Tester visualises and characterises signal penetration of radomes

Posted By : Mick Elliott
Tester visualises and characterises signal penetration of radomes

Automotive radars are often located behind bumpers and brand emblems. The materials of these covers (radomes) should allow the radar signals to pass through as uniformly and unhindered as possible. With the imaging R&S QAR automotive radome tester from Rohde & Schwarz, users in development and production environments can now check this easily, reliably and under automated control.

Placement of radar sensors often involves compromises between vehicle design and sensor performance. They are therefore usually located behind brand emblems and bumpers or integrated into rear-view mirrors or other plastic parts.

To enable reliable transmission of the radar signals despite the radomes, the radome material must be sufficiently transparent and homogeneous in the 77GHz and 79GHz bands. Otherwise, reflections and transmission attenuation in the radar sensor’s field of view will considerably impair sensor performance. The total amount of radar power that passes through the radome is a crucial factor.

High losses reduce the maximum range within which a radar can detect a target.

To prevent this, the automotive radome tester measures, visualizes and analyses the radar compatibility of radomes and bumpers using a proven imaging technique. The millimeterwave imaging system of the R&S QAR is based on planar transmit and receive antenna arrays operating in the E band. The system performs spatially resolved reflection measurements, allowing reliable evaluation of radome performance within seconds.

The high resolution of the resulting reflection images makes it easy to identify even the smallest anomalies in the radome structure.

Since the R&S QAR operates in the frequency range of the 77GHz and 79GHz bands used for automotive radar, defects visible in the millimeterwave image directly correspond to radar signal impairments.

The R&S QAR supports all material designs and form factors up to 30cm × 50cm. It delivers detailed measurement results that users can export to other systems.

It also supports full remote control and can be integrated into highly automated test systems.

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