Digital Radar and Radio Systems (TIGER)


La Trobe University operates three High Frequency radars (TIGER) which form part of an international network called Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN).

The network is operated by over a dozen nations to provide simultaneous coverage of both southern and northern polar regions. TIGER explores the impact of solar disturbances on Earth by monitoring the location of aurora and related phenomena occurring in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere.

The engineering team research lies in the area of hardware and software and is responsible for the development of a state of the art digital FPGA based, reconfigurable radar platform currently utilized by the Buckland Park radar in Adelaide.

Research areas

Research areas include:

  • FPGA processing
  • signal processing
  • phased arrays and antenna design
  • high power RF
  • EMC design.

The department strongly collaborates with the Department of Chemistry and Physics and has research ties with the:

  • British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
  • South African National Space Agency (SANSA)
  • Defence Science Technology Organisation (DSTO)
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Newcastle
  • Virginia Polytechnic University
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Alaska
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Saskatchewan.

TIGER produces many data products which are used by La Trobe physicists and collaborative partners in Australia and around the world. These radars are key instruments for enhancing our understanding of how charged particles from the Sun (Solar Wind) impact and alter the Earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere, causing changes in the ionosphere known as "space weather". An active Space Weather storm can often be seen as Aurora near the poles. While an Aurora is a spectacular natural phenomena, a severe Space Weather storm can significantly impact our highly technical world, disrupting communication systems, disabling satellites, and even causing wide spread power blackouts. Being able to predict Space Weather storms and their severity is vital to modern society and La Trobe's TIGER radars are at the forefront of improving the world's knowledge of Space Weather.

For further information see the TIGER website [external link].

Edhem Custovic



If you are interested in Honours or postgraduate research, contact a member of the research group:

Postgraduate students

Emeritus staff

Building the TIGER Buckland Park Antenna Array

Recent publications

  1. Bienvenu, B.; Ngoc-Vinh Vu; Whittington, J.; Devlin, J., "Variable-length quadratic envelope pulse shaping and automatic gain control for HF radars," Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Broadband and Biomedical Communications , pp.259-263, 21-24 Nov. 2011, doi: 10.1109/IB2Com.2011.6217931
  2. Bland, E. C., A. J. McDonald, S. de Larquier, J. C. Devlin (2014), Determination of ionospheric parameters in real-time using SuperDARN HF radars, J. Geophys. Res., doi: 10.1002/2014JA020076
  3. Custovic, E., A. J. McDonald, J. Whittington, D. Elton, T. A. Kane, and J. C. Devlin (2013), New antenna layout for a SuperDARN HF radar, Radio Sci., 48, 722–728, doi:10.1002/2013RS005156.
  4. Custovic, E., A. J. McDonald , T. A. Kane , N. V. Vu , J. Whittington and J. C. Devlin, Next Generation of Over the Horizon HF Radars and the determination of foF2 in real-time, pp 141-156, Proceedings of the 11th Australian Space Science Conference, Canberra, September 26-29, 2011.
  5. Custovic, E.; Elton, D.; Whittington, J.; Devlin, J.; Console, A; Bienvenu, B.; McDonald, A; Nguyen, H., "Improved impedance matching for SuperDARN TTFD antennas," Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Radar, pp.422-428, 9-12 Sept. 2013, doi: 10.1109/RADAR.2013.6652026
  6. Custovic, E., H. Q. Nguyen, J. C. Devlin, J. Whittington, D. Elton, A. Console, H. Ye, R. A. Greenwald, D. A. Andre, and M. J. Parsons. "Evolution of the SuperDARN antenna: Twin terminated folded dipole antenna for HF systems", Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Broadband and Biomedical Communications (IB2Com), 2011, pp. 24-29. IEEE, 2011.
  7. Greenwood, R. I, M. L. Parkinson, P. L. Dyson, E. W. Schulz (2011), Dominant ocean wave direction measurements using the TIGER SuperDARN systems, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 73(16), pp.2379-2385, doi: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.08.006
  8. McDonald, A. J., J. Whittington, S. de Larquier, E. Custovic, T. A. Kane, and J. C. Devlin (2013), Elevation angle-of-arrival determination for a standard and a modified SuperDARN HF radar layout, Radio Sci., 48, 709–721, doi:10.1002/2013RS005157.
  9. Nguyen, H. Q.; Custovic, E.; Whittington, J.; Devlin, J.; Borgio, A, "Clock synchronisation in multi-transceiver HF radar system", Signal Processing, Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications and Computing (ICSPCC), pp.1,6, 14-16 Sept. 2011, doi: 10.1109/ICSPCC.2011.6061758
  10. Nguyen, H. Q., Jim S. Whittington, John C. Devlin, Ha L. Vu, Ngoc-Vinh Vu, and Eddie Custovic. "Accurate Phase Calibration for Digital Beam-Forming in Multi-Transceiver HF Radar System." International Journal of Electronics and Telecommunications, 59, no. 3 (2013): 245-254.
  11. Nguyen, H. Q.; Vu, N.V.; Whittington, J.; Custovic, E.; Bienvenu, B.; Devlin, J., "Noise immunity enhancement for a distributed clock system in digital HF radar," Broadband and Biomedical Communications (IB2Com), 2011 6th International Conference on, vol., no., pp.227,231, 21-24 Nov. 2011, doi: 10.1109/IB2Com.2011.6217925
  12. Nguyen, H. Q., Whittington, J., and Devlin, J. C., Electromagnetic Interference Immunity and Enhancement Techniques and Applications, 4G Wireless Communication Networks: Design, Planning and Applications, Eds: Agbinya JI, Aguayo-Torres MC, Klempous R, and Nikodem J., River Publishers, Denmark, 2013, ISBN: 978-87-92982-71-1
  13. Nguyen, T., J. Devlin, D. Elton, G. Deng, and E. Custovic, Spectrum difference function technique for measuring velocity, in IB2COM 2013, Guilin, China, December 2013
  14. Nguyen, T., J. Devlin, D. Elton, E. Custovic, and B. Bienvenu, Scale Factor considerations for SDF technique, in IB2COM 2013, Guilin, China, December 2013
  15. Nguyen, T., J. Devlin, D. Elton, E. Custovic, and B. Bienvenu, Implementation considerations for SDF technique, in In IB2COM 2013, Guilin, China, December 2013

Recent conference presentations


  1. B. Bienvenu, E.C. Bland*, J. Whittington, K. Kamalakkannan, A.J. McDonald, J. C. Devlin, F.W. Menk, Evaluation of early Buckland Park data, 2014, SuperDARN Workshop, Longyearbyen, Norway, 25-30 May 2014.
  2. E.C. Bland*, A. J. McDonald, Determining long-distance radio communications parameters in real-time using SuperDARN HF radars, 2013, AOGS 10th annual meeting, 24-28 June 2013.
  3. E. Custovic, A.J. McDonald*, J. C. Devlin, J. Whittington, New antenna layout for the TIGER-3 radar installation, 2012 SuperDARN Workshop, Shanghai, China, 27 May–1 June, 2012.
  4. E. Custovic, D. Elton, J. Devlin, J. Whittington, A. Console, B. Bienvenu, E. Bland*, Onsite results of an improved impedance matching system for SuperDARN TTFD antennas, 2013, SuperDARN Workshop, Moose Jaw, Canada, 26-31 May 2013.
  5. Custovic, E., D. Elton, J. C. Devlin, J. Whittington, B. Bienvenu, A. Console, A flexible antenna for use in SuperDARN radars, Workshop on Progress in Radar Research 2012, Adelaide, Vic., Australia, 2–3 April, 2012.
  6. J. Devlin, J. Whittington, E. Custovic, D. Elton, A. Console, K. Kamalakkannan, V. Vu, H. Nguyen, B. Bienvenu, A. McDonald, E. Bland*, Installation and initial results from the Buckland Park SuperDARN radar, 2013, SuperDARN Workshop, Moose Jaw, Canada, 26-31 May 2013.
  7. McDonald, A. J.*, T. A. Kane, J. C. Devlin, Ionospheric research using HF radar, Workshop on Progress in Radar Research 2012, Adelaide,Vic., Australia, 2–3 April, 2012.
  8. T. Nguyen, J. Devlin, D. Elton, D. Deng, E. Custovic, New technique for measuring velocity in SuperDARN, 2013, SuperDARN Workshop, Moose Jaw, Canada, 26-31 May 2013.
  9. Whittington, J.*, V. Vu, H. Nguyen, J. C. Devlin, K. Kamalakkannan, B. Bienvenu, Digital operations of the TIGER-3 Radar, Workshop on Progress in Radar Research 2012, Adelaide, Vic., Australia, 2–3 April, 2012.