MILLIMETER-WAVE DETECT OR REFLECT ARRAY
1. A device for selectively reflecting an incident microwave signal or millimeter-wave signal, the device comprising:
- a plurality of antennae disposed in an array, each antenna having an input adapted to selectively receive a forward bias signal, or a zero or reverse bias signal;
a diode disposed at each input of each antenna; and
a switching device connected to each input, and configured to selectively apply a forward bias, or zero or reverse bias to each of the diodes, wherein in forward bias, each of the plurality of antennae detects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal, and in zero bias or reverse bias, each of the plurality of antennae reflects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal.
A device for selectively reflecting an incident microwave signal or millimeter-wave signal includes multiple antennae disposed in an array. Each antenna has an input adapted to selectively receive a forward bias signal or a zero bias signal. The device also includes a diode disposed at each input of each antenna. The device also includes a switching device connected to each input, and configured to selectively apply a forward bias or zero bias to each of the diodes. In forward bias, each of the antennae detects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal, and in zero bias, each of the antennae reflects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal.
- 1. A device for selectively reflecting an incident microwave signal or millimeter-wave signal, the device comprising:
a plurality of antennae disposed in an array, each antenna having an input adapted to selectively receive a forward bias signal, or a zero or reverse bias signal; a diode disposed at each input of each antenna; and a switching device connected to each input, and configured to selectively apply a forward bias, or zero or reverse bias to each of the diodes, wherein in forward bias, each of the plurality of antennae detects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal, and in zero bias or reverse bias, each of the plurality of antennae reflects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/751,796, filed on Oct. 29, 2018, and naming Gregory S. Lee, et al. inventors. The entire disclosure of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/751,796 is hereby specifically incorporated by reference in its entirety.
Automotive radars are currently deployed in autos for assistance in parking and collision avoidance. Additionally, driverless cars are currently being developed, and these types of cars may incorporate such automotive radars. While lidar may play a role in this scenario, it is generally conceded that radar has the clear advantage in fog and offers the unique ability to determine relative velocity due to the Doppler effect. Each car may be equipped with as many as a dozen automotive radar modules around the perimeter of the car. Thus, auto manufacturers are preparing for when they will soon be installing millions of radar units inside car bodies (in the bumpers, doors, etc.).
Auto radars mainly operate near 77 GHz, although there are short range radars (SRRs) at 24 GHz and there may be future offerings at 120 GHz. At all these millimeter-wave frequencies, the thickness of the plastic composites used in the car bumpers and doors is comparable to or larger than the wavelength. Furthermore, this thickness is not very tightly controlled (from an electromagnetic radiation standpoint) and the surfaces are highly curved. These factors imply that the directional performance of a radar module as tested before it is installed in the car part will change after installation.
Particularly, direction of arrival (DOA) of a target is an important parameter to estimate, especially for mid-range radars (MRRs) and long-range radars (LRRs). For long-range radars the desired azimuthal accuracy is 0.1°. Car manufacturers now mechanically translate corner reflectors as test targets to test the installed radar accuracy. The corner reflector distance must be at least 1 m to avoid deleterious diffraction/scattering effects from its edges and outer walls. A shorter test distance would be desirable as this would save space on the automotive assembly line. There is a tradeoff between positioning accuracy, needed to establish the rigorous relative angle, and demands for speed typical of assembly lines to maintain throughput. Multi-target testing in an assembly line environment has been discussed, but slinging multiple corner reflectors around in such an environment becomes even more problematic.
All scenarios envision the mid-range radars placed in the bumper corners, four per vehicle. The plastic curvature is so high in these areas that the corners act as uncontrolled millimeter-wave lenses. For these radar units, even the raw transmit beams may be severely distorted. Thus, analogous to the “headlight tweaking” that the auto industry is accustomed to, carmakers envision tweaking the transmit arrays of installed radars to compensate for beam skew. At present, they have no method to measure the installed module transmit pattern that is sufficiently inexpensive, small, and fast.
In fact, space, time, and cost are of such concern on the assembly line that a system/method that can test both the radar transmit beam pattern and its full (transmit/receive roundtrip) angular accuracy is highly desirable. If separate test equipment is needed to test the various radar functionalities, one can appreciate that assembly line space is wasted and testing time and cost increase.
Moreover, the cars discussed above are assumed to be pristine vehicles that are just being readied to ship. Upon ownership, accidents or just plain denting will occur so body work will be needed. For example, one or more radars may be damaged in an accident and need replacing. Even if all the car'"'"'s radars survive intact, new bumpers, new paint, etc. will change their performance. A typical body shop can less afford equipment cost, time, and space than an assembly line, yet “radar touchup” will be required. One can appreciate that the needs highlighted in the previous paragraphs become even more acute.
The example embodiments are best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawing figures. It is emphasized that the various features are not necessarily drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions may be arbitrarily increased or decreased for clarity of discussion. Wherever applicable and practical, like reference numerals refer to like elements.
In the following detailed description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, representative embodiments disclosing specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of an embodiment according to the present teachings. Descriptions of known systems, devices, materials, methods of operation and methods of manufacture may be omitted so as to avoid obscuring the description of the representative embodiments. Nonetheless, systems, devices, materials and methods that are within the purview of one of ordinary skill in the art are within the scope of the present teachings and may be used in accordance with the representative embodiments. It is to be understood that the terminology used herein is for purposes of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. The defined terms are in addition to the technical and scientific meanings of the defined terms as commonly understood and accepted in the technical field of the present teachings.
It will be understood that, although the terms first, second, third etc. may be used herein to describe various elements or components, these elements or components should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element or component from another element or component. Thus, a first element or component discussed below could be termed a second element or component without departing from the teachings of the present disclosure.
The terminology used herein is for purposes of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used in the specification and appended claims, the singular forms of terms ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ are intended to include both singular and plural forms, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Additionally, the terms “comprises”, and/or “comprising,” and/or similar terms when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.
Unless otherwise noted, when an element or component is said to be “connected to”, “coupled to”, or “adjacent to” another element or component, it will be understood that the element or component can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or component, or intervening elements or components may be present. That is, these and similar terms encompass cases where one or more intermediate elements or components may be employed to connect two elements or components. However, when an element or component is said to be “directly connected” to another element or component, this encompasses only cases where the two elements or components are connected to each other without any intermediate or intervening elements or components.
In view of the foregoing, the present disclosure, through one or more of its various aspects, embodiments and/or specific features or sub-components, is thus intended to bring out one or more of the advantages as specifically noted below. For purposes of explanation and not limitation, example embodiments disclosing specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of an embodiment according to the present teachings. However, other embodiments consistent with the present disclosure that depart from specific details disclosed herein remain within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, descriptions of well-known apparatuses and methods may be omitted so as to not obscure the description of the example embodiments. Such methods and apparatuses are within the scope of the present disclosure.
Insofar as the antenna-diode pair array 100 includes both antennae and diodes, the antenna-diode pair array 100 also includes multiple antennae disposed in an array and multiple diodes disposed in an array. Each antenna in the antenna-diode pair array 100 includes an input adapted to selectively receive a forward bias signal or a zero bias or reverse bias signal. Each diode in the antenna-diode pair array 100 is disposed at an input of a corresponding antenna.
The switching device 130 is connected to each input and is configured to selectively apply a forward bias or zero bias or reverse bias to each of the diodes. In forward or reverse bias, each of the antennae in the antenna-diode pair array 100 detects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal. In forward bias each of the antennae in the antenna-diode pair array 100 reflects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal.
Although the antenna-diode pair array 100 is shown in
At sufficient forward bias, each diode 120 is effectively a short circuit. In the mode with the sufficient forward bias, the corresponding antenna simply reflects the locally impinging radiation. By forward biasing selected elements while leaving the remainder of the array at zero or reverse bias, a local mirror (or mirrors) is created because the zero or reverse bias elements act like absorbers. The mirror(s) electronically created using the antenna-diode pair array 100 acts as the test target.
One can electronically change the position, size, shape, and number of mirrors extremely quickly and precisely because there are no moving parts. Changing the mirror position is simply a matter of electronically addressing the desired element(s) to put into forward bias. The effective mirror size, which may be important as carmakers test radar cross section (RCS), is determined by the number of contiguous elements in forward bias. If any of the following criteria is satisfied, neighbor elements act from an RF standpoint as if they are continuous rather than discrete:
- 1. Spacing is λ/4 or less.
- 2. Device under test (DUT) transmits a single main beam and spacing is λ/2 or less.
- 3. Array is at least D2/λ away from the radar and spacing is λ/2 or less.
Here D is the diameter of the larger of the transmit and receive arrays constituting the radar being tested and λ is the wavelength. In practice, both the latter two criteria are met. For example, one typically sees D≅28 mm for λ=3.92 mm (the wavelength at 76.5 GHz), meaning D2/λ=0.2 m. This is well below the present testing distance with corner reflectors of 1 m or more; furthermore, radars today look for multiple targets by using advanced signal processing algorithms rather than by transmitting multi-beam patterns. Hence, λ/2 spacing in the two-dimensional array may suffice.
Shape is likely not something that carmakers will exploit, but this is also easily varied. One simply chooses a piecewise linear perimeter for the contiguous set of elements that closely matches the desired smooth shape. Finally, multi-target testing may become necessary; the number of mirrors is simply the number of separate contiguous forward bias zones in the array.
Providing the multitude of bias/sense lines for a multifunction array can be a nightmare, especially if the addressing must be differential and millimeter-wave signals are involved. Care must be taken to render the bias/sense lines “invisible” to the radar. This difficult task is exacerbated by the fact that surface mount inductors do not work at 77 GHz. (These are normally inserted to choke off the RF from the low-speed signal lines.)
Printed circuit board (PCB) technology is becoming very popular for various microwave applications. In the millimeter-wave region, patch antennas cannot be directly put onto conventional FR-4 material since it is too lossy. However, designs with patch antenna arrays on low-loss laminate material stacked with FR-4 into multilayer boards are becoming common. Surface mount diodes, commonly used at lower frequencies, are beginning to appear at millimeter-wave frequencies.
A symmetry feature of patch antennas is invoked in
In reality, the diode 220 placed at the RF feed point of the antenna 212 may slightly break the symmetry. This effect can be modelled with software that simulates electromagnetic effects, and the effect can be compensated by a slight offset in the position of the tap via. In practice at 77 GHz, this offset winds up being less than a mil in the direction opposite the diode 220.
The row shown in
The column shown in
For retroreflection, it may be desirable to fabricate the antenna-diode pair array 100 as a two-dimensional array on a curved surface. Perfect retroreflection is not necessary. For example, even a corner reflector isn'"'"'t perfect due to diffraction/scattering effects. Moreover, real targets are not typically perfect retroreflectors. Accordingly, a curved surface of a car body part surface 498 can be coarsely approximated with a piecewise flat surface as shown by the tiles including Tile 1 451, Tile 2 452 up to Tile N 459 as in
In the embodiment of
In detect mode, the transmit function for the radar of the car 590 is tested. This is illustrated in
In reflect mode, DUT transmission and reception are both fully tested. This is illustrated in
Since automotive radar antennas are often hidden behind plastic bumper material and the manufacturing tolerances of the plastic bumper parts are crude with respect to the RF wavelength of the radar there may be some interaction with the bumper material that may alter the RF beam shape and position. However, it is important that the location of a detected object agrees with the actual physical position of the object.
In the embodiment of
In the use case of
The computer system 800 can include a set of instructions that can be executed to cause the computer system 800 to perform any one or more of the methods or computer-based functions disclosed herein. The computer system 800 may operate as a standalone device or may be connected, for example, using a network 801, to other computer systems or peripheral devices. Any or all of the elements and characteristics of the computer system 800 in
In a networked deployment, the computer system 800 may operate in the capacity of a client in a server-client user network environment. The computer system 800 can also be fully or partially implemented as or incorporated into various devices, such as a central station, an imaging system, an imaging probe, a stationary computer, a mobile computer, a personal computer (PC), or any other machine capable of executing a set of instructions (sequential or otherwise) that specify actions to be taken by that machine. The computer system 800 can be incorporated as or in a device that in turn is in an integrated system that includes additional devices. In an embodiment, the computer system 800 can be implemented using electronic devices that provide video or data communication. Further, while the computer system 800 is illustrated, the term “system” shall also be taken to include any collection of systems or sub-systems that individually or jointly execute a set, or multiple sets, of instructions to perform one or more computer functions.
As illustrated in
Moreover, the computer system 800 includes a main memory 820 and a static memory 830 that can communicate with each other via a bus 808. Memories described herein are tangible storage mediums that can store data and executable instructions and are non-transitory during the time instructions are stored therein. As used herein, the term “non-transitory” is to be interpreted not as an eternal characteristic of a state, but as a characteristic of a state that will last for a period. The term “non-transitory” specifically disavows fleeting characteristics such as characteristics of a carrier wave or signal or other forms that exist only transitorily in any place at any time. A memory described herein is an article of manufacture and/or machine component. Memories described herein are computer-readable mediums from which data and executable instructions can be read by a computer. Memories as described herein may be random access memory (RAM), read only memory (ROM), flash memory, electrically programmable read only memory (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), registers, a hard disk, a removable disk, tape, compact disk read only memory (CD-ROM), digital versatile disk (DVD), floppy disk, blu-ray disk, or any other form of storage medium known in the art. Memories may be volatile or non-volatile, secure and/or encrypted, unsecure and/or unencrypted.
As shown, the computer system 800 may further include a video display unit 850, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), an organic light emitting diode (OLED), a flat panel display, a solid-state display, or a cathode ray tube (CRT). Additionally, the computer system 800 may include an input device 860, such as a keyboard/virtual keyboard or touch-sensitive input screen or speech input with speech recognition, and a cursor control device 870, such as a mouse or touch-sensitive input screen or pad. The computer system 800 can also include a disk drive unit 880, a signal generation device 890, such as a speaker or remote control, and a network interface device 840.
In an embodiment, as depicted in
In an alternative embodiment, dedicated hardware implementations, such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic arrays and other hardware components, can be constructed to implement one or more of the methods described herein. One or more embodiments described herein may implement functions using two or more specific interconnected hardware modules or devices with related control and data signals that can be communicated between and through the modules. Accordingly, the present disclosure encompasses software, firmware, and hardware implementations. Nothing in the present application should be interpreted as being implemented or implementable solely with software and not hardware such as a tangible non-transitory processor and/or memory.
In accordance with various embodiments of the present disclosure, the methods described herein may be implemented using a hardware computer system that executes software programs. Further, in an exemplary, non-limited embodiment, implementations can include distributed processing, component/object distributed processing, and parallel processing. Virtual computer system processing can be constructed to implement one or more of the methods or functionality as described herein, and a processor described herein may be used to support a virtual processing environment.
The present disclosure contemplates a computer-readable medium 882 that includes instructions 884 or receives and executes instructions 884 responsive to a propagated signal; so that a device connected to a network 801 can communicate video or data over the network 801. Further, the instructions 884 may be transmitted or received over the network 801 via the network interface device 840.
Accordingly, Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array enables selective reflecting of an incident microwave signal or millimeter-wave signal, by providing each antenna of the antenna-diode pair array 100 with an input adapted to selectively receive a forward bias signal or a zero bias or a reverse bias signal to apply to each of the diodes 120. This allows selective control of the antenna-diode pair array 100 to operate as a detector that detects an incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal, or to operate as a reflector that reflects the incident microwave signal or millimeter wave signal.
Although Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array has been described with reference to several exemplary embodiments, it is understood that the words that have been used are words of description and illustration, rather than words of limitation. Changes may be made within the purview of the appended claims, as presently stated and as amended, without departing from the scope and spirit of Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array in its aspects. Although Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array has been described with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array is not intended to be limited to the particulars disclosed; Millimeter-Wave Detect or Reflect Array extends to all functionally equivalent structures, methods, and uses such as are within the scope of the appended claims.
The illustrations of the embodiments described herein are intended to provide a general understanding of the structure of the various embodiments. The illustrations are not intended to serve as a complete description of all of the elements and features of the disclosure described herein. Many other embodiments may be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the disclosure. Other embodiments may be utilized and derived from the disclosure, such that structural and logical substitutions and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Additionally, the illustrations are merely representational and may not be drawn to scale. Certain proportions within the illustrations may be exaggerated, while other proportions may be minimized. Accordingly, the disclosure and the figures are to be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive.
One or more embodiments of the disclosure may be referred to herein, individually and/or collectively, by the term “invention” merely for convenience and without intending to voluntarily limit the scope of this application to any particular invention or inventive concept. Moreover, although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it should be appreciated that any subsequent arrangement designed to achieve the same or similar purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown. This disclosure is intended to cover any and all subsequent adaptations or variations of various embodiments. Combinations of the above embodiments, and other embodiments not specifically described herein, will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the description.
The Abstract of the Disclosure is provided to comply with 37 C.F.R. § 1.72(b) and is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In addition, in the foregoing Detailed Description, various features may be grouped together or described in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter may be directed to less than all of the features of any of the disclosed embodiments. Thus, the following claims are incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as defining separately claimed subject matter.
The preceding description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the concepts described in the present disclosure. As such, the above disclosed subject matter is to be considered illustrative, and not restrictive, and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications, enhancements, and other embodiments which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Thus, to the maximum extent allowed by law, the scope of the present disclosure is to be determined by the broadest permissible interpretation of the following claims and their equivalents, and shall not be restricted or limited by the foregoing detailed description.