OU’s Radar Team Developing Automated Calibration System for Driverless Automobiles
NORMAN—A University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center team is collaborating with Metawave, a California company, to develop a newly-designed radar that has the potential to serve as one of the most important sensors in the future of the automotive industry. The OU team assisted with the automation of the calibration system used to electronically steer antennas when making critical driving decisions quickly, safely and smoothly.
“Working with Metawave at these high-frequency bands has been a rewarding experience for our team and has benefitted our program, considering our leadership role in phased array radar calibration,” said Robert Palmer, executive director of the Advanced Radar Research Center. “This type of partnership is important, especially when delivering such cutting-edge technology platforms. Together, we are rethinking how a newly- designed radar can truly serve as one of the most important sensors in the future of the automotive industry,” said Palmer.
Metawave Corporation successfully demonstrated the world’s first automated 77 GHz electronically steerable antenna calibration system for realizing dependable and repeatable beamsteering. “This advanced steering will soon play a significant role for automakers wanting to achieve higher safety standards at low cost and power consumption,” said Metawave Chief Operating Officer and founder Maha Achour. “Metawave is delivering a new kind of automotive radar, one that balances complexity between digital and analog.”
The challenges of this project required an uncommon skill set and experience in active phased array antennas. Jorge Salazar, project team leader and professor in the Gallogly College of Engineering, assembled a diverse team of experts in radar design and calibration to enable the acceleration of this project. ARRC contributors for this project were Rodrigo Lebron, Zeeshan Qamar, Kevin Constien, Thomas Brachtenbach and Jonathan Christian.
“Working with antenna designs for very high frequencies is challenging, especially when the concept involves a radar designed to save lives by improving automobile safety,” said Salazar.
A novel millimeter RF scanner was designed, implemented, validated, and tested on an accelerated path to full demonstration. The customized RF scanner enables testing and calibrating an active array in near-field and far-field operation modes.
The ARRC team of 120 engineers and meteorologists are located inside the state-of-the-art Radar Innovations Laboratory—a 35,000 square foot laboratory—dedicated to innovation in radar technology and science. The ARRC is more than 10 years old and, in that time, has grown into the largest academic radar program in the nation. For more information about the ARRC, please contact Professor Jorge Salazar at firstname.lastname@example.org.