Texas Instruments Collaboration

Texas Instruments Collaboration

How can you achieve a highly cost-sensitive mm-Wave radar device without compromising on performance? We can deploy an inexpensive, highly integrated single chip mm-Wave radar sensor with embedded processing by Texas Instruments. This approach utilises years of Plextek engineering experience, with an agile working method that our customers enjoy.  See below for examples of previous work utilising the Plextek/Texas Instrument partnership:

People Counting

Our client required a low SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) design of a radar module, capable of detecting moving targets out to 50m over a wide FoV (90°) in a ground environment. To match these requirements, we implemented a sectoral horn antenna array with TI’s IWR6843 radar-on-chip, which can be seen on the Texas Instrument’s website IWR6843ISK HORN ANTENNA (60 GHz). This allows the detection of moving objects at a consistent range across the entire wide field of view.

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Aerospace Application

This custom development radar module incorporated a TI SoC for an Aerospace application requiring a very low SWaP design capable of detecting very fast-moving objects.

AI Gesture Control

An obvious issue with camera sensors is privacy. As an alternative, we have developed a privacy preserving gesture recognition system using TI’s radar. This work was presented at IEEE WCCI 2020. Unlike camera-based sensors where an individual could be identified in frames, a radar sensor “sees” the world in terms of time varying radar reflections which do not form an image and cannot be used to distinguish individuals. Since the sensor is unaffected the light conditions, it is a prime candidate for use in applications such as fall detection in care homes and vulnerable households.

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Train Detection

We have utilised TI’s radar-on-chip capabilities to create a high resolution radar as a viable alternative to a camera sensor within rail infrastructure. The output it produces reflects the geometry of the world it views and allows software algorithms to manage the data generated. A radar that scans in both azimuth and elevation also measures the range to any target it detects so a direct, 3-dimensional estimate of its location is provided. Most importantly, radar is virtually impervious to adverse environmental conditions, working reliably in dark, wet or even foggy weather. This is key for assessing traffic flows of vehicles in cities or train traffic monitoring. Plextek has most recently built a proof-of-concept radar using TI evaluation board for a client with a requirement to monitor ungated level crossings.

Sensor Fusion

We have integrated both camera and radar into a single hardware platform to produce an optimized intelligence transport sensor for smart city applications. The radar allows all motion to be detected under all weather and lighting conditions, whereas the camera allows additional metadata (i.e. vehicle type) to be added to the detected radar tracks.

For more information on this and our other expertise, please contact us for an initial chat.

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