Doppler radar uses the Doppler effect to measure the radial velocity of targets in the antenna's directional beam.
The Doppler effect shifts the received frequency up or down based on the radial velocity of target (closing or opening) in the beam, allowing for the direct and highly accurate measurement of target velocity.
A Doppler radar is a radar that produces a velocity measurement as one of its outputs.
Doppler radars may be Coherent Pulsed, Continuous Wave, or Frequency Modulated.
A continuous wave (CW) doppler radar is a special case that only provides a velocity output.
Early doppler radars were CW, and it quickly led to the development of Frequency Modulated (FM-CW) radar, which sweeps the transmitter frequency to encode and determine range.
The CW and FM-CW radars can only process one target normally, which limits their use.
With the advent of digital techniques Pulse-Doppler (PD) radars were introduced, and doppler processors for coherent pulse radars were developed at the same time.
The advantage of combining doppler processing to pulse radars is to provide accurate velocity information.
This velocity is called Range-Rate.
It describes the rate that a target moves towards or away from the radar.
A target with no range-rate reflects a frequency near the transmitter frequency, and cannot be detected.
The classic zero doppler target is one which is on a heading that is tangential to the radar antenna beam.
Basically, any target that is heading 90 degrees in relation to the antenna beam cannot be detected.