Micrometer Sensing With Microwaves: Precise Radar Systems for Innovative Measurement Applications

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  • Author: Fabian Michler; Benedict Scheiner; Torsten Reissland; Robert Weigel; Alexander Koelpin

Radar sensors have been widely used to estimate speed and displacement of remote targets. A novel market for contactless radar sensing is emerging in the field of automatization and process analysis, where non-destructive testing and evaluation methods are desired. Here, modern radar systems offer various advantages over conventional sensors since they enable the contactless, continuous, and cost-efficient measurement of static or dynamic ranges. These can further be used for vibration and vital sign characterization. Advances in microwave technology, an increasing integration density, and the development of novel algorithms keep boosting the performance of the systems.

After introducing the most common operation principles, such as unmodulated and frequency-modulated continuous-wave radar, different design aspects and building blocks of cutting-edge systems are explained in detail. In the second part, selected applications are described in detail. These include the sheet thickness monitoring of metallic foils, and the measurement of the ground speed of vehicles with the latest approaches. Exemplary low-power radar systems are presented to show the limits in terms of power consumption while still offering a high measurement precision. In addition, the topics of mechanical vibration sensing and vital sign sensing are addressed by introducing tailored systems.

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