant Professor Electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic interference, radar systems, signal integrity, antenna design, and electromagnetic modeling
James Stiles Associate Professor, ITTC Associate Director Radar remote sensing and propagation, scattering of electromagnetic waves in random media, radar signal processing

The university academic unit for RSL faculty is the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department.

History of the Radar Systems & Remote Sensing Lab (RSL)

RSL was originally founded as the Remote Sensing Laboratory in 1964. Professor R. K. Moore (Electrical Engineering) served as its director and Professors D. S. Simonett (Geography), L. F. Dellwig (Geology), and R. D. Ellermeier (EE) as associate directors. At that time, Prof. Moore led the NASA Radar Team that devised a space-based radar that was a predecessor to the radar later flown as SIR-C (Shuttle-Imaging Radar-C). RSL has been involved with numerous remote sensing radar systems flown in space, radar remote sensing for myriad scientific missions, and with the development of radar technology for defense applications.

Early RSL accomplishments include:

  • 1965-72 One of the first Interactive Image-Processing Systems (IDECS)
  • 1967 Conceived wind-speed scatterometer
  • 1967 First sea-ice scatterometer measurements
  • 1969 Invented radar-radiometer (RADSCAT)
  • 1970-74 Principal architects of Skylab S-193 RADSCAT
  • 1971 First wide-band FM radar scatterometer/spectrometer
  • 1973 First comprehensive theory for radar scatter from sea ice
  • 1973 First ground measurement of space-borne radar antenna pattern (Skylab S-193)
  • 1974 First to propose radar for soil-moisture measurement
  • 1978 First helicopter-borne radar scatterometer/spectrometer
  • 1979 First radar scatterometer measurements from sea with wave height measured in radar beam
  • 1981 Developed concept of scanning SAR for wide-swath coverage (SCANSAR)
  • 1987 First modern-technology radar for ice-sheet probing
  • 1988 Concept for Radar measurement of Winds Aloft from Satellite (RAWS)
  • 1989 First scattering measurements for Antarctic sea ice
  • 1993 First use of plane waves to improve near-vertical scattering measurements
  • 1998 Hosted the 7th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar in Lawrence, KS

RSL has been involved with the following space-borne radar programs: Skylab, Seasat, SIR-A, SIR-B, SIR-C, ERS-1, JERS-1, TRMM, and SeaWinds. RSL has participated in many large national and international programs for study of vegetation, oceans, sea ice, and glacial ice.

In 1998, RSL merged with the Telecommunication & Information Sciences Lab (TISL) to form the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC) at KU. In 2005, RSL research formed the basis of the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), an NSF Science and Technology Center established to study the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.