Rohde & Schwarz QAR software option accelerates radar integration

Claiming to bring a new level of precision to material reflection measurements, Rohde & Schwarz has enhanced its R&S QAR (quality automotive radome) tester. The QAR-K50 is a tailored solution for radar integration testing to analyse and evaluate the radar compatibility of radomes and bumpers.

The single-cluster measurement software can be used by OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to achieve measurement results very close to those obtained with a vector network analyser (VNA) and a quasi-optical (QO) set-up, but in a non-destructive and two-dimensional way, explains Rohde & Schwarz. It adds that users can benefit from the intuitive R&S QAR operating concept.

The R&S QAR mmWave imaging system for radome and bumper material testing and validation can be used for applications ranging from development and production to verification of radome material and integration of 76 to 81GHz radars.

The high spatial resolution results in a larger spread in terms of incident angles. A typical radar sensor has a field of view, for example  ±10 degrees for full-range (FRR) and ±60 degrees for short-range radars (SRR). Derived from material characterisation techniques, the reflection parameters of radomes are mainly defined for perpendicular incident angles as these parameters can be measured using VNAs.

Comparing the results delivered by the R&S QAR to those measured with a standard VNA and a quasi-optical (QO) set-up, some deviations can be seen and explained with the larger aperture used by the R&S QAR.

The R&S QAR-K50 software automatically detects the highest reflection from the material sample and averages over the test region. The mean value for the reflection area is determined and shown to the user as the measurement result within less than seven seconds. This value closely matches the S11 and S22 reflection measurement results of a VNA, reports Rohde & Schwarz.

The measurements made with VNA and QO set-ups during R&D can now be directly compared to the R&S QAR measurements. Using microwave imaging, but with a smaller antenna aperture, makes the set-up less sensitive to positioning errors and more suitable for production environments compared to VNA set-ups, Rohde & Schwarz advises.

The R&S QAR-K50 software option detects the correct measurement area by itself and provides optical feedback to the operator in case the positioning of the samples is slightly out of tolerance. The R&S QAR combines its high resolution image used for homogeneity analysis with a robust and easy-to-use reflection measurement, says the company. The measurement values obtained with the R&S QAR-K50 software option are directly comparable to the results delivered by VNAs in QO set-ups.

The R&S QAR-K50 software option for single-cluster measurements can be installed on all Windows 10 instruments with most recent firmware using keycode activation. It is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.   

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