Radar Scan Conversion: The Hows, Whys and Where Nexts?
Radar scan conversion is the process of converting a sequence of radar returns into an image for display. Each radar return is an array of amplitude values corresponding to different range values for a specific angle. As the radar rotates, a new array of values is created for the next angle. Each sample is therefore defined by a range and angle and that is converted into an x and y value for display as an image. In its simplest form, radar scan conversion is a conversion from samples indexed by range and angle to samples indexed by x and y with simple trigonometric functions (x = range * sine (angle) and y = range * cos (angle) converting the coordinates.
When software came to replace hardware
In the early days of radar display, notably before modern graphics cards and multi-core CPUs came along, radar scan conversion was handled with dedicated hardware and special-purpose display hardware. The processing hardware would handle the coordinate transformation of the radar and the display hardware would then blend the radar data with graphics data. This solution worked, and indeed many such installations are still deployed and working well, but it was expensive in proprietary...
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