Fraunhofer IAF presents compact W-band radar at the Hannover Messe 2018
See what is hidden from the human eye. Preserve the view when optical sensors fail. Radars make the invisible visible. Based on millimeter waves penetrating plastics, cardboard, wood and textiles, they are able to see what's inside packaging, behind walls or behind smoke and fog.
Researchers at Fraunhofer IAF have taken advantage of the unique characteristics of millimeter-waves and have developed a compact W-band radar module that is ideally suited for use in industrial sensors: It screens packaged goods and gives precise information about their contents.
The Fraunhofer researchers are going to present the use of this radar in an industrial environment from April 23 to 27 at the Hannover Messe. They will be located at booth C22 in Hall 2, showcasing their radar in the frame of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany.
With the help of intelligent and digitally networked systems, modern industrial production is becoming increasingly self-organized and self-reliant: people, machines, plants, logistics and products communicate and cooperate with one another and thus optimize individual production steps or even the entire value chain. This vision of Industry 4.0 includes systems that independently make decisions based on the data available to them and perform tasks as autonomously as possible.
The W-band radar developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg takes industrial automation one step further. The radar inspects packed goods for content and completeness. Based on the results, the system can automatically sort out faulty deliveries of goods before shipping.
The W-band radar developed by Fraunhofer IAF works with millimeter-waves at frequencies of 75 to 110 GHz, the so-called W-band. The emitted millimeter waves penetrate all non-metallic and optically non-transparent materials such as plastic, textiles, paper, wood or even dust, smoke and fog.
Take a look inside
So far, optical sensors such as lasers are mostly used for presence detection in the production process. The disadvantage is that lasers fail in poor visibility conditions and cannot look behind packaging material. The W-band radar, on the other hand, does not only provide high-precision distance measurements in dust, smoke or fog; it even allows a view behind materials and objects.
Like an X-ray machine that allows you to look into the human body, the radar detects what is inside a package or behind a wall. In contrast to X-rays, however, the short-wave rays emitted by the W-band radar in the millimeter range are not harmful to health. The transmission power of the radar is even 100 times smaller than that of a mobile phone.
The combination of the unique properties of millimeter- waves and the compact radar module developed by Fraunhofer IAF offers a wide range of applications beyond industrial sensors. »Radar can be used wherever contact-free material testing, control of packaged goods or high-precision distance measurements under difficult conditions such as restricted visibility are required« says Christian Zech, researcher at Fraunhofer IAF.
The institute has already launched several projects, including safety aspects in human-machine interaction, the use of radar in the harsh environment of a steelwork, and safe landing assistance for helicopters.
Precise, compact and cost-effective technology
The operation of the radar can be compared to that of an echo. The radar emits signals that are reflected by materials and objects. Transmit and receive signals are compared using numerical algorithms and provide information about what is in front of the radar module at what distance. »Despite their advantages, millimeter-wave radar systems have received little market acceptance so far, since low-frequency systems are too large and the production of high-frequency systems is too expensive, « explains Zech.
The development of the Fraunhofer researchers, on the other hand, is compact, cost-effective and has a modular design. Due to the shorter wavelengths of around three millimeters, the entire system is only about the size of a cigarette box. The researchers have succeeded in developing a cost-efficient printed circuit board (PCB)-based assembly and interconnecting technology.
»Our W-band radar is based on the semiconductor gallium arsenide, providing higher bandwidth, resolution, sensitivity and ruggedness than radar systems operating on silicon circuits. This is crucial for many applications« explains Benjamin Baumann, electrical engineer at Fraunhofer IAF.
Take a look at the IAF radar at the Hannover Messe
The researchers are going to present the use of the W-band radar as one element of process automation at the Hannover Messe at the joint Fraunhofer stand in Hall 2, booth C22 in the frame of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany. The exhibit shows an industrial hall where packaged goods are transported on production lines. The radar screens the packages passing by and checks their contents. Incorrect or incomplete packaging is reported and immediately removed from the logistics chain.
Laura Hau | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF
AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai
15.06.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
Insects supply chitin as a raw material for the textile industry
05.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering