Innovative Scanning Antenna Systems for Advanced Recognition of Rail Collision, Obstacle Detection and Automobile Collision Avoidance

The innovative Spinning Grating™ antenna developed as a result of this Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project is a low-cost millimeter wave (MMW) antenna that can be applied to collision avoidance systems for both railroads and automobiles. The antenna is unique in that it uses the optical phenomenon of diffraction to define and steer a beam of MMW energy. Unlike electronically steered antennas and more traditional gimbaled antennas, the Spinning Grating™ antenna is both low in cost and reliable, ideal features for the transportation market. This technology was first developed for radar imaging systems for aircraft autonomous landing guidance. In the rail industry, the focus of the project was on the application of the antenna to MMW sensors that can reliably detect the presence of an object in the path of a train resulting in action that can be taken to prevent a collision. Spinning Grating™ antennas operating at 76.5 GHz were designed and manufactured for tests with radar systems in applications relevant to both the rail industry and the automotive industry. For the railroad industry, attention was turned to the issue of collisions at grade crossings. Both active and passive sensors were evaluated and limited tests were conducted on an active radar system using a Spinning Grating™ antenna. The data indicate that detection of vehicles and other objects at grade crossings is feasible. This promising approach should be investigated further with a more mature sensor system. An important producibility study for high volume, low cost manufacture of the Spinning Grating™ antenna was conducted. The results are very encouraging.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This HSR-IDEA project was conducted by WaveBand Corporation, Torrance, California. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Authors:
    • Sadovnik, Lev
  • Publication Date: 1996-10


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01145892
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HSR-IDEA Project 1
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2009 4:22PM