Automotive radar echo generator tests sensors for autonomous vehicles

The number of radar sensors per vehicle rises significantly as autonomous driving progresses. Both OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers need reliable test solutions that are suitable for mass production, for the large number of safety-related radar-based driver assistance systems. Rohde & Schwarz developed the R&S AREG100A automotive radar echo generator in co-operation with the automotive industry.

The AREG100A automotive radar echo generator was designed specifically for final test and inspection on OEM and Tier 1 production lines. Continuous quality control in production is essential to ensure the unrestricted functionality of radar sensors, and safe autonomous driving. The AREG100A is customised for use at the end of the production line.

The AREG100A automotive radar echo generator tests radar sensors in the 24GHz ISM band and in the E band at 77 or 79GHz. It simulates echoes of up to four artificial target objects at fixed distances. User-configurable Doppler offsets can optionally be applied to simulate radial movement of the objects. Customers can specify desired fixed distances at the time of order. According to Rohde & Schwarz, the AREG100A is future-proofed for testing advanced long-range and short-range radars. It supports bandwidths up to 4.0GHz in the E band and can simulate objects at a minimum distance of 4.0m if the distance between the front-end and the device under test (DUT) is 800mm.

European regulatory authorities have stipulated mandatory tests in the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) to ensure safe operation and coexistence of automotive radar sensors. For execution of the tests specified in the RED standard ETSI EN 303396, the AREG100A provides calibrated input and output ports in the IF band. The immunity of the sensors to interference signals can be checked with a connected RF signal generator. The occupied bandwidth and spurious emissions can be measured easily and conveniently with a connected signal and spectrum analyser. The total radiated power (equivalent isotropic radiated power, EIRP) can be determined using a connected power meter. An RF signal generator up to 6.0GHz, a signal and spectrum analyser, and a power meter with 8.0GHz bandwidth, are all that is needed, says Rohde & Schwarz, since the millimeterwave hardware of the front-end can be used with all of these instruments. No additional millimetre wave test and measurement equipment is needed to carry out the tests.

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