Test bench provides full-surface coverage of automotive radomes

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Löhnert Elektronik is integrating the R&S QAR imaging tester from Rohde & Schwarz into its end-of-line test benches for automotive radomes – protective covers for vehicle radar sensors 

Now the test benches can reproducibly test the reflection and transmission of these sensor covers over their entire surface at cycle rates of less than ten seconds. 

 The R&S QAR quality automotive radome tester tests the entire radome rather than a few points. It is based on distributed planar arrays of transmit and receive antennas operating in the E band (77 GHz and 79 GHz bands). The system performs spatially resolved reflection measurements, allowing reliable evaluation of radome performance within seconds whilst highlighting material defects.  

The millimeterwave images reproducibly show how much of the radar signal is reflected by the radome and how much is transmitted unhindered through the radome (transmissivity). The system reveals even the smallest inhomogeneity in the material. 

The first test bench with the automotive radome tester contains different type-specific holders for the objects under test (component nests) and two test stations for transmission and reflection reference measurements. The machine is driven by the Löhnert instant scripting RunTime (LisRT V3) software together with a Siemens SPC controller. The radomes can be placed in the test holders either manually or by a robot. The system identifies them by a barcode or a data matrix code (DMC). 

Normalization of the test equipment (self-adjustment to changed operating conditions) is possible directly on the line. The measurement accuracy and function can also be verified directly on the line without reconfiguration. The test bench can be adapted to new radomes and specifications. The test benches are available for automotive radomes up to 200mm in diameter. 

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