28, April 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10763
Open Date: 13/04/2021 12:15 GMT +3
Closing Date: 26/05/2021 13:00 GMT +3

FMCW radar technology in the automotive industry radar market covers 24 GHz and 77 GHz bands withmodulated bandwidths of up to 4 GHz, allowing simultaneously ultra-precise determination of target rangeand its relative velocity. Fine angular resolution with 0.1 deg steps at distance of 300 m and beam-steeringcapability has been recently demonstrated. FMCW systems have also proved their efficiency for detection of fast-moving objects with small cross-section such as drones. Absolute accuracy in micrometer-range was alsodemonstrated thanks to FMCW carrier-phase estimation techniques.The vast potential of this well-established technology presents several advantages compared to LIDARs.LIDARs cannot operate under poor visibility while FMCW microwave radar will still provide reliably rangingand range rate. LIDAR requires high-quality optics, with specific coating subject of aging and thermal cycling.Microwave radar antennas have a radome preserving performance in presence of dirt and obstruction.Microwave radar systems rely on electronically scanning offering a higher degree of reliability (no movingparts for beam scanning). Power consumption is lower than that of the LIDAR. In the automotive industry,compact FMCW systems can operate at significantly longer range with comparable power, and are much lesscostly than LIDARs.FMCW systems have not been exploited in space. This activity therefore aims at demonstrating the suitabilityof FMCW radar technologies for space applications, the key benefits and necessary steps towards first spaceborne demonstration.The activity encompasses the following tasks:- Review existing automotive FMCW radar technologies/solutions and their applicability for space (e.g.docking, manoeuvring, collision avoidance, , Entry Descent and Landing radar).- Determine FMCW use-cases and associated requirements,- Produce a FMCW Breadboard, based on existing commercial products with modified interfaces and customdigital signal processing subsystem,- Implement selected use-case(s),- Conduct test campaigns: (e.g. ranging and range rate measurement carrier phase estimation for sub-mmaccuracy; assess multi-path scenarios for different sizes of objects, performance drift),- Derive a road-map for FMCW radar technology for space products.

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Contracts Officer: Franziska Isabella Erkelens-Sickinger
Initiating Service: TEC-EFE
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 6-E-II-RF Equipment
Products Keywords: 2-A-3-a-Radars, lidars, GNSS receivers

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