Millimetre-Wave Radar for Foreign Object Detection

Our client’s vision was for a low size, weight and power solution that could be easily deployed into the market without compromising high accuracy performance.
- Gareth Williams, Engineering Director, Plextek

The Challenge

Wave Tech, a Korean-based RF signal technology company, required a short-range Foreign Object Detection (FOD) system for airport runways.

FOD is an important security, safety and quality control in any aviation environment; where small debris, loose objects and wildlife has the potential to cause damage to airport equipment and delays to runway operation.

Our client’s vision was for a low size, weight and power solution that could be easily deployed into the market without compromising high accuracy performance.

The Approach

Our recent studies into millimetre-wave radar enabled us to produce a dual fixed and mobile antenna solution capable of detecting objects and movements from a fixed radar range of 400m.

Plextek designed and mounted a fixed antenna along the runway for stationary scanning and detection. A mobile system, a 300mm antenna for rapid rotation, was also delivered and was designed to be mounted onto the roof of a vehicle to scan the runway while moving.

Enhancing the situational awareness of the technology required utilising advanced signal processing algorithms to discriminate between wanted and unwanted signals and to separate detection of targets in close proximity to each other.

The Outcome

Our mm-wave radar solution was able to deliver 100% target illumination results in early-stage development tests, displaying accuracy and detection equivalent to a single fixed antenna.

The advanced design enabled our client to produce highly accurate FOD results with reduced deployment costs and time to market.

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