Signal degradation through sediments on safety-critical radar sensors
This paper focusses on a transmission line (TL) based model which allows to investigate the impact of multilayered obstructions in the propagating path of a radar signal at different distances and in combination with disturbances. Those disturbances can be water, snow, ice, and foliage at different densities, temperatures, positions, with a given thickness and layer combination. For the evaluation of the detectability of objects, the impulse response of the system can be obtained. Investigations employing state-of-the-art radar hardware confirm the consistency of theoretical and experimental results for 24 and 77 GHz. The analysis in this paper supports testing the specifications for radar systems, before carrier frequency and antenna layout are finally decided. Thereby, the radar system parameters can be adjusted toward employed carrier frequency, bandwidth, required sensitivity, antenna and amplifier gain. Since automotive standards define operational environmental conditions such as temperature, rain rate, and layer thickness, these parameters can be included and adapted. A novel optimisation methodology for radomes is presented which allows to boost the dynamic range by almost 6 dB with presence of a worst-case cover layer of water. The findings can be utilised to properly design radar systems for automotive applications in autonomous driving, in which other vulnerable road users have to be protected under all circumstances.