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November, 26th: TALK: Prof. Barry Quinn from Macquarie University, Sydney, on "Novel frequency estimation techniques"

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Congratulations to our master student DI Matthias Wakolbinger BSc

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Congratulations to Dr. Bernhard Etzlinger on receiving "Innovationspreis 2017"

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Congratulations to DI Sebastian Poltschak on receiving "2017 EuMC Young Engineer Prize" at EuMW Nuremberg

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Congratulations to Faisal Ahmed MSc and Muhammad Furqan MSc on receiving "2016 Best Paper Award" at EuMW Nuremberg

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Welcome Medina Džebić-Hamidović MSc!

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Welcome Nùria Ballber Torres MSc!

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RF-Systems

Millimeter-Wave and THz Component Design

Our group designs circuits and systems based on Advanced SiGe HBT Processes from Infineon Technologies and IHP Microelectronics. Besides, active research is being done on mmW antenna-on-chip and antenna-in-package designs. The group has been and is currently a part of major EU based research projects such as the DotFive and DotSeven, which aim to develop and demonstrate HBTs with maximum oscillation frequency of up to 700 GHz. In addition the group collaborates closely with DICE to develop 77 GHz automotive radars.

Some of the circuits and systems developed by the group are:

E-band power amplifiers (81-86 GHz)demonstrating gain, 3-dB bandwidth and output power of up to 32 dB, 23 GHz and 19.2 dBm, respectively.

From left to right: E-Band High Gain PA, E-Band PA with 325-GHz GBW product, and E-Band PA with 19.2 dBm output power

D-Band High Output Power VCO

D-Band PA with 400 GHz GBW

Medical Imaging

Research for a medical brain imaging- and monitoring system is done in cooperation with EMTensor. The focus of this research is to miniaturize the measurement system as well as reducing the measurement time. Therefore, a novel measurement concept is investigated and tested with the help of prototype hardware, capable of capturing the needed parameters for image generation.

Imaging for Harsh Environments

Focus of this research is to develop a imaging radar prototype system which is capable of gauging a full three-dimensional surface with applications to bulk material and for use in very harsh environment. Based on standard radar technology (FMCW, MIMO, TDMA) we developed the whole prototype system, including RF frontend, baseband system, signal processing and imaging, surface reconstruction, algorithms.

The key parameters of the RF frontend and the measurement capability can be summarized as follows:

  • Start frequency: 76 GHz
  • Bandwidth: 2 GHz
  • Antennas: 16 TX and 64 RX antennas used → 256 virtual antenna positions
  • Array aperture: 47 x 52 mm2
  • Range resolution: 15 cm
  • Angular resolution: 2.8°

This project was developed in cooperation with voestalpine Stahl GmbH, Linz and is supported by the Austrian COMETK2 Program through the Linz Center of Mechatronics.

Multiple Target Tracking

In the last few years cars got equipped with commercially available radar sensors. Next to driver assistance, safety is an important topic. Not only the safety of the passengers but also the safety of other, especially vulnerable road users is of major concern. Based on an available radar platform from InRas, we investigate the radar echos from moving vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists. Up to now we have developed a set of clustering and tracking algorithms which allows us to monitor a scenario over time. Subsequently we aim no only on target detection and tracking but also classification. These results will on one hand enable more sophisticated driver assistance systems and bring them towards autonomous driving. On the other hand this opens a new market for radar sensor in the field of property surveillance.

Pedestrian tracking with a radar systems. Top left: Camera view for orientation. Bottom left: Range/Doppler/Angle map which is a visualization of the view of a radar system. Bottom right: individual detection. Top right: Result of the tracking algorithm:

Pedestrian tracking with a radar systems.

Drone tracking with a radar system. Top left: Camera view for orientation. Bottom left: Range/Doppler/Angle map which is a visualization of the view of a radar system. Bottom right: individual detection. Top right: Result of the tracking algorithm.

Drone tracking with a radar system

Cooperative Radar-Based Localization

Microwave based measurement systems are widespread in industrial plants, due to their robustness against dust and rough weather. One of the most important tasks is to locate different objects of interest. In an industrial environment, with multiple reflective objects present, it is a demanding task for a conventional radar system to identify and track objects of interest. A way to handle this task is to equip the target objects with active radar transceivers, forming a cooperative measurement system with long-range and high-precision capability. As additional technology, semi-active modulated-reflector tags can be used for short-range localization purposes in applications with multiple objects to locate. The focus of this research is to integrate the advantages of a conventional FMCW radarsystem with the capability of simultaneous operation in the cooperative mode, as well as with modulated-reflectors, forming a novel multi-purpose radar system.

FMCW MIMO Radar System Design

Radars which rely on the frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) principle are widely used in commercial applications due to their advantages such as:

  • The use of continuous-wave signals leads to a relatively low peak power, which is beneficial for realization as integrated circuits.
  • FMCW radars allow to combine large RF-bandwidth, and therefore excellent range resolution, with moderate frequencies in the processing stages after down-conversion.

One focus area of our research is to investigate techniques which combine FMCW systems with multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology. For this purpose, we realize prototype systems using approaches like time division multiple access (TDMA), frequency division multiple access (FDMA), or code division multiple access (CDMA) to realize the MIMO functionality. These approaches are tested and compared in terms of measurement performance and applicability to different measurement tasks. Furthermore, also the complexity of realization in different technologies is an important part of our investigations.

Left: 77-GHz MIMO frontend with Delta-Sigma modulated Transmitters
Right: Measurement result achieved with the 77-GHz Delta-Sigma modulated MIMO system

Left: Hardware prototype of MIMO radar using FDMA
Right: Measurement result collected with the FDMA MIMO prototype

Phase-Coded CW MIMO Radar

Phase-coded CW radar systems use instead of the widely used frequency chirp a phase-modulated transmission signal. This approach may have advantages for certain implementation and gives new opportunities due the additional degree of freedom especially in signal design.

To verify our novel approaches, we have built our own software defined radar platform. This device offers 4 IQ-transmit and 4 IQ-receive channels which are fully synchronized at a sampling rate of 500 MSPS. For example, with the 77 GHz 4x4 MIMO frontend, we carried out range-Doppler measurements in our anechoic chamber.

From left to right: 77 GHz 4x4 MIMO frontend, measurement scenario in our anechoic chamber, and two-dimensional result of the shown scenario