Horn and Lens Antenna with Low Height and Low Antenna Coupling for Compact Automotive 77-GHz Long-Range Radar


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E103-C    No.10    pp.426-433
Publication Date: 2020/10/01
Publicized: 2020/04/08
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.2020MMP0002
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Technologies)
Category: Microwaves, Millimeter-Waves
77-GHz long-range radar,  horn and lens antenna,  front-end module,  differential antenna,  antenna coupling,  direction of arrival estimation,  

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Smaller antenna structures for long-range radar transmitters and receivers operating in the 77-GHz band for automotive application have been achieved by using antennas with a horn, lens, and microstrip antenna. The transmitter (Tx) antenna height was reduced while keeping the antenna gain high and the antenna substrate small by developing an antenna structure composed of two differential horn and lens antennas in which the diameter and focus distance of the lenses were half those in the previous design. The microstrip antennas are directly connected to the differential outputs of a monolithic microwave integrated circuit. A Tx antenna fabricated using commercially available materials was 14mm high and had an output-aperture of 18×44mm. It achieved an antenna gain of 23.5dBi. The antenna substrate must be at least 96mm2. The antenna had a flat beam with half-power elevation and azimuth beamwidths of 4.5° and 21°, respectively. A receiver (Rx) antenna array composed of four sets of horn and lens antennas with an output-aperture of 9×22mm and a two-by-two array configuration was fabricated for application in a newly proposed small front-end module with azimuth direction of arrival (DOA) estimation. The Rx antenna array had an antenna coupling of less than -31dB in the 77-GHz band, which is small enough for DOA estimation by frequency-modulated continuous wave radar receivers even though the four antennas are arranged without any separation between their output-apertures.