White PaperRobotics, Automation & Control

Analyzing Automotive Radar Signals with an Oscilloscope

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Driverless cars are virtually unique in symbolizing the power of future technologies and digitalization to alter our everyday lives. Connected, automated driving holds the promise of significantly higher road safety and convenience. However, trusting an autonomous vehicle is a big step for many people. Five levels are defined for autonomous driving: assisted, partly automated, highly automated, fully automated, autonomous. Partly automated systems (level 2) already exist, and highly automated systems (level 3) ready for series production are being developed. Together with other sensors such as lidar, cameras and ultrasound, radars play a key role in current and future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Automotive radars act as eyes for the vehicles. They are already being manufactured in the millions, and in top-end vehicles they are standard equipment. Radars are not bothered by fog or snow. By measuring attitude, separation and velocity, they can foresee critical situations and avoid accidents. The number of radar sensors per vehicle rises with each level of automation. Highly automated driving naturally places high demands on the technology. The latest systems operate in the microwave region to determine the range, velocity and relative angle of detected objects and perceive even minute movements.

The only thing better than bandwidth is more bandwidth: the next generation of automotive radar sensors will use 4 GHz signal bandwidth. Every radar component and its integration into the vehicle must be rigorously tested to ensure reliable operation. This eGuide describes how to measure and calibrate radar sensors using an R&S®RTP oscilloscope.

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