Metawave demonstrates first 77GHz analog beamsteering 3D radar
Metawave announced the successful demonstration of its SPEKTRA analog beamsteering radar, which it says is able to clearly detect vehicles beyond 300 m (984 ft) and pedestrians beyond 200 m (656 ft) with the highest angular resolution.
The company says that at the heart of SPEKTRA is its key enabling MARCONI, the first of its kind phase controller, which was developed at 77GHz, and augmented by its proprietary adaptive phase and amplitude calibration systems for precise 0.1° steering angles. Its high angular resolution reportedly enables it to distinguish between objects close in proximity. Its narrow transmit and receive beams enable it to rapidly focus on all objects in the vehicle’s field of view (FoV) with very high accuracy, while avoiding interference in the pure analog domain. According to the company, only with focused beams and small cross-sections can a radar detect objects, such as pedestrians and hazardous road objects, at long ranges and in all weather conditions. The narrow beams and high angular precision allow the radar to track cross-traffic, a difficult problem for traditional radars.
"Metawave has essentially packaged a front-end radar using their own phase controllers, antenna array, and calibration control tables using a single transceiver radar chip to achieve impressive transmit and receive performance,” said Rich Dauber, Director of 77GHz Radar Platforms for Veoneer. “Their CES SPEKTRA demonstration showed longer radar performance with excellent angular accuracy and resolution.”
In the coming months, the company plans to launch its AWARE AI platform to give the radar the added intelligence for real-time object classification and labeling for more efficient and faster advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) processing because of its proprietary machine learning sensor fusion platform. Combined, these features enable it to deliver what the company says is superior accuracy even in heavy storms, the dark of night, and dense fog, even as the vehicle travels at highway speeds.
The radar’s ability to detect and classify objects beyond 300 m (984 ft) is due to its ability to rapidly direct extremely narrow beams across the vehicle’s FoV. The company says it is the only automotive radar company that delivers a completely calibrated phased array and front-end solution using one single conventional frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar transceiver chip, allowing concentrated beamforming signals when compared to today’s radars. Traditional radars use four or more transceiver chips for digital beamforming or they "flash" a wide FoV, limiting their range and preventing their ability to accurately distinguish between objects.
The company is working with select customers to take part in its SPEKTRA Proof-of-Concept (PoC) evaluation program, allowing automotive leaders to test the analog radar. By offering the flexibility to extract raw data at various receiver stages, customers can run their own algorithms and seamlessly process SPEKTRA data with their software stack.
For more information, visit www.metawave.com.