Radar target simulator accelerates vehicle testing

Radar target simulator accelerates vehicle testing

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The development of automotive radars is complex: each new sensor must be adapted to the design and material of each vehicle model so that the sensor can reliably fulfill its task. Up to now, sensor manufacturers and automotive OEMs have had to prove the functionality of their new developments in extensive road tests. This is made more difficult by the fact that the car radars must function without errors even in complex traffic situations, e.g. at inner-city junctions. In real test drives, all these conditions cannot be depicted specifically and only with considerable expenditure of time and money. As an alternative, commercially available radar target simulators are available, which can currently only display up to four scattering centres as point targets for testing the sensors.

Fraunhofer’s radar target simulator can generate 
more than 100 virtual vehicles as targets.

Fraunhofer FHR is therefore developing ATRIUM (Automobile Test Environment for Radar In-the-loop Investigations and Measurements), a digital radar target simulator that can comprehensively simulate critical traffic scenarios.

The simulator will be able to generate over 100 virtual radar targets, which enables realistic reproduction of road users by simulating reflections, for example at the rear, bumpers and wheels. These radar targets can be positioned relatively freely in the digital test environment, both at different distances and at different angles. Their movement can also be simulated. A comprehensive software toolchain supports the user of the system in the simulation, so that the user can limit himself to modelling the traffic scenario and the positioning of the scattering centres is carried out fully automatically.

ATRIUM is designed as a test bench in front of which a car equipped with radar sensors can be positioned. In this way, radar-based driver assistance systems can be tested extensively and yet easily, quickly and thus cost-effectively. This accelerated and more cost-effective development not only helps to improve new automotive radars and increase road safety, but also brings autonomous driving within reach.

The new test environment was recently presented to a number of potential customers – also to incorporate their feedback, suggestions and wishes into the development of the radar target simulator.

Related articles:

Driving towards the automotive radar test

Automotive radar scans 100x more objects in 4D with 300m range

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