A Passive Radar Identification Tag for Unambiguous Object Localisation

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The Brief

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 have developed a low size, weight and power tagging system 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 tested at two typical ranges for its application, 30m – 60m with successful results. Implementing a radar system with optimized power and ramp waveforms will enable the tagging system to continue to work at longer ranges.

The Impact

The retroflector ID tag acts as high visibility jacket for high frequency signals and extends the capability of standard automotive radars.

In the smart city, this tag will benefit the recognition of road signage and infrastructure, other road vehicles and support for autonomous convoy operation.

In addition, the tagging system enables identification of drones, small aircraft and the monitoring of small craft at sea in poor weather conditions. Plextek are currently mapping out a route for commercialisation in the automotive sector; where low-product cost and optimized detection range will be paramount.

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