Certain problems associated with conventional vehicular speed sensing, such as wheel slip, wheel lock, and variable rolling radius, can be alleviated by employing microwave speed sensing. It is expected that true speed sensing will augment a number of automotive and other ground transportation applications.
An experimental, two-horn, 55 GHz continuous wave radar speedometer designed to measure true ground speed in the presence of vehicular perturbations is described; the system has an ultimate design frequency of 60 GHz. An Impatt diode, solid-state transmitter was incorporated in this design because of its inherent advantages. The RF portion of the transmitter-receiver unit, including the dipole feed, is housed on a single microstrip circuit on an alumina substrate 1/2 X 1/4 in (12.7 X 6.35 mm). Vertically polarized beams incident at angles of 35 deg with respect to the horizontal system were chosen as a design compromise.
This experimental system, designed to measure speeds up to 100 mph, was incorporated on a vehicle for testing to determine its performance in a typical environment. The results obtained demonstrated the concept and point toward further development required to make this device more applicable to the problems at hand.