Rohde & Schwarz and IHP Characterize D-Band Frequencies in Over-The-Air Test Setup for 6G and Automotive Radar

December 29, 2020


Rohde & Schwarz and IHP Characterize D-Band Frequencies in Over-The-Air Test Setup for 6G and Automotive Radar

Academia and key industry players have identified the D-Band, ranging from 110 GHz to 170 GHz, as a candidate frequency band for beyond 5G and 6G mobile communications as well as for future automotive

According to Rohde & Schwarz and IHP GmbH (Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics), the companies have successfully transferred antenna systems and RF transceiver modules, similar to 5G networks and devices supporting mmWave frequencies for future mobile communications standards or automotive radar applications. According to the companies, this transfer will demand testing over-the-air in a shielded environment.

Per the companies, they transferred this test method into sub-THz range: They demonstrated the first full 2D/3D over-the-air measurements of a radar module at D-Band frequencies.

The test setup consisted of the R&S ATS1000 antenna test system, the R&S ZNA43 vector network analyzer, and the R&S AMS32 antenna measurement software from Rohde & Schwarz. The R&S ATS1000 antenna test system is a compact and mobile shielded chamber solution for OTA and antenna measurements, ideal for 5G mmWave applications. To cover the D-Band frequencies, extensions from Radiometer Physics GmbH, a Rohde & Schwarz company, are used in the setup, which allow direct frequency conversion at the probe in both transmit and receive directions. According to the company, no mechanical modifications or additional RF cabling to the antenna test system is necessary. The setup can measure the amplitude and phase coherent response of a DUT radiating in the D-Band. Fully automated 3D-pattern measurements including post-processing can be performed in short time thanks to the R&S AMS32 software options for nearfield to farfield transformation and the precision positioner.

IHP provided four different devices under test (DUT), based on the same D-Band radar transceiver chipset but with different antenna structures, including on-chip single and stacked patches with air trenches and an on-chip antenna array. The over-the-air characterization verified the wider bandwidth provided by the stacked patches than that by the single patch.

The performance of the various DUTs was characterized by spherical measurements, using two different setups. By increasing the angular theta step-size from 1 degree to 5 degree, the total test times for a DUT could be reduced from 70 minutes to 12 minutes. By comparing the different DUT designs based on the obtained measurement data, researchers of IHP were able to analyze the effect of the finite on-board reflector area on the radar sensor FoV (field-of-view).

For further information on OTA measurements in the D-Band, watch the video at:

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