In order to provide a complete 360° all-round view of the vehicle environment in real time, the KoRRund project has developed 3D radar sensors that can be adapted to a wide range of body shapes and easily integrated into the sensor network. In this way, the vehicle's surroundings can be recorded and analysed in real time. To overcome this challenge, Schweizer Electronic AG and its project partners developed an innovative technology for a highly integrated radar PCB with three-dimensional antenna design as part of the KoRRund project.
Schramberg, 22 March 2021 - Alongside e-mobility, autonomous driving is one of the megatrends in the automotive industry. More than 30 million self-driving vehicles are expected to be produced in 2040. As a precursor to the fully automated driving system, driver assistance systems are already being used in modern vehicles and show that they contribute to greater convenience and, above all, increased safety in road traffic.
Radar sensors are resistant to all weather conditions and are suitable for the precise determination of distances between vehicles. This is exactly what is required to facilitate autonomous driving.
The radar sensors currently used in vehicles today only have two-dimensional antennas, so the viewing angle of the antenna is restricted to a maximum of 180°. In order to achieve a 360° all-round view of the vehicle with the current technology, a large number of individual planar radar sensors are required, which leads to an increase in both complexity and cost of the sensor networks.
Schweizer Electronic AG and Fraunhofer IZM have implemented their own solution concepts to overcome this restriction. The high-frequency design was created and simulated at the Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE) at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the antenna performance was then evaluated on test vehicles and demonstrators.
The combination with SCHWEIZER FR4-Flex technology has made it possible to manufacture a high-frequency PCB with a precision 3D antenna and embedded MMIC radar as a complete radar front end module in a compact design at a low cost.
This technology is also suitable for mobile communications infrastructure in the 5G network for MIMO antennas with a long range or as a cost-effective solution for encapsulating radar components with integrated antennas, so-called "Antenna in Package" solutions.
The KoRRund project, "Conformal and Multistatic MIMO Radar Configurations for Radar Surveillance for Automated Driving", was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with a sum of 4.6 million euros. The project partners include Bosch as project coordinator, Inmach, the Ulm University of Applied Sciences, KIT, the University of Ulm and Schweizer Electronic AG. After three years, the project was successfully completed at the end of 2020.