Car radars for the price of chips

Published: Friday 15 July 1994

-- MINI radars are being used in warning systems for cars when they are being reversed and for cruise-control systems to maintain constant distances from other vehicles. Now, Thomas McEwan, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, has designed miniature radars that, at just $10, are less than a thousandth of what other systems that perform the same functions cost.

A miniature radar sits on a chip that unleashes electrical pulses as short as 50-trillionth of a second. The sensors are sensitive enough to pick up the movements of an object upto about 70 metres away by catching the echoes from the object.

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