Rohde & Schwarz & NOFFZ to develop a Compact Antenna Test Range production test system for Automotive Imaging Radars

Rohde & Schwarz and NOFFZ Technologies collaborate on the integration of the field-proven R&S Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) reflector technology and advanced radar echo generator R&S AREG800A into NOFFZ’s versatile End-of-Line (EoL) radar sensor test system, the UTP 5069 CATR. This creates a fast, accurate and efficient test system optimized for production that facilitates the transition from radar sensor development to mass production.

Radar is the key technology for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Automated Driving (AD). For an improved SAE L3 (Society of Automotive Engineers level 3) experience on the way towards autonomous driving, radar sensors have to accommodate much more complex traffic scenarios. Consequently, imaging radar sensors have been developed with significantly finer spatial resolution and this requires much larger antenna apertures. Measuring these radar sensors in the direct far-field (DFF) would be impractically large for production environments. However, the CATR technology from Rohde & Schwarz found in the R&S ATS1500C chamber creates a large quiet zone with high quality far-field conditions in a very compact physical footprint.

The NOFFZ End-of-Line tester UTP 5069 CATR is designed for high-volume production test and calibration. The extremely low-reflection anechoic chamber is one of the key differentiators and one of the results of over 30 years’ experience as a system integrator. It is available with a compact footprint of less than 3.5 sqm (40 sqft). The relative motion of the DUT during calibration, loading and unloading can be realized either by an integrated robot or a goniometer. Both motion options can be selected depending on the requirements for movement flexibility, position accuracy, and cycle time.

Tier1 radar sensor and module suppliers now have a fast, accurate test system optimized for production that saves cost, makes efficient use of space, and is ready for the next generation of radar technology.

The R&S ATS1500C CATR chamber together with the R&S AREG radar moving object simulator family are already adopted globally for radar development. Whereas, the NOFFZ end-of-line radar sensor tester UTP 5069 with its broad coverage of test requirements is well established at radar production facilities around the globe. Furthermore, the performance of this new test system was validated during its development by leading edge radar module developer Uhnder.

There are many challenges on the way towards autonomous driving but the capabilities, performance and measurement accuracy of the test system produced by the collaboration of two automotive radar expert companies NOFFZ and Rohde & Schwarz solves already one of them: Optimizing the transition from development to mass production for imaging radars.