Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Elektronik (IHE)

High-Accuracy Radar for Industrial Automation

Industrial automation requires high accuracy distance measurement sensors in a multitude of different applications. Therefore the IHE develops special signal processing algorithms which achieve a very high distance measurement accuracy. Together with radar sensors developed in various other projects very competitive results have been achieved.

To achieve the highest distance measurement accuracy the classical FMCW signal processing has been combined with an additional phase evaluation. The novel algorithm allows to nearly reach the Cramer Rao lower bound and can be implemented in real time.

In hydraulic cylinder applications the correct detection of the piston position is indispensable. The developed K-band (24 GHz) FMCW radar system detects the piston position in a hydraulic cylinder based on the guided propagation of a radar signal. At a measurement repetition rate of 2 kHz, an accuracy of well below 200 µm was achieved for a hydraulic cylinder of 1 m in length.

Within the SUCCESS project a fully integrated radar transceiver at 122 GHz was realized. Based on the SUCCESS chip a complete low-cost radar module has been built. The package of the QFN radar front-end has a size of 8 mm × 8 mm and the whole radar module including the two stacked PCBs has a size of 66 mm × 55 mm × 21 mm. Accuracies of 200 μm and 2 μm are achieved over a distance of 1.9 m and 5 mm, respectively.

Based on a high performance radar developed at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and Fraunhofer FHR in Wachtberg a world record distance measurement accuracy of better than 1 µm has been achieved:

SiGe Chip, bond-wires and antennas are completely molded (KIT 2015)
QFN is encapsulated by an Alumina lid (KIT 2015)
Microcontroller based baseband and digital signal processing board using a folded flex-rigid PCB (KIT 2016)

Selected Publications

Scherr, S.; Göttel, B.; Ayhan, S.; Bhutani, A.; Pauli, M. D.; Winkler, W.; Scheytt, J. C.; Zwick, T. (2015). Miniaturized 122 GHz ISM band FMCW radar with micrometer accuracy. 12th European Radar Conference, 9-11 September 2015, Paris, 277–280, IEEE. doi:10.1109/EuRAD.2015.7346291
Scherr, S.; Ayhan, S.; Fischbach, B.; Bhutani, A.; Pauli, M. D.; Zwick, T. (2015). An Efficient Frequency and Phase Estimation Algorithm With CRB Performance for FMCW Radar Applications. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 64 (7), 1868–1875. doi:10.1109/TIM.2014.2381354
Ayhan, S.; Thomas, S. G.; Kong, N.; Scherr, S.; Pauli, M. D.; Jaeschke, T.; Wulfsberg, J. P.; Pohl, N.; Zwick, T. (2015). Millimeter-Wave Radar Distance Measurements in Micro Machining. 2015 IEEE Topical Conference on Wireless Sensors and Sensor Networks, WiSNet 2015, San Diego, USA, 65–68, IEEE. doi:10.1109/WISNET.2015.7127413
Göttel, B.; Pauli, M.; Gulan, H.; Girma, M.; Hasch, J.; Zwick, T. (2014). Miniaturized 122 GHz Short Range Radar Sensor with Antenna-in-Package (AiP) and Dielectric Lens. 8th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2014) : The Hague, Netherlands, 6 - 11 April 2014, 709–713, IEEEE, Piscataway (NJ).
Pohl, N.; Jaschke, T.; Scherr, S.; Ayhan, S.; Pauli, M.; Zwick, T.; Musch, T. (2013). Radar measurements with micrometer accuracy and nanometer stability using an ultra-wideband 80 GHz radar system. IEEE Topical Conference on Wireless Sensors and Sensor Networks (WiSNet’13), Austin, Texas/USA, January 20-23, 2013, 31–33, IEEE, Piscataway (NJ). doi:10.1109/WiSNet.2013.6488624
Ayhan, S.; Scherr, S.; Pahl, P.; Kayser, T.; Pauli, M.; Zwick, T. (2014). High-Accuracy Range Detection Radar Sensor for Hydraulic Cylinders. IEEE Sensors Journal, 14 (3), 734–746. doi:10.1109/JSEN.2013.2287638