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Radar Testing with an O-scope

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AVEP07_09
Published July 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Four-channel oscilloscopes are ideal for characterizing the new generation of automotive radar sensors, as two experts explain.

A new generation of compact radar sensors with long range and high resolution is under development for automated driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and future fully autonomous vehicles. Operating in the frequency range from 76 GHz to 81 GHz, these sensors use phased-array antennas to obtain location information. The accuracy of the obtained data is directly correlated to the accuracy of the relative phase angles of the emitted signals, making precise adjustment of the antenna system a crucial factor for precision.

Characterization of these sensors in the development phase requires sophisticated testing and measurement equipment due to the high frequencies. Oscilloscopes are ideal for this because they can simultaneously analyze multiple signals and precisely compare them. While some spectrum analyzers offer dynamic range and sophisticated analysis features, they have only one input channel and therefore are not able to measure the phase differences of multiple signals. Four-channel oscilloscopes have an advantage here, as they can act as a phase coherent receiver and simultaneously analyze and compare up to four signals.