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Low-bandwidth radar improves detection of objects

Low-bandwidth radar improves detection of objects

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga



“We’ve demonstrated a different type of ranging system that possesses superior range resolution and is almost completely free of bandwidth limitations,” says Prof. Pavel Ginzburg of TAU’s School of Electrical Engineering, one of the principal authors of the study. “The new technology has numerous applications, especially with respect to the automotive industry. It’s worth noting that existing facilities support our new approach, which means that it can be launched almost immediately.”

The new research was led and conducted jointly by Prof. Ginzburg, Vitali Kozlov, Rony Komissarov and Dmitry Filonov, all of TAU’s School of Electrical Engineering and published in Nature Communications.

It is a generally held view that radar resolution is proportional to the bandwidth used – the broader the range of frequencies, the more accurate the detection of objects. However, the TAU researchers have now demonstrated that low-bandwidth radars can achieve similar performance at a lower cost and without broadband signals by exploiting the coherence property of electromagnetic waves.

Two wave sources are perfectly coherent if they have a constant phase difference, the same frequency and the same waveform. The new “partially coherent” radar is as effective at resolving targets when compared with standard “coherent” radars in experimental situations.

Partially coherent radar operation schematics. Image courtesy of Nature Communications.

“Our concept offers solutions in situations that require high-range resolution and accuracy but in which the available bandwidth is limited, such as the self-driving car industry, optical imaging and astronomy,” Kozlov explains. “Not many cars on the road today use radars, so there’s almost no competition for allocated frequencies. But what will happen in the future, when every car will be equipped with a radar and every radar will demand the entire bandwidth?

“We’ll find ourselves in a sort of radio traffic jam. Our solutions permit drivers to share the available bandwidth without any conflict,” Kozlov says.

“Our demonstration is just the first step in a series of new approaches to radiofrequency detectors that explore the impact of low-bandwidth radars on traditional fields,” Prof. Ginzburg concludes. “We intend to apply this technology to previously unexplored areas, like rescue operations – sensing if an individual is buried in a collapsed building – or street mapping – sensing if a child is about to cross the street behind a bus that conceals him.”

Research for the study was supported by an ERC grant and Kamin, and it was conducted at TAU’s Radio Physics Laboratory’s anechoic chamber.

Related article: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09380-x

www.aftau.org

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