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    Radar Division


NRL invented, developed, and in 1938 installed the first operational U.S. radar, the XAF, on the battleship USS New York. This prototype was rapidly transferred to industry for production and by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, 20 radar units were in operation. Radar of this type contributed to major victories in the Naval battles at the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal during World War II.  The capabilities provided by radar remain critical to the technological capabilities of the Navy, Marine Corps, and the services and also provide many important civilian uses.



The mission of the Radar Division is to conceive, develop, demonstrate, document, and transition RF sensing concepts, technologies, and intellectual property that provide technological advantage for the Department of the Navy. This is accomplished through basic research, exploratory development, and advanced technology demonstrations in partnerships across the laboratory, with Warfare Centers, FFRDCs, UARCs, academia, and industry, and in support to the requirements and acquisition communities. Fundamental to the mission is the performance of high quality forward-leaning research and engineering that is rigorous, complete, and detailed, and performed with consideration of the Navy and Marine tactical operating environments.


Major Areas of Research  

  • Radar Systems Engineering
  • Shipboard and Airborne Radar Systems
  • Small Target Detection
  • Maritime Domain Awareness
  • Networked and Distributed Radar Concepts
  • Multi-Function Systems
  • Computational Electromagnetics
  • High Frequency Radar
  • Advanced Waveforms and Signal Processing
  • Electronic Protection
  • Ultra-wideband Antennas
  • Radar Imaging and Target Identification
  • Millimeter-wave radar

Core Capabilities & Facilities 

  • Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare Testbed
  • FlexDAR demonstration system (every element digital beamforming)
  • X-band AESA testbed
  • S-Band radar waveform development testbed
  • Radar signature calculation facility
  • Computational Electromagnetics facilityHigh Performance computing clusters
  • Compact range and near-field antenna measurement laboratory
  • Electronic Protection (EP) testbed
  • Electronics and mechanical computer aided design facility
  • High Frequency (HF) Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) testbed
  • HF Surface Wave Radar Testbed
  • AN/SPS-49-A(V)1
  • Microwave and RF instrumentation laboratories

Recruitment & Student Opportunities

Download the below PDF for more details.

NRL Radar Division Employment Flyer