Rohde & Schwarz Announces Test Chamber for Automotive Radar ChipsNovember 25, 2019 by Cabe Atwell
The test system for automotive radar features the ATS1500C antenna test system and AREG100A automotive radar echo generator for precision target simulation at varied distances.
Rohde & Schwarz has unveiled a new antenna test system for automotive radar chips, built to provide far-field testing performance.
Vehicle-based radars are one of the prominent technologies found in automotive ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), which are designed to assist the driver during travel or parking for increased driver and road safety.
The new antenna system for automotive radar chips. Image from Rohde & Schwarz
The system combines the compact R&S ATS1500C automotive radar test chamber designed for far-field applications with the R&S AREG100A radar echo chamber for precision target simulation at varied distances.
Combined, the technologies produce a precision platform aimed to help automotive manufacturers test their latest chips.
On the ATS1500C side, the test chamber is outfitted with a CATR (Compact Antenna Test Range) reflector, which generates a 30cm diameter quiet zone for testing frequencies ranging from 77GHz to 81GHz.
It also features a 3D tilt-tilt positioner, which allows for the testing of automotive radars. The interior is similar to rooms outfitted with foam acoustic absorbers, and in this case, the design cancels out ghost targets during simulations.
The new system is said to provide a "reliable and reproducible verification of radar sensors throughout the R&D and validation phase." Image from Rohde & Schwarz
Notable features of the ATS1500C include a CATR-based, compact, movable antenna test chamber suitable for modules with an aperture size up to 30cm, a 3D tilt-tilt positioner, and a shielding effectiveness of typically > 90dB.
As mentioned earlier, the test system is used in combination with R&S’s AREG100A automotive radar echo generator, which allows engineers to test their radar chips for precision radar target simulations at varying distances.
The feature set for the AREG100A includes support for 24GHz, 77GHz, and 79GHz automotive radar sensors. They are future-proof with instantaneous bandwidths of up to 4GHz and can handle 4m minimum artificial object distance for short-range radar testing.
The AREG100A automotive radar echo generator supports all automotive radar bands, offers 4GHz instantaneous bandwidth, and features a 4m minimum artificial object distance. Image from Rohde & Schwarz
The radar echo generator supports 4 artificial objects in fixed distances at the same time and offers controllable radial velocity for each artificial object individually (under development) or for all artificial objects together.
Uhnder's Application of ATS1500C
Texas-based Uhnder was the first company to apply Rohde & Schwarz’ automotive radar test system, which the company employed for developing their 4D digital Radar RoC (Radar on Chip) for safer ADAS driving.
4D Radar RoC
According to R&S, “This innovation allowed Uhnder to mature the technology behind the first 4D digital automotive radar-on-chip with 192 virtual channels.”
The 4D radar RoC is outfitted with HCR (high contrast resolution) technology, giving it improved range (over 300-meters) and obstacle detection, along with improved tracking and classification assistance.
Uhnder's 4D radar RoC. Image from Uhnder
According to Ralf Reuter, Uhnder's senior director of customer and applications engineering, “Our 4D digitally modulated RoC has special testing requirements and having a partner with the necessary expertise, precision, and agility was vital for us. We were able to meet and even surpass our performance targets for our product and take the next step towards the truly driverless future."
Magna’s ICON Radar
Uhnder's RoC was designed for global automotive supplier Magna to integrate into their ICON RADAR, which features 192 virtual channels, over 20-TeraOPS (over 20-trillion calculations per second) of processing power, and fewer than 8-watts of power consumption.
The Uhnder RoC uses high contrast resolution (HCR) technology for improved range and angular resolution. Image from Rohde & Schwarz
The device is also able to separate small radar reflectors from large reflectors in the proximity of the vehicle.
Magna’s ICON Radar continuously scans its environment 50-times faster than the human eye can blink, and its virtual receivers provide both horizontal and vertical resolution.
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