Use Case Driven Chirp and Frame Configuration for FMCW Radars

Status: completed
Supervisor: Horst Hellbrück , Manfred Constapel
Student: Huicheng Qian

Topic

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the use of FMCW radar technology for industrial and automotive applications ranging from fluid level sensing to autonomous robots. FMCW radar is able to detect the presence of certain objects while it measures the distance via time of flight and radial velocity by Doppler shift. Given an aperture of multiple RX and TX antennas, the azimuth and the elevation with respect to an object is measured. FMCW radar generates and continuously transmits chirps. Sequences of multiple chirps are enveloped in frames. Chirps are reflected due to the presence of non-permeable objects in the scene, e.g. walls, furniture or the objects to interest. The received chirps are utilized to perform distance and velocity measurements. This is done by mixing the transmitted and received chirp yielding a difference in time and frequency that determines the distance and radial velocity.

Details

There exist various and partially inter-dependent chirp parameters, e. g. center frequency, bandwidth and maximum detectable range, which can be adjusted to create a reasonable and valid chirp configuration. The chirp configuration is heavily dependent on the use case and the expected scene since distances, size and the number of objects as well as motions given different velocities and accelerations can be very different. Further limitations for adjusting the chirp parameters can arise due to hardware and regulatory constraints. In consequence, there is no perfect chirp configuration that fits all use cases. Chirp parameters have to be designed carefully with regard to the specific use case, application, and the expected scene the radar operates in. That's where this thesis proposal comes into the picture: This thesis aims to provide help for finding practical and reasonable chirp parameters for TI mmWave radars for different use cases and applications respectively.

Further details

Deliverables

  • Well documented and working recommendation system tool programmed in a high-level programming language
  • Working frame and chirp visualization tool, e.g. embedded into the recommendation system tool
  • Well documented evaluation of the recommendation system tool based on measurements taken with the TI IWR radar device
  • Extensive and well-documented development progress, evaluation and results (the thesis document)

Tasks

  • Provision of a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of chirp design and chirp parameters
  • Categorization of two kinds of parameters for chirp design; generally valid, thus applicable to all FMCW radars, and hardware-related to TI IWR radar devices
  • Deduction of important scene parameters (e. g. maximum range, the maximum velocity of objects to detect, the minimum distance of objects next to each other etc.) for the derivation of a chirp configuration
  • Development of a recommendation system tool for deriving the most promising chirp parameters given values for a set for the deducted scene parameters
  • Development of a frame and chirp visualization tool showing the recommended chirp configuration in a time domain plot
  • Systematic evaluation (proof-of-concept) of the recommendation system tool with a TI IWR radar device

Requirements

  • Good knowledge of a high-level programming language (e.g. Python, Java, Matlab, C#)
  • Basic knowledge of digital signal processing
  • Interest in radar applications and digital signal processing
  • Willingness to familiarize yourself with TI mmWave radar devices
  • Independent and self-organized working