Testing Radomes and Bumpers in All Phases – From Design to High-volume Production

Vehicle radar systems emit frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) chirps and then measure propagation delay and Doppler frequency shift of the reflected signal, which is then used to calculate the distances of other objects (such as other vehicles or passersby) and corresponding radial velocities. Current radar sensors measure the azimuth (angle in the horizontal plane) between the direction of travel and a detected object, as well as the elevation (angle in the vertical plane) between the vehicle and other objects.Automotive radar sensors must be accurate and reliable, since vehicle control systems use their data to analyze the environment and decide whether or not to intervene in driving. A radar sensor misjudgment of one degree between two vehicles 100 m apart can result in a 1.5 m deviation and can have disastrous consequences.Radomes and bumpers can attenuate the radar signal by several dB causing the overall autonomous driver assistance system (ADAS) to reach a shorter total range or cause squinting at the side radar. Radomes and bumpers can also cause a mismatch between the base material and the radar signal. The material properties of moulded plastic parts and semi-metallic surface coatings are often heterogeneous, generating unpredictable signal distortions in the received signal, such as phase distortions.

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