UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Prof Hugh Griffiths

Prof Hugh Griffiths

Thales UK/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair of Radio Frequency Sensor Systems

Dept of Electronic & Electrical Eng

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Jan 1982

Research summary

His research interests include radar and sonar systems and signal processing (particularly synthetic aperture radar and bistatic and multistatic radar), and antenna measurement techniques. He has published over four hundred papers and technical articles in the fields of radar, antennas and sonar.

From 1982 he carried out some of the first experiments on bistatic radar using television transmitters as ‘illuminators of opportunity’, and subsequently extended this to systems using other types of radar illuminator, such as satellite DBS TV and satellite-borne synthetic aperture radar. He also developed and demonstrated a coherent Moving Target Indication technique for a bistatic radar receiver. A paper published on this work was awarded the IERE Lord Brabazon Premium in 1984. More recent work has shown how the ambiguity functions of illuminators of opportunity vary dynamically with instantaneous modulation and with bistatic geometry and how this may be exploited, and how the performance of such radar systems may be predicted. Since 2009 he has led a programme to measure and analyse the properties of bistatic radar sea clutter and of small maritime targets and their wakes.

With Dr B.C. Armstrong, he analysed the performance of adaptive Doppler filters in practical, nonhomogeneous radar clutter environments, showing that the improvement provided by the adaptive processing will be rather less than in the ideal homogeneous clutter case, and proposing some techniques to give improved performance. A paper published on this work was awarded the IEE Mountbatten Premium.

With Professor A.L. Cullen, Dr A.C. Lynch and other co-workers, he devised a novel free-wave technique for the measurement of the permittivity and permeability of materials at millimetre-wave frequencies. This avoids the problem of air gaps in waveguides with conventional techniques at these frequencies. A paper published on this work was awarded the IEE Maxwell Premium.

In work from 1992 he devised a technique for the design of radar waveforms with ultra-low range sidelobes (better than –60 dB) over a wide Doppler bandwidth. The work was taken further by the French company, Alcatel Espace, who built a breadboard demonstrator which verified the predicted performance. The technique is now used in spaceborne radars for the measurement of precipitation. In more recent work he has shown how even better performance (–70 dB range sidelobes) can be achieved with a continuous non-linear FM waveform.

With Dr M.C. Wicks he developed a technique to prevent the exploitation of a radar as an illuminator for a bistatic radar (‘spatial denial’). A paper on this work that he presented at the IEE International Radar Conference RADAR 2002 received the Best Paper award.

With Dr M.C. Wicks and Prof. C.J. Baker, he conceived and developed a technique to utilise multiple narrow-band transmissions in a multistatic configuration to provide high-resolution imaging of targets, essentially using the spatial bandwidth rather than the frequency-domain bandwidth to provide the high resolution. This technique has been termed ‘radar tomography’, and is being studied as part of a PhD programme funded by Boeing.


Teaching summary

He teaches courses at Graduate level in Radar Systems and RF Circuits, and serves as a first-year tutor. He supervises numerous projects at third-year, fourth-year and MSc level.


University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1978


Hugh Griffiths holds the THALES/Royal Academy Chair of RF Sensors in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London, England. From 2006–2008 he was Principal of the Defence Academy of Management and Technology. He received the MA degree in Physics from Oxford University in 1975, then spent three years working in industry, before joining University College London, where he received the PhD degree in 1986 and the DSc(Eng) degree in 2000, serving as Head of Department from 2001 – 2006.

In 1996 he received the IEEE AESS Fred Nathanson Award (Radar Systems Panel Award), and in 2012 he was awarded the IET A.F. Harvey Prize for his work on bistatic radar. He has also received the Lord Brabazon Premium of the IERE and the Mountbatten and Maxwell Premium Awards of the IEE, as well as the NATO SET Panel Excellence Award in 2011. He is a Fellow of the IET (previously IEE), Fellow of the IEEE, and in 1997 he was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

He serves as President of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society for 2012/2013, and he is an IEEE AES Distinguished Lecturer. He has been a member of the IEEE AES Radar Systems Panel since 1989, serving as Chair from 2007 – 2009, and chaired the Working Group which revised the IEEE Radar Definitions Standard P686 and reaffirmed the Radar Letter Band Standard.