Rohde & Schwarz has introduced the R&S QAT100 Advanced antenna array, an electronically steerable frontend that enables realistic target generation for automotive radar system testing.
As an alternative to standard RF frontends, the R&S QAT100 offers the possibility of generating horizontal (alternatively vertical) moving targets without requiring any physical movement. With up to 2 x 96 individually switchable transmit antennas (with R&S QAT-B2), the R&S QAT100 ensures high resolution, high speed and high repeatability. Its 4 GHz instantaneous RF bandwidth together with the ability to handle up to 8 completely independent objects offer the ability to simulate even densely populated scenarios.
Radar based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) must be rigorously tested to create near-infallible object and movement detection systems to enable autonomous driving. Consequently, ADAS test requirements are particularly demanding. The use of benchtop tests or hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) setups in the validation process helps ensure that all ADAS system components work together as intended.
There are multiple ways of verifying radar components in such systems:
- The simplest method requires taking the sensor out of the loop and inserting data representing radar targets directly into the system data processing. The major disadvantage of this method is that the radar sensor itself is not included in the system test.
- A more comprehensive test method includes over-the-air simulation of radar objects. This puts the sensor back into the test setup. However, conventional radar test systems are too limited in their capabilities to produce rigorous test results. Only objects coming from a single azimuth direction are simulated; testing more complex scenarios requires physically moving the antennas.
Moving the antennas causes increased wear and tear along with additional inaccuracies due to the required physical movement of the system. Fast-moving lateral targets are extremely challenging because the frontends must be moved at high speeds. The R&S QAT100 is a solution for simulating angular moving targets without physically moving any of the antenna components. This solution delivers a massive increase in accuracy and test setup durability along with a huge reduction in test times.
Key Features of R&S QAT100:
Extremely scalable and versatileMultiple R&S QAT100 can be combined to increase the field of view. Synchronization of all R&S QAT100 arrays in a multi-instrument advanced antenna array setup is ensured by the R&S AREG800A dynamic radar echo generator, enabling simulation of complex ADAS scenarios.
High angular resolution and high speed
The antenna spacing of only 3.7 mm provides a high angular resolution for realistic simulation of complex radar scenarios. Thanks to electronic switching of the antennas, it is possible to accurately simulate extremely high angular velocities with complete reproducibility.
Reduced reflections and multipath effects
The small patch antennas together with the absorber covered surface provides a clean RF frontend with very low RCS, reducing the sensor noise floor and suppressing close range targets and potential multipath reflections.
Support for advanced scenarios
Complex driving scenarios require multiple targets. An R&S QAT100 equipped with the R&S QAT-B2 option features two lines consisting of four independent segments each. This configuration enables the connection of up to eight individually controllable IF paths to a single instrument, combining perfectly with the eight completely independent artificial objects simulated by a fully equipped R&S AREG800A. Each of the IF paths can be steered freely within an R&S QAT100 segment.
Scalable number of IF paths and targets
Basic tests do not require point clouds or micro-Doppler simulation, minimizing the amount of external cabling required. The four segments of each line can be either fed individually or through a common connector. The simulated echoes from a single IF path can then be steered to one or more of the 96 transmit antennas of each TX line of the R&S QAT100.
Mastering physical and technical challenges
With up to 2 × 96 individually switchable transmit antennas (with the R&S QAT-B2 option), the R&S QAT100 ensures high resolution, high speed and high repeatability. Electronic switching of the antennas does not produce any wear and tear on RF cables or other moving parts. With its 4 GHz instantaneous bandwidth, support for state-of-the-art automotive radar sensors is ensured.
Shielded environment for better results
The R&S QAT-Z50 shielding system provides a nearly interference-free RF environment that perfectly suits the R&S QAT100. Used in lab setups, the optional R&S QAT-Z50 provides a multipath and reflection-free environment for the radar under test.
RF frequency range
76 - 81 GHz
Supported object type
dynamic and static
Maximum number of IF path
with R&S QAT100
up to 4 independent angular directions
with R&S QAT-B2 option
up to 8 independent angular directions
with R&S QAT100
5RX / 96 TX
with R&S QAT-B2 option
10RX / 192 TX
Click here to learn more about R&S QAT100 Advanced antenna array.
This advanced system is being showcased at the European Microwave Week in London this week. Click here to see everything RF's coverage of the event.