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Following a series of very successful IRS conferences in previous years, this year’s symposium was organized by the German Institue of Navigation (DGON) with support of the Fraunhofer Institute FHR and it was special in several ways. On the one hand, the IRS celebrates its 20th anniversary since the initial event in Munich 1998. A time in which the interest in radar systems and applications as well as our community have constantly grown. On the other hand, the new IRS chairman Peter Knott as a successor of Hermann Rohling was engaged for the first time. This was both a great pleasure and a challenge with respect to the efforts, which Hermann has successfully spent for the organisation of so many past successful IRS events.

Just like in 2002, the city of Bonn as the conference location is well prepared for hosting the conference in the Maritim Hotel. Located on the banks of the river Rhine, it is a beautiful and vigorous city, seat of many German Federal Ministries, and a United Nations City. It also offers a wealth of history and culture.

In response to the call for papers, in total nearly 200 papers from 38 different countries have been received. The Technical Programme Committee selected 175 submitted papers for oral and poster presentations and prepared a substantial and interesting conference programme. This fantastic response shows the worldwide large interest in radar techniques and radar systems for many different applications (automotive radar, drone detection, passive radar, radar data science, radar imaging, etc.). Thus, a general objective of this international conference to meet radar scientists and engineers for fruitful discussions and exchange of ideas was fully reached.

The IRS attendees had also a chance to visit the space observation radar TIRA (Tracking and Imaging Radar) is the central experimental facility for the development and investigation of radar techniques for the detection and reconnaissance of objects in space.

In the Opening Session of the conference there have been four compelling keynote presentations on future challenges of radar seen from the different perspective of speakers from industry and research.

There was an important highlight event during the Symposium: the Christian Hülsmeyer Award was given for outstanding contributions in radar system design and development as well as educational achievements and IRS conference evolution. The award was presented to Prof. Dr. Hermann Rohling from the Hamburg University of Technology in Germany. The Award ceremony with more than 300 attendees took place in the Maritim Hotel in Bonn.

In the Closing Session, the IRS 2018 Best Paper Award and two Best Paper Recognitions were presented this year to the authors from the Sapienza University of Rome, University of Birmingham and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Radar technique is still an expanding and rapidly evolving field of research. There is a continuous progress in system performance that opens up many practical applications in the civilian as well as the military area. This International Radar Symposium will be an opportunity for radar experts from all over the world to meet, exchange results, and discuss new ideas.

Together with the Co-Chairs Hermann Rohling and Krzysztof Kulpa and the DGON organization, the whole conference organisation team is looking forward to meeting you again at the next IRS 2019 in Ulm in Germany!