Automotive radar systems must operate in complex and dynamic environments where interactions with the host vehicle and its surroundings can have a significant impact on their performance. In particular, the material properties of the vehicle bumpers and location of the radar behind or within the bumper can impact performance. This application note will provide insight into the theory of frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) car radars, their application, and their placement in a car chassis. It will also discuss how various types of dielectric material in front of the radar antennas (e.g., antenna dome or color-coated bumper) influences the radar’s performance. This document will describe a way to characterize the 2D insertion loss of flat material slabs and logo emblems that are used today to cover the car radar sensors, and will present 2D measurements of the dielectric properties of such materials.
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