New radome tester delivers accurate and cost-effective measurements

26-11-2021 | Rohde & Schwarz | Test & Measurement

The new Rohde & Schwarz R&S QAR50 is an excellent solution for measuring radomes and bumpers in production environments. The tester's innovative design assures short measurement times and accurate, reproducible results with an attractive price/performance ratio. A highly modular software concept enables the device to be adapted to individual requirements.

Advanced driver assistance functions need automotive radar sensors. For design reasons, these are often installed behind bumpers or emblems. As experience with the tester has shown, radome quality is strongly dependent on the reflectivity, transmission loss and homogeneity of the components under test.

The R&S QAR and R&S QAR50 employ microwave imaging, with many advantages compared to traditional, unfocused single-point measurements. Especially in production, reliable and straightforward operation and short cycle times are essential. The user-friendly interface of the device simplifies measurements in the automotive radar frequency band – even for users with no detailed RF knowledge. Numerous optimisations enable measurement times well below five seconds, noticeably decreasing cycle times in production.

The imaging method also offers information on whether the components under test are properly positioned. While single-point measurements only show the frequency response of reflectivity for a particular point, the tester also displays the spatial distribution of reflectivity. Tracking the point of maximum reflection offers information on component positioning. Since this method enables the transmit and receive antennas to be far apart with no effect on the measurement results, the device provides more space for clamping and unclamping the components to be measured. The clearance height of around 100cm between the antenna clusters reduces the mechanical effort needed to position the components. This removes the requirement for robot positioners and carriages, and the essential enclosures for occupational safety can be notably smaller.

The modular software concept enables the tester to be cost-effectively adapted to the particular demands of the vehicle manufacturer. Depending on the software configuration, complete limit tests for transmission phase, transmission loss, homogeneity and reflectivity may be executed in the frequency and spatial domains. All software options may also be purchased later, assuring the long-term usability of the device in EOL deployment.

By Natasha Shek