Radar based chronograph (bullet sensor)

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Title Radar based chronograph (bullet sensor)
Summary Develop a cheap chronograph to measure bullet speed using a radar sensor
Keywords electronics, computer engineering, physics
TimeFrame spring
References https://mylabradar.com
Prerequisites electronics, physics, computer engineering
Author Stefan Axelsson
Supervisor Stefan Axelson, Pererik Andreasson
Level Flexible
Status Open

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Measurement of bullet speed is important in many situations. From speed measurement when developing rifle ammunition (to achieve accuracy and ensure the round is legal to hunt with) to ballistic measurement of guns shots in crimes (or war zones).

Most simple chronographs today use optical sensors, but these have the drawback that the bullet has to pass through a very well defined measurement zone (on the order of 20x20cm). This also means that there is a considerable risk to shoot the chronograph, and that one has to go down range to set it up (which is a safety hazard).

There have however been one chronograph developed on the dopler radar principle. This is however rather expensive, while the radar modules etc. shouldn't really be. It also uses the 22GHz band, which is a bit low for the optimal detection of the base of a bullet (which is on the order of 7-8mm across). There are now many cheaper radar modules for the automotive market, one should be able to adapt one of these for this simple dopler case (i.e. dopler shift is the only measurement made, angular resolution is not needed).

So this project entails developing a chronograph that is highly accurate (better than one part per thousand), cheap, based on the dopler radar principle, and that can be placed behind the muzzle of the rifle, and report speed to the shooter.

Sponsorship and guidance from the hunting/gun shop just across the parking lot from the school has been secured in the form of an experienced former police officer with access to rifles and the local range. (Thus also ensuring the legality and safety of the project).