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Radio hacker extraordinaire Greg Charvat is back with this 15-minute video lecture showing off and explaining the measurement of moving objects’ velocities using the low-cost coffee can radar system he and co-workers at MIT developed, in the fall of 2010, for their open courseware initiative.

The video begins with a chalk talk describing the operation of a simple doppler radar system at the block diagram level, then moves into a lab where Greg demonstrates the set’s response to the position of his hand. Then it’s back to the white board to explain how the output changes when the target is moving, and finally, wrapping up with a field demonstration using the coffee can system to measure the speeds of several cars passing on a nearby road. Amazing stuff. [Thanks, Greg!]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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  1. dkavanagh says:

    Just this morning, as i took the trash to the curb, I was thinking about the cars speeding down my 25mph street and how to measure their speed. timely!