A Wideband Dielectric Waveguide-Based 160-GHz Radar Target Generator

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jun 22;19(12):2801. doi: 10.3390/s19122801.


The increasing number of radar sensors in commercial and industrial products leads to a growing demand for system functionality tests. Conventional test procedures require expensive anechoic chambers to provide a defined test environment for radar sensors. In this paper, a compact and low cost dielectric waveguide radar target generator for level probing radars is presented. The radar target generator principle is based on a long dielectric waveguide as a one-target scenery. By manipulating the field distribution of the waveguide, a specific reflection of a radar target is generated. Two realistic scenarios for a tank level probing radar are investigated and suitable targets are designed with full wave simulations. Target distances from 13 cm to at least 9 m are realized with an extruded dielectric waveguide with dielectric losses of 2 dB/m at 160 GHz. Low loss (0.5 dB) and low reflection holders are used to fix the waveguide. Due to the dispersion of the dielectric waveguide, a detailed analysis of its impact on frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radars is given and compared to free-space propagation. The functionality of the radar target generator is verified with a 160-GHz FMCW radar prototype.

Keywords: dielectric waveguide; dispersion; frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar; millimeter wave radar; target generator.