A Passive Radar Identification Tag for Unambiguous Object Localisation

The Challenge

Practical object and vehicle recognition in intelligent and autonomous transport systems remains a data-first problem.

The more unique data that is captured and identified, the more accurate the decisioning models can be.

As part of the Department for Transport’s Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG), Plextek produced a comprehensive study on a low size, weight and power tagging system and PoC which can bounce back a unique radar signal in order to provide exact object and vehicle localisation and recognition.

The Approach

Plextek have successfully developed a low-cost proof of concept demonstrator. This retroreflector ID tag has been lab tested at two typical ranges for its application, 30m – 60m with successful results. Implementing a radar system with optimized power and ramp waveforms would enable the tagging system to continue to work at longer ranges.

The Outcome

The retroflector ID tag study suggests that it can act as a high visibility jacket for high frequency signals and extends the capability of standard automotive radars.

In a smart city landscape, this tag could recognise road signage and infrastructure, other road vehicles and support autonomous convoy operation.

In addition, the tagging system could enable the identification of drones, small aircraft and the monitoring of small craft at sea in poor weather conditions.

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