New technology from EU-funded project to aid safer parking
Safely squeezing into a tight parking space is a familiar source of vexation for drivers, and now researchers working on an EU-funded project have developed a new piece of technology that is set to make the job easier.
Many drivers currently use parking assistant systems to enable them to park in narrow spaces: these devices rely on millimetre precision control and precise all-around radar distance measurement. Researchers from the SUCCESS ('Silicon-based ultra-compact cost-efficient system design for mm-wave sensors') project have successfully integrated this necessary radar technology into millimetre-sized chip housings.
SUCCESS, which brought together researchers from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, received almost EUR 3 million of funding from the 'Information and communication technologies' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Thomas Zwick from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), one of the project partners, comments: 'For the first time now, we have succeeded in integrating all relevant?radio-frequency components into one chip housing. Users can solder the chip onto their standard circuit boards and receive low frequency signals that can be processed without difficulty.'
The sensor sends and receives electromagnetic waves having a frequency of 122 GHz, which corresponds to a wavelength of approximately?2.5 mm. From the runtime of the waves, the distance to an object that is several metres away is calculated with an accuracy of up to less than 1 mm.
To boot, the velocity of the respective object can be measured via the Doppler effect. The sensor itself measures just 8 x 8 mm, but contains all the necessary radio-frequency?components. The output signals are therefore low-frequency signals that can be processed further by means of standard electronic systems.
The researchers hope that this new compact technology will make various new applications more accessible, and that in time, series production could reduce costs per radar sensor unit to less than EUR 1.
Other applications beside vehicle environment detection and control of industrial robots include extremely flat door- or gate-motion sensors that can be hidden behind the wallpaper, or the automatic deactivation of drilling machines once the desired drilling depth is reached.
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Category: Project results
Data Source Provider: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Document Reference: Based on information from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Subject Index: Innovation, Technology Transfer; Social Aspects; Coordination, Cooperation; Materials Technology; Scientific Research