Radar image of a measurementInterference impact and mitigation: example of a simple traffic scenarioAutomotive SAR: ultrahigh-resolution measurement of a parking areaGround-penetrating SAR: measurement of buried objects

Radar Signal Processing and Modulation

As part of its research in the field of automotive radar, UAV, and industrial applications, the Institute of Microwave Engineering is concerned with improving and enhancing the underlying signal processing methods as well as on developing new concepts and methods for current and future radar systems.

Increasing and constantly changing demands on radar technology in the different application areas such as automotive scenarios, industry and also new areas such as UAVs, pose ever new challenges for signal processing. Together with various industry partners and supported by public research funds, both established analog modulation techniques, such as the chirp-sequence modulation, and new digital radar approaches such as OFDM and PN (pseudo noise) are being developed, advanced, and researched at the Institute. Besides hardware-related signal processing and modulation design, also new and advanced signal processing methods and algorithms enabling high-preformance and high-resolution radar imaging are being developed and researched. Existing methods are refined and advanced, and new approaches based on compressed sensing and machine learning are investigated and developed. By applying machine learning methods in the radar evaluation, additional information about the environment of vehicles in traffic are gained. Thereby, neural networks alow the classification of gestures of vulnerable traffic participants communicating with vehicles. The detection and classification of such gestures is an important step towards accomplishing complex traffic scenarios in autonomous driving.

Another research area at the Institute is that of radar interference, which gains increasing importance and attention due to the constantly increasing number of radars in vehicles and traffic. Mutual interference of radars can limit the radar functionality up to the point of total failure. Therefore, the impact and properties of mutual interference are being investigated, and suitable countermeasures are developed taking into account typical traffic scenarios and the diversity of available radars. Approaches such as frequency-hopping using discrete channels, direction-of-travel dependent operating frequencies, and cooperative radars are being investigated. The research encompasses mutual interference of FMCW, chirp-sequence, PN, and OFDM modulated radars.

Furthermore, the Institute investigates different complex synthetic aperture (SAR) processing methods for efficient and ultrahigh-resolution imaging and mapping of the environment in both automotive and UAV applications. The research focus is on the detection of obstacles and the detection of buried objects, for instance anti-personnel mines.

Skills / Expertise

  • Adaptive radars and modulation
    • OFDM radars
    • PN Radars
    • Chirp-sequence radars
  • Interference prevention and mitigation
  • Hardware-related signal processing and correction of hardware non-idealities
  • Radar target simulation
  • SAR processing

Funded Projects
In addition to a variety of bilateral industrial projects the following research projects are handled:

  • „BinoMIMO“: High-resolution binocular MIMO millimeter wave radars
  • „IMIKO Radar“: Interference mitigation by cooperative radars
  • „INTUITIVER“: Radar-based intention identification of pedestrians
  • „InnoSÜD“: Radar target simulatorion for automotive radars
  • „KoRaTo“: Cooperative aperture synthesis for tomographic radar imaging
  • „SecForCARs“: Verification of automotive radars through radar target simulation
  • PN-Radar networks with phase-noise suppression
  • Urs-Endress-Stiftung: Project „Findmine“, UAV-based landmine detection with GPSAR