Just what we need for autolanding: researchers develop "fingernail-sized radar chip"

From Gizmag. Autolanding is easy with multicopters using ultrasound, but hard with planes, since ultrasound is too noisy. Maybe radar would be better?

Excerpt from the article:

Research based in Frankfurt, Germany, and funded by the European Union, has resulted in a new low-cost, fingernail-sized radar chip package that could be implemented in a variety of areas, including the automotive industry, robotics and smartphones.

The chip was developed under the “Silicon-based ultra-compact cost-efficient system design for mm-wave sensors” (or Success) consortium, and is believed to be the smallest complete silicon-based system-on-chip (SoC) device for radar able to operate at frequencies beyond 100 GHz.

“As far as I know, this is the smallest complete radar system in the world,” said Professor Christoph Scheytt, coordinator of the project on behalf of IHP Microelectronics in Frankfurt, Germany. “There are other chips working at frequencies beyond 100 GHz addressing radar sensing, but this is the highest level of integration that has ever been achieved in silicon.”

The chip package measures 8 x 8 mm (0.3 x 0.3 inches), operates at 120 GHz, and can calculate the distance of an object up to around 3 meters (10 feet) away, to an accuracy of within 1 mm. It can also detect moving objects, and their velocity, by using the Doppler effect.

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Comment by Peter Meister on November 25, 2012 at 6:38pm

That is way cool...

Comment by Ruwan on November 25, 2012 at 8:36pm

Nice. Does that mean, future smart phones would work as radar detectors too (after improving the range, and only using the reception)? :-)

Comment by John Moore on November 26, 2012 at 5:57am

Cant wait.

Comment by Alex Hills on November 26, 2012 at 6:21am

the article says they are $1.29 a chip.  If 3DR could get a hold of some of these down the road, they would be great for a sense and avoid radar array!

Comment by Jack Crossfire on November 26, 2012 at 1:30pm

If they worked as advertized, they would replace all indoor position technologies in a year.  Polyamide substrate sounds a bit too much like unobtanium.

Comment by Mark Colwell on November 27, 2012 at 10:05am

10 foot range is short for Fixed wing flight, If they offer a 77 GHz unit @ larger size, range can reach 120 feet. 

I am looking for a used Bosch radar set from Audi 8 to uas as a altimeter.

Comment by zach w on November 28, 2012 at 3:45am

Hello Mark, audi radars are available on ebay, just search for "adaptive cruise control".

I tried and failed, story here http://www.diydrones.com/forum/topics/repurpose-automotive-radar-fo...

I hope you can make progress.


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