Low-bandwidth radar improves detection of objects

April 04, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Low-bandwidth radar improves detection of objects
Until now, scientists have believed that radar accuracy and resolution are related to the range of frequencies or radio bandwidth used by the devices. But a new Tel Aviv University study finds that an approach inspired by optical coherence tomography (OCT) requires little to no bandwidth to accurately create a high-resolution map of a radar's surrounding environment.

"We've demonstrated a different type of ranging system that possesses superior range resolution and is almost completely free of bandwidth limitations," says Prof. Pavel Ginzburg of TAU's School of Electrical Engineering, one of the principal authors of the study. "The new technology has numerous applications, especially with respect to the automotive industry. It's worth noting that existing facilities support our new approach, which means that it can be launched almost immediately."

The new research was led and conducted jointly by Prof. Ginzburg, Vitali Kozlov, Rony Komissarov and Dmitry Filonov, all of TAU's School of Electrical Engineering and published in Nature Communications.

It is a generally held view that radar resolution is proportional to the bandwidth used – the broader the range of frequencies, the more accurate the detection of objects. However, the TAU researchers have now demonstrated that low-bandwidth radars can achieve similar performance at a lower cost and without broadband signals by exploiting the coherence property of electromagnetic waves.

Two wave sources are perfectly coherent if they have a constant phase difference, the same frequency and the same waveform. The new "partially coherent" radar is as effective at resolving targets when compared with standard "coherent" radars in experimental situations.

Partially coherent radar operation schematics. Image courtesy of Nature Communications.

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