The W-band radar from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF provides transparency in the truest sense of the word: It emits millimeter waves in the frequency range 75 to 110GHz, which can penetrate not only smoke, dust or mist, but also non-metallic and optically non-transparent materials. As plastic, textiles, paper and wood are no barrier to the radar, it can be used to check packaged goods. Defective deliveries are thus easy to identify and can be removed before shipping. You can experience how this works under industrial conditions live at the Hanover Trade Fair at the Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD) stand ( Hall 2, Stand C22 ).
Until now, millimeter radar systems have either been too big or too expensive for efficient use in industry. The modular system design is cost-effective and extremely compact thank to its circuit board-based technology. Christian Zech , researcher at the Fraunhofer IAF, also sees possible applications beyond industrial sensor systems, namely “wherever material testing without contact, inspection of packaged goods or high-precision spacing measurements under difficult conditions such as limited visibility are required” – in human-machine collaboration, for example.