The aim of this PgCert is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of military electronic systems used in communications and sensors.


  • Start dateSeptember
  • DurationPgCert: up to 11 months full-time, up to two years part-time
  • DeliveryLectures, laboratory demonstrations and tutorials
  • QualificationPgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield University at Shrivenham

Who is it for?

The course is intended for officers of the armed forces and for scientists and technical officers in government defence establishments and the defence industry. It is particularly suitable for those who, in their subsequent careers, will be involved with the specification, analysis, development, technical management or operation of military radar, electro-optics, communications, sonar or information systems, where the emphasis will be on an electronic warfare environment.

Why this course?

A Military Electronic Systems Engineering graduate achieves a high level of understanding and detailed knowledge of military communications and sensor systems with particular regard to electronic warfare. In addition, the MSc course enables the student to carry out an in-depth investigation into an area of electronic warfare to further enhance their analytical capability. Successful graduates of this course should be fully equipped for roles in defence intelligence, systems development and acquisition, involving the specification and analysis of such systems, working individually or as part of a team.

A comprehensive suite of visits to industrial and services establishments consolidates the learning process, ensuring the taught subject matter is directly relevant and current. Some visits are restricted to Five Eyes nations only (i.e. Aus/Can/UK/US/NZ). Please contact us for more information.

Course details

The PgCert will comprise six core modules accumulating 60 credits; after successful completion the award of PgCert Military Electronic Systems Engineering: Foundations is available.

The MSc/PgDip taught phase comprises 10 compulsory modules and a choice of either Information Networks and Advanced Radar, or Aeronautical Engineering Parts 1 and 2.

MSc students must complete a taught phase consisting of 12 modules, followed by an individual dissertation in a relevant topic. PgDip students must complete a taught phase consisting of 12 modules. PgCert students must complete a taught phase consisting of six specified modules.

Course delivery

Lectures, laboratory demonstrations and tutorials


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course.

Electromagnetic Propagation and Devices


    To provide you with an understanding of electromagnetic propagation, antennas and devices relevant to military sensor, communications and electronic warfare systems.

    • Course introduction: course structure, aims and objectives,
    • Information resources: computer centre, library, information retrieval,
    • Propagation: radio propagation, reflection, refraction, multipath, fading, attenuation, ionosphere propagation, troposcatter, anomalous propagation,
    • Antennas: fundamental antenna concepts and definitions; impedance match, radiation patterns, directivity, gain, polarization, axial ratio, EIRP, effective aperture, noise temperature, etc.
    • Overview of antenna types for communications and radar applications including wire antennas, aperture antennas, reflector antennas, low profile and microstrip antennas,
    • Antenna arrays: introduction to phased array theory, types of antenna array, feed network design, beam steering and radiation pattern shaping,
    • Electromagnetic devices: high power tubes including magnetron, coaxial magnetron, Klystron, Extended Interaction Klystron and Travelling Wave Tube Amplifier,
    • Guided waves: waveguides, coaxial lines, microstrip and other RF planar transmission line structures,
    • RF and microwave power dividers, combiners and couplers active solid-state devices: RF diodes and transistors and their application in amplifiers and oscillators, ferrite non-reciprocal devices (circulators and isolators),
    • PIN diode switches, modulators and phase shifters.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of operation and characteristics of antenna sensors and electromagnetic system components and recognise how they may be used in a modern military communication or EW system,
  • Identify and explain the various models of propagation of electromagnetic waves in free space and transmission lines,
  • Analyse and evaluate the performance of electronic warfare system components,
  • Assess the propagation of electromagnetic signals in physical environments,
  • Design antenna elements and develop phased arrays performance models.

Signal Processing, Statistics and Analysis


    To provide you with an understanding of the subjects supporting the specialist modules and to provide you with the essential signal analysis and statistical tools used in the course.

    • Statistics and Noise: Probability, random variables, probability distributions, covariance, correlation. Noise sources, noise bandwidth, noise figure, noise temperature. Cascaded networks. Mathematical representation of noise,
    • Analogue and Digital Signal Processing 1: Analogue methods used to describe, analyse and process signals and the behaviour of systems: Fourier and Laplace transforms, correlation and convolution, impulse response and transfer function,
    • Analogue and Digital Signal Processing 2: Matched filters, the z-transform. Advantages/ disadvantages of DSP, sampling and quantisation, digital filters, DFT and FFT, DSP applications in communications and radar,
    • Decision Theory: Hypothesis testing, probabilities of false alarm and detection, Bayesian systems, error probability and bit error rate, receiver operating characteristics. Bit-error rate lab demo.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module you will be able to:
  • Describe the signal processing methods commonly encountered in sensor, communications and EW systems,
  • Evaluate the effect of randomly varying signals on the decision processing in sensor and communication systems,
  • Identify and analyse signal and noise waveforms commonly encountered in communications, sensor and electronic warfare systems in the time and frequency domains,
  • Analyse the detection performance of such systems.

Electro-Optics and Infrared Systems 1


    To introduce the you to the field of EO/IR technology and give an understanding the underlying principles. To give an appreciation of the likely future advances in the technology and the importance of EO/IR technology in the wider defence system.

    Simple radiometry and power calculations, signature generation (solid and gaseous), contrast, atmospheric effects, optical systems, detector type (thermal, photon, one and two dimensional arrays, fibre sensors), cooling requirements, detector performance characteristics, simple electronic processing, display options, EO/IR seeker systems, countermeasures (including stealth) and counter-countermeasures, digital image processing.


Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe EO/IR systems and the underlying principles and technology,
  • Analyse the significance of the EO/IR system in the defence context,
  • Assess the performance of EO/IR systems.

MES-CP - Communications Principles


    To provide you with an understanding of the concepts and techniques employed in modern communication systems.

    • Introduction: Transmitter and receiver communications system model,
    • Voice source coding: Pulse code modulation, delta modulation, vocoders, demonstrations,
    • Analogue modulation: Amplitude modulation, DSB/SSB. Frequency modulation, demonstrations,
    • Digital modulation: ASK, FSK, PSK, DPSK, QPSK, Offset QPSK, MSK, QAM, demonstrations,
    • Communications channel: Multipath effects, fading and diversity, Egli and Murphy,
    • Receivers: superheterodyne systems, balanced and unbalanced mixers, frequency synthesisers,
    • Link budget analysis.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will  be able to:

  • Identify the main functions of each of the component blocks in a communications system model, deriving suitable values for each of the system parameters,
  • Describe the principles, implementation and theoretical background of the principal modulation schemes employed in communication systems,
  • Evaluate the effects of a communications channel on a transmitted signal in terms of attenuation, time, frequency and phase dispersion,
  • Analyse the performance of a communication system based on a link budget, using a standard propagation model,
  • Propose a suitable communications architecture to meet a required specification given a particular application.

Radar Principles


    To provide you with an understanding of the fundamental principles of radar, allowing you to relate this to the design and analysis of radar systems.

    • Introduction: comparison with other sensors, frequency bands, relationship between size, wavelength and range, target data, historical notes,
    • Radar detection theory: radar range equation, Pd, Pfa and SNR relationships, FAR, No. hits, Integration (quadrature detection),
    • Pulsed Radar Parameters: PRF, pulse width, duty ratio, peak and average powers, min range, eclipsing, max unambiguous range, low PRF, spectrum of pulsed radar, signal bandwidth, matched reception, range resolution. Search radar application,
    • Losses: effect of clear air, precipitation, multipath; Losses associated with radar system, including the antenna (beam-shape loss),
    • CW and FM ranging: The Doppler effect, Doppler sensing, clutter rejection, Doppler filtering/velocity gating. Two phase linear saw-tooth modulation, ranging, effect of Doppler, velocity and range measurement. Missile seeker,
    • Radar cross-section: principal factors; surface reflection effects; forms of scattering; echo mechanisms; variation of RCS with angle; typical values; Swerling models,
    • Pulse compression: frequency coding (FMOP); Phase coding (PMOP); matched filtering; range and velocity resolution; Compressed pulse width; Range-velocity coupling,
    • Clutter: surface and volume backscatter coefficient; spatial and temporal variation; estimation of clutter return and signal-to-clutter ratio for volume and surface clutter; statistical description for clutter; clutter spectrum and de-correlation time,
    • CFAR: Constant false alarm rate systems; Clutter statistics and CFAR
    • performance · Pulse-doppler radar: principle of operation; clutter spectrum; characteristics of HPRF and MPRF systems; FMICW in range measurement; multiple PRFs in range measurement. Airborne early-warning radar: requirements; design drivers and solution; typical parameters. Battlefield surveillance radar: requirements; system design; unambiguous range and velocity measurement · MTI radar: System diagram; clutter rejection by single and double delay line cancellers; blind speed · GMTI: MTI from an airborne platform, target measurement accuracy in range and in angle; clutter Doppler spread Tracking Radar. Monopulse and conical scan angle- trackers; range and velocity gates for range and Doppler tracking; angle-tracking errors; track-while-scan systems; continuity tracking synthetic-aperture radar: Cross range resolution, unfocussed SAR, focussed SAR, array length, array processing, resolution, Doppler Beam
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse radar detection performance in noise and clutter, relating these principles to conventional radar system design,
  • Assess the performance and identify particular operational advantages of modern multi-function radar and SAR systems Skills and Other Attributes,
  • Critically assess the detection performance of a radar system, given its design parameters,
  • Produce a viable radar system design, given a suitable specification of the required radar performance,
  • Generate and analyse radar waveforms and target echoes with MATLAB.

Communications Systems


    To provide the you with an understanding of how modern military and commercial communications systems utilise the principal techniques taught during the communications principles module.

    • Multiplexing and multiple access: FDM, TDM, statistical multiplexing, multiple access methods FDMA, TDMA and CDMA,
    • Fibre-optic communications,
    • Error correction codes: Block, convolutional and trellis coding. LDPC and Turbo codes,
    • Wideband multicarrier techniques: Spread spectrum techniques, OFDM. MIMO systems,
    • Cryptography: Terminology, secret key and public-key systems, authentication, key exchange,
    • GSM: 1G and 2G cellular radio systems. GSM system architecture, signalling, framing and frequency bands,
    • GPRS and EDGE: Enhancements to GSM. 3G systems and signalling,
    • 4G systems and signalling, 5G developments,
    • HF systems. Scatter-based systems,
    • Software Defined Radio,
    • Satellite communications,
    • GPS. System description,
    • Military Communications Systems.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Assess and evaluate the modern communications systems studied in terms of their performance in a hostile environment,
  • Model and analyse the performance of key components within modern communication systems,
  • Relate the performance of a modern military communication system to its design characteristics.

Elective modules
One of the modules from the following list needs to be taken as part of this course

Electro-Optics and Infrared Systems 2


    Increase the depth of knowledge in the field of EO/IR technology and give an understanding of the underlying principles. Give an appreciation of the likely future advances in the technology and the importance of this technology in the wider defence system.

    Advanced radiometry and power calculations, modulation transfer function, minimum resolvable temperature difference, advanced digital image processing, laser systems (principles and applications), laser directed energy weapons, laser countermeasures and electro-optic protection measures.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe EO/IR systems and the underlying principles and technology,
  • Analyse the significance of the EO/IR system in the defence context,
  • Assess the performance of EO/IR systems.

Foundations of Modelling and Simulation

Module Leader
  • John Hoggard

    To make you aware of the roles, concepts and applications of modelling and simulation in defence, and to understand how to construct simple models.

    • The general principles of modelling and simulation,
    • The role of modelling and simulation in supporting Defence decision making, training and analysis,
    • The typical components of M&S systems,
    • The technologies of live, constructive and virtual simulation and their Defence applications,
    • An introduction to defence synthetic environments,
    • Organisations involved in Defence M&S, both in the UK and elsewhere,
    • Practicals hands-on with different Defence M&S systems.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Explain and apply the general principles of Modelling and Simulation (M&S) and the main components of M&S systems,
  • Explain the main organisations involved in M&S for Defence,
  • Explain the importance of M&S in supporting Defence decision-making, training and analysis,
  • Explain the technologies of live, constructive and virtual simulation and their Defence applications,
  • Explain and appreciate the context for the subjects and modules that will be addressed in the remainder of the award, with reference to their significance for application in Defence M&S.

Radar Electronic Warfare

Module Leader
  • Ioannis Vagias

    To provide you with an understanding of the principles, design and analysis of the electronic threats to radar systems and how radar systems may be protected.

    • Radar ES: Operational use; Calculation of ES sensitivity; The radar/ES detection battle; The requirements for a quiet radar; The ES process; Observable parameters; Antenna configurations for AOA measurement; Probability of intercept; Intercept analysis; Signal Sorting,
    • Radar EA: Jamming techniques and strategies; SJNR calculations; range-gate and velocity-gate pull-off; angle deception against monopulse trackers; deception and decoy techniques; DRFM,
    • Radar ED: Frequency and PRF agility; polarisation diversity; power management; sidelobe suppression; dual-band technique,
    • Low probability of intercept radar waveforms: Power management, wideband FM, PSK: pseudo-random phase coding (maximal length sequences), poly-phase. Coding (Frank, P1, 2, 3, 4 codes), FSK: frequency hopping (Costas sequences), hybrid approaches,
    • Jamming of SAR systems: Principles of SAR Jamming,
    • Anti-Radiation Missile Seekers: ARM operational modes and impact on seeker, monopulse seeker design, detection ranges, example designs. 
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Use concepts of sensitivity, resolution and discrimination to establish the capabilities and applications of receivers used in ES,
  • Outline the various electronic attack and associated defence measures applicable to modern radar systems,
  • Identify the role and quantify the performance of a modern radar system, given suitable data regarding its transmissions,
  • Select and assess appropriate electronic defence measures against specified threats, given an operational specification.

Communications Electronic Warfare

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Barker

    To examine and understand the methods of electronically intercepting, contesting and protecting the information environment generated by communications systems.
    • Introduction to Communications Electronic Warfare: Electronic attack, surveillance and defence,
    • Electronic Attack: Jamming techniques and effects, calculation of SJNR, jamming of satellite and ground-based links, GPS vulnerability,
    • Electronic Defence: ED methods (Burst transmission, antenna null-steering, error control, spread-spectrum techniques),
    • Comms EW receivers: Requirements, sensitivity and dynamic range of intercept receivers; communications ESM receiver types (swept superhet, channelised, FFT-based channelised),
    • Direction-finding: DF techniques (DF loop, Adcock antenna, rotary DF systems, interferometers, time difference of arrival method, pseudo-Doppler techniques, amplitude comparison methods); Commercial DF and military EW systems:; Geolocation,
    • Military tactical data links: a case study of high-level EW protection applied to a military data network,
    • Spectral estimation: Classical and parametric methods, eigenvector-based methods,
    • Guest lectures from defence industry.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the main electronic surveillance (ES) and electronic attack threats (EA) to a communications system and propose defensive measures to reduce the impact of these threat,
  • Explain the main analysis methods employed in communications EW in the time, spectral and spatial domains,
  • Analyse and evaluate the impact of electronic attack on a communications network using a power budget and quantify the effect of electronic defence measures.

MES-AR - Advanced Radar


    The aim of the module is to provide you with additional specialist knowledge and an in depth understanding of advanced radar techniques and their defence applications.

    • Millimetre Wave Radar: The mmW band, atmospheric windows, advantages and limitations, resolution, range limitations. Air launched anti-armour missile seekers, anti-aircraft missile seekers, applications to active seekers,
    • Bistatic SAR: Review and current usage, properties and techniques,
    • Waveform design: Correlation, autocorrelation, matched reception, ambiguity function, ambiguity function for example waveforms, integrated and peak side lobe level,
    • Non Cooperative Target Recognition: Resolution requirements, SAR template matching, range profiling, dependence of range profile on aspect, Doppler signature analysis,
    • Advanced SAR: two and three dimensional SAR image formation, Doppler Beam-Sharpening, Polar format and Backprojection techniques. Monostatic and Bistatic radar geometries,
    • SAR techniques: image exploitation including Coherent Change Detection, Interferometry and polarimetry,
    • Laboratory SAR: Ground-based SAR measurements for target signature measurement with demonstration,
    • Ultra-wide band (UWB) radar: systems definition and waveform design, application to surface penetrating radar,
    • Introduction to Tracking: Basic concepts, generic algorithms and introduction to estimators. Idealised Bayes estimator, Particle Filters, Kalman Filter, and Extended Kalman Filter,
    • FMCW radar module demonstration.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and distinguish between and assess the operation of various advanced defence radar systems operating in air, water and the ground environments,
  • Compare and contrast the advantages and limitations of such systems as related to defence radar design, environmental and target-based parameters,
  • Relate the performance of the various advanced defence radar to their system design and operational environment,
  • Analyse the performance of advanced radar systems using appropriate system models and knowledge of the environmental and target parameters,
  • Be familiar with and implement a number of RF signal processing and SAR imaging techniques.

Information Networks


    To provide you with an understanding of networks in a modern military electronic sensor or communications system, their vulnerabilities and how they can be protected.

    • Communicating data and the function of networks,
    • Military network requirements,
    • Building a local area network (LAN): media, devices and protocols,
    • Internet history, addressing and services, including the role of Internet authorities and registries,
    • Internet architecture and protocols,
    • IP addresses and domains,
    • Reliable communication,
    • Layered models: The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) and Internet models,
    • Wide area networks (WANs) and routing,
    • Network security,
    • Network analysis and monitoring,
    • Wireless networks,
    • Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs),
    • The World Wide Web(WWW),
    • Network modelling, simulation and emulation.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise how a network may be exploited in a military context to support information age operations and to identify the benefits of such support,
  • Identify the various components of a network and its architecture, defining the protocols and address structure, such that network infrastructure solutions can be critically assessed,
  • Describe and explain the operation of a wireless LAN,
  • Propose a secure wireless network structure, evaluating the level of security that such a network can provide against likely threats,
  • Critically analyse trends and technological developments in networking, identify the threats to a network and then evaluate the responses and defence measures to counter these threats.

Advanced Sensor Data Processing


    To provide the you with an understanding of various processing algorithms and methods that are applicable to modern sensor systems.

    • Adaptive Signal Processing: Adaptive FIR and spatial filters, error surface, Newton’s method, gradient search method, LMS algorithm, practical examples,
    • Sonar signal processing: Beamforming, passive analysis, active processing,
    • Multi-layer perceptrons: Architecture, Back-propagation algorithm, performance of the algorithm, Unsupervised learning, Hebbian learning, Neural network design in MATLAB,
    • Fuzzy logic: fundamentals, fuzzy associative matrix, fuzzy inference,
    • Adaptive linear elements: Tapped delay lines, Noise cancellation, Time series prediction, Elman networks, evolutionary algorithms,
    • Sensor processing: Genetic algorithms, evolutionary algorithms, artificial neural nets,
    • Sensor fusion: distributed sensor systems, sensor coverage, distributed vs centralised systems,
    • MATLAB: practical sessions, demonstrating the above concepts in MATLAB.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the principles, capabilities and limitations of a number of different sensor processing methods, algorithms and schemes,
  • Critically assess performance of neural network models,
  • Assess computational models for dealing with uncertainty; discern the utility of Bayesian and Fuzzy models,
  • Compare and contrast different estimation methods and tools when applied to a specific problem and devise a distributed or centralised processing scheme based on this comparison,
  • Design, develop, and implement models in MATLAB; assess their performance.

Your career

This course is typically a requirement for progression for certain engineering and technical posts within UK MoD.

Successful graduates of this course should be fully equipped for roles in defence intelligence, systems development and acquisition, involving the specification and analysis of such systems, working individually or as part of a team either in the military or in the defence industry. 

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.