Radar is over a century old and was first used in 1904 by Christian Huelsmeyer to detect ships. Well known applications are military radars, civil air traffic control, and, of course, speed traps for personally owned vehicles. But there is a misconception today that the technology is mature and few developments are happening in the space. New game-changing innovations are occurring in both imaging radar and cooperative radar. How Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) is implementing radar and bringing unique software and algorithms to the application in the automotive space is what’s special.
For over a quarter of a century, ADI has been active in automotive, servicing both passive and active safety applications. For the past 15 years, ADI has been present in the supply chain for automotive radar with its DSPs and data converters, as well as more recently with its 24 GHz and 77 GHz/79 GHz radar chipsets.
“Advanced driver assistance systems are here, vehicle autonomy is coming, and road safety is paramount. So, what drives my work, and what drives our engineers, is using the most advanced capabilities and technologies available to realize higher performance and higher levels of autonomy to save lives,” said Chris Jacobs, vice president of autonomous transportation and safety at ADI. “Automotive sensors based on our products, by our estimate, save eight lives each day.
Much work is required in both hardware and software innovation to ensure drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are protected. A more efficient and optimized radar technology must be developed, delivering the same high performance, functionality, and reliability of systems created for the aerospace and defense industry—transferring it to a form factor and cost appropriate to the personally owned vehicle market.
Mike Keaveney, technology director for the autonomous transportation and automotive safety business unit at ADI, said, “While the cost of a $250,000 high resolution imaging radar system is a mere pittance to the overall price of a multimillion dollar military tank, it's grossly misaligned to your average $30,000 family car. We’re exploring tailoring it—miniaturizing it, ruggedizing it, and bringing down the cost, size, weight, and power requirements so it can be found in every automobile on the planet.”