Germany: Scientists of the Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Elektronik (IHE) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) under Prof. Thomas Zwick and of the Chair for Integrated Systems of -Universität Bochum (RUB) under Prof. Nils Pohl have developed and successfully applied a radar system for distance measurements. It is characterized by a so far unreached precision. In a joint test in July this year, the researchers from Karlsruhe and Bochum reached a new record precision for radar distance measurements of one micrometer. One micrometer is a millionth of a meter.
For measurement, the scientists use a frequency-modulated continuous wave radar (FMCW radar), whose emitter is operated continuously during measurement. The RUB researchers developed the hardware. The radar system with a special measurement setup measures distances of up to several meters in free space with micrometer accuracy. Compared to laser systems, this system is not only cheaper, but can also measure absolute positions. Due to this quasi unlimited range of uniqueness, the radar is far superior to the laser.
The radar system is now being optimized in several research projects. Its accuracy will be further improved. In the future, it will be used to make measurements in production and plant technology with high precision, in a flexible manner, and at low costs.