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New higher frequency radar sensors?

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  • New higher frequency radar sensors?

    I've been using the FCC site to check out the internals of the current launch monitors and see that they are all using 24 GHz radar sensors, the cheaper ones with simpler arrays.

    I started wandering whether it would be natural for launch monitors to start using 60 GHz radar sensors in the near future. The electronics are simpler due to more integrated chips, the antennas are proportionally smaller and the resolution is much better due to shorter wave lenghts. So it would seem obvious that you could create a very accurate radar for at least short distance analysis, especially for indoor use.

    Is there a reason why the 60 GHz high resolution radars would not be usable in a golf lauch monitor?

  • #2
    The TM4 uses two radars, a 2.4 ghz and a 5 ghz. Have a look at their website as to which radar does what.


    • #3
      I believe it uses a 10 GHz and a 24 GHz radar pair, those lower frequencies are for WiFi. Attached the FCC inside photo of Trackman 4. 10 GHz radar transmitters and receivers in the corners, 24 GHz in the center. So far Trackman 4 is the only launch monitor to have such a setup, dual radars.

      But how about that 60 GHz?
      Attached Files
      Last edited by kahi; 06-05-2020, 01:59 PM.


      • kahi
        kahi commented
        Editing a comment
        And to add, I believe the 10 GHz sensors are used for the whole flight tracking of the ball and the 24 GHz sensors for close-to-impat measurements. Combined they provide a comprehensive set of data of the whole strike.

    • #4
      higher frequenzy, more power consuming, smaller arrays means tighter lobe.
      The choice of frequenzy also allows the beam to pass thru certain materials.
      And higher frequenzy do not always mean better data. it all has to do with what you actually are measuring. It will not affect the precision in measuring speed, HLA and VLA and since they use doppler effect to determine spinn it will have little impact there as well. It is just a matter of the software to include the wave length in the calculation. The front of an object can be very precisely measured with a low frequenzy radar, which kind of is the important part.

      What i think really improve data quality in a launch monitor is pulse repetition frequenzy. The more pulse it sends per second the better the data becomes. To send lots of impulses you need to consume power and high frquenzy radars need a lot of power if you want to combine a large lobe and a lot of pulses.

      Higher frequenzy radars are mostly used when you need some sort of image processing, like radar used to identify the shape of objects thru image processing.

      I believe 60ghz radars are in the V-band and if i remember correct they are extremely sensitive to athmospheric disturbances,

      In the Mevo+ case i think they reduced the frequenzy compared to the standard FS products and i think the reason is that it allows them to reduce the size of the product while reducing powerconsumption and weight.
      I think smaller is better so i think it will go the other way around, towards smaller products.

      The above is based on something i learned 30 years ago in the armed forces so i might gotten it completely wrong, time kills memories :-)
      Last edited by Brutaly; 06-05-2020, 02:35 PM.


      • kahi
        kahi commented
        Editing a comment
        More GHz = smaller antennas and since electronics is getting smaller and more integrated, the latest cheaper LMs are pretty small.

        Mevo+ FCC test report: "24.08 – 24.16 GHz"

        So a 24 GHz radar sensor, similar to Mevo but perhaps a more complex and therefore capable antenna array.
        Last edited by kahi; 06-05-2020, 03:59 PM.

      • Brutaly
        Brutaly commented
        Editing a comment
        A smaller antenna in combination with higher frequencies means a more narrow lobe/beam and more energy consumption.
        I think we will se smaller antennas, lower frequencies and improved software and processing capabilities. In portable devices power consumption is key.

      • kahi
        kahi commented
        Editing a comment
        The Google Pixel 4 mobile phone has an Infineon 60 GHz radar inside -> power consumption must be low enough

        Google is using the radar for hand gesture recognition but developing other applications too -> project Soli

        How about having a Rapsodo MLM type of a device in your mobile phone? The radar used for the radar stuff and the camera in the phone used for in-flight tracking of the ball and swing video analysis. Some software company (why not Rapsodo) is bound to try this if the electronics is readily in the phone.

        And Apple already put a LiDAR inside an iPad Pro. I guess it's possible that Google will integrate LIDAR technology to the Soli concept and Apple will integrate the 60 GHz (or smaller) radar technology to its devices in the near future.

        So you could have data from three different sources in the base device:
        - the images from the regular cameras which are improving all the time, too
        - the radar data from the new radar sensors
        - the light radar data from the new LIDAR sensor

        And of course you could add external sensors to provide the device software with even more data. Similarly to how e.g. the Flightscope Video App can utilize image data from multicam sources but now perhaps adding multiradar sensing to the mix?
        Last edited by kahi; 06-06-2020, 10:55 AM.

    • #5
      This is the TI marketing material I read first when this question popped into my head:

      Many videos on Youtube showing how 60 GHz radars are used in automotive applications and gesture sensing, among other things. It seems to me (a layman) that the resolution and velocity and angle measurement capabilities are really good.


      • kahi
        kahi commented
        Editing a comment
        Got it, have to dig deeper!

        As a side issue, Google's Pixel 4 mobile phone has Infineon's 60 GHz radar inside, the first use for it is gesture recognition but Google says that it's working on e.g gaming and wellness applications. So due to the shrinking size and improved performance of these higher frequency radars, we now have them in the mobile phones. I think that's quite amazing!

        "With their small form factor and low power consumption, Infineon’s highly integrated radar sensor solutions bring innovative, intuitive sensing capabilities to many applications. Radar has been demonstrated to be a powerful sensor for short-range localization and vital sign tracking in consumer electronics, healthcare, surveillance, driver assistance and industrial applications.

        Radar supports existing applications while providing features that enable completely new use cases. It measures velocity, range and angle, both horizontal and vertical, for precise position mapping and 3D tracking."

        Rapsodo is using a 24 GHz radar sensor from InnoSent in the MLM launch monitor which is a "pocket-sized" device. The sensor (SMR-333) has Infineon's 24 GHz radar technology in the sensor module. The benefits of the 24 GHz these companies listed for industrial applications a couple of years ago are the very same benefits that are now listed as the benefits of 60 GHz vs 24 GHz.

        So it seems to me the 60 GHz technology is an improvement over 24 GHz in size, resolution and cost -> the industrial applications are going to move to the new chips when better performance is required.

        And since these same 24 GHz components are being used in all the latest launch monitors, including the gold standard Trackman 4, it seems to me to be logically clear that unless there is some negative performance impact when using 60 GHz, we will see a) small and cheap launch monitors using it and b) high end devices using it as part of the overall setup, similarly to how Trackman has utilized 10 GHz for tracking the complete ball flight and 24 GHz for the other measurements.

        I have now sent the 60 GHz question to a few launch monitor manufacturers and am waiting for the answers. The first line support of Trackman and VoiceCaddie (SC300) both told me they haven't been asked this before and have sent the question to their R&D, interesting to see what they say.

        I think I'll go straight to the source and ask Infineon and TI about this. I'll report the findings in this thread, too.
        Last edited by kahi; 06-06-2020, 10:21 AM.

      • Brutaly
        Brutaly commented
        Editing a comment
        MLM is an interesting product but it will not work in a short indoor scenario.

        One can only speculate why and i am tempted say it it is the pulse repetition frequency in combination with the higher radar frequenzy. It is just devastating to power consumption to spew out the repetitions required.

        Increased radar frequency is not the same as increased precision, just granulation. And is granulation needed in a traditional LM?

      • kahi
        kahi commented
        Editing a comment
        I don’t know, let’s see. I’m sure the guys at the radar chip companies will be able to tell me.

        Did you know that Rapsodo is about to release an update that brings an indoor mode to MLM? They’ve been talking about it for a while now.