Let's Think Radar:

Radar Technology

// Radar Technology: More than Just Ranging //

Start your Journey with

Our technology represents a milestone in modern FMCW radar advancements by making use of state-of-the art design techniques and methods. With this new technology, 2π-LABS has advanced the boundary of radar technology towards more general spectral measurements tapping into new and innovative radar applications for industry and science.

Keep reading to discover more!

// How It Works: FMCW Radar //

FMCW — 101

The technology works, similar to other frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) systems, by transmitting and receiving linearly swept frequency signals generated by a tunable oscillator. Both signals are multiplied with each other resulting in a beat frequency signal due to the time delay between both signals.

// How It Works: Baseband Conversion //

See How it Works

This underlying principle of operation is called homodyne detection and forms the backbone of FMCW radar systems. The signal resulting from this frequency conversion is often referred to as the intermediate frequency (or IF) signal and is the key to extracting information about the measurement. See it for yourself in this animation.

Using basic geometry knowledge, we can see that the frequency of the IF signal is directly linear to the time the electromagnetic wave takes travelling from the radar to the target and back (often referred to as Time-of-Flight). Assuming the electromagnetic wave velocity is known (and constant), we can easily derive the distance to the target from the actual frequency.

// Ultra Wideband: Bandwidth & Resolution //

Bandwidth is Everything

FMCW radar systems have one unique trick up their sleeves — By linear superposition, they can perform ranging and detection on multiple targets simultaneously, as long as the targets are separated from each other by a distance often referred to as the range resolution. And range resolution is inversely proportional and directly dependent on the system bandwidth.

Higher Bandwidth — Better Resolution.

is the first D-band FMCW radar technology both in Academia and on the market achieving a record bandwidth of 56 GHz resulting in a range resolution of approximately 2.5 millimeters. This bandwidth is achieved at a very high signal quality, owing to an offset-PLL generation scheme [1]N. Pohl, T. Jaeschke and K. Aufinger, “An Ultra-Wideband 80 GHz FMCW Radar System Using a SiGe Bipolar Transceiver Chip Stabilized by a Fractional-N PLL Synthesizer10.1109/TMTT.2011.2180398.

// Ultra Wideband: Why? //

Bandwidth is Crucial for Your Application


When measuring the thickness of thin dielectric sheets, range resolution is the most important performance parameter.

Our technology is capable of measuring sheet thicknesses down to a few millimeters. [2]J. Jebramcik, I. Rolfes, N. Pohl and J. Barowski, “Millimeterwave Radar Systems for In-Line Thickness Monitoring in Pipe Extrusion Production Lines


High range resolution is mandatory to avoid accuracy degradation due to the phase interference from other targets in the environment.

Our technology achieves range accuracies down to micrometers. [3]L. Piotrowsky, T. Jaeschke, S. Kueppers, J. Siska and N. Pohl, “Enabling High Accuracy Distance Measurements With FMCW Radar Sensors


High bandwidth allows very good time-gating control to isolate specific peaks (e.g. MUT) from others (e.g. fixture). 

Our technology performs ultra-wideband network analysis with Kilohertz measurement rates. [4]T. Jaeschke, S. Kueppers, N. Pohl and J. Barowski, “Calibrated and Frequency Traceable D-Band FMCW Radar for VNA-like S-Parameter Measurements


In-Line 3D imaging using SAR techniques benefits from a wide bandwidth for detection of very small foreign objects.

Our technology enables 3D imaging of unprecedented quality and clarity. [5]A. Batra et al., “Short-Range SAR Imaging From GHz to THz Waves

// Exceptionally stable: Accuracy & Precision //

Certainty of Measurement

The technology is able to achieve both impressive accuracy and precision. Accuracy describes how close a measured value is to its true value while precision is mostly a matter of how stable the measured value is over time, temperature, or other factors.

With typical FMCW radar systems, their accuracy and stability is foremost dependent on the accuracy and stability of the reference clock. Many commercial radar systems use regular or temperature-compensated crystal oscillators as reference clocks resulting in +/-25 ppm up to +/-5 ppm of stability (excluding aging) with their absolute frequency tolerance being an additional +/- 10 to +/- 25 ppm.

// Exceptionally stable: Reference Clock //

Achieving Micro­meter Accuracy

In a typical ranging application one ppm frequency error is equal to 0.5µm/m measurement error due to the time-of-flight distance being twice the range. Thus for achieving a 1µm/m measurement accuracy, the total reference clock frequency error has to be less than 2 ppm. This includes absolute frequency tolerance as well as the stability of the clock source.

2π-LABS has invested an enormous amount of energy in improving both the achievable accuracy as well as precision in the technology, while maintaining low signal noise. This is accomplished using a patented multi-loop frequency stabilization scheme [6]T. Jaeschke, S. Kueppers, “Referenzoszillatoranordnung, Radarsystem und Synchronisationsverfahren
, where the reference oscillator itself can be locked to an external clock source or to an optional internal highly accurate, stable and digitally tunable MEMS oscillator, achieving measurement equipment-grade stability. [7]S. Kueppers, T. Jaeschke, N. Pohl and J. Barowski, “Versatile 126–182 GHz UWB D-Band FMCW Radar for Industrial and Scientific Applications

// Exceptionally Stable: Intricacies //

What's Your Application?


Analytical applications such as network analysis or material characterization seldomly benefit from high measurement accuracy.

However short- and long-term stability of the entire measurement path is of highest importance to extract the desired information in this class of measurements. This is usually accomplished using calibration or baseline compensating techniques using well-known or modelled reference standards. Any reference frequency drift during the measurement session will reduce the quality of the measurement.

The technology is perfectly suited to perform in analytical applications, even in rough industrial environments owing to the proprietary reference clock stabilization scheme.


In high-performance ranging applications total measurement accuracy is most important and a high accuracy reference clock should be used for best results.

However in addition to an accurate reference clock measurements in the micrometer range require compensation of environmental effects that would otherwise strongly affect the range measurement. These effects range from humidity and temperature to near-field wave propagation effects of the antenna and target.

The technology achieves exceptionally high ranging accuracy by using state-of-the art compensation techniques based on physical modelling. [8]L. Piotrowsky, J. Barowski and N. Pohl, “Near-Field Effects on Micrometer Accurate Ranging With Ultra-Wideband mmWave Radar

// Incredibly Flexible: Guiding the Wave //

Customizable Lenses

The design of the radiating element of a radar system is an important topic, depending on the application. Where one would choose a very directional and high-gain radar beam [9]N. Pohl, “A dielectric lens antenna with enhanced aperture efficiency for industrial radar applications
in a ranging application, it might be favorable to use a focused beam for applications when a small measurement spot is required. [10]O. Garten, J. Barowski and I. Rolfes, “Simulation and Optimization of the Design of Focusing Dielectric Lenses based on Cartesian Ovals with Physical Optics

All of these use-cases can be supported using the flexibility offered by the  ecosystem, which is based on dielectric lenses. These lenses offer a high degree of versatility to be adapted and tailored to many different applications.

// Incredibly Flexible: For the Lab //

Waveguide Flange Support

Besides using lenses, the ecosystem offers RF connectivity using  a standard WR-6 rectangular waveguide flange. This allows all advantages of the technology to be used with standard D-band equipment in laboratory settings.

From waveguide-fed RF structures such as horn antennas, circulators, mode converters or your custom waveguide device to commercially available D-band test kits for material characterization or general network analysis.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

// Regulatory Compliant: Plug & Play //

2π-LABS makes using Radar Technology Easy with

Regulatory Conformity

Our technology comes worry-free and fully certified as RDI/RDI-S device class.

High Bandwidth

Exceptional Range Resolution down to 2.5 mm for demanding Applications.

High Performance

Low Noise and High Stability Signal Synthesis with High-Accuracy option.

Modular Design

Maximum flexibility providing multiple channels and configurable RF options.



Using radar technology

Using 2π Labs technology

// Applications

One Technology
for many Applications

The 2πSENSE technology is designed for frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar operation. This solutioncan beneficially be used to  inspect and characterize products and goods in-line and live from a  wide range of industries such as paper, foam, plastics or food among many others. 

Thickness measurement

Measure the thickness of plastic sheets or the wall thickness of plastic extrusions.


Use the high accuracy distance measurement for calibration, positioning and more.

Dielectric Material Characterization

Measure material properties in composite materials or moisture content in hygroscopic materials.

Foaming Degree

Density, foaming degree and thickness measurement of foam materials


Analyze radome quality with non-destructive testing

S-Parameter Fingerprinting

In-line supervision of material quality with S-parameter-monitoring.

// comparision

Radar Technology Compared to Other Technologies

In comparison to other technologies such as Laser, Ultrasound or X-Ray, Radar technology offers some unique advantages that can be beneficial in various applications.