Articles | Volume 10
18 Sep 2012
 | 18 Sep 2012

Fractional-N PLL based FMCW sweep generator for an 80 GHz radar system with 24.5 GHz bandwidth

T. Jaeschke, C. Bredendiek, M. Vogt, and N. Pohl

Abstract. A phase-locked loop (PLL) based frequency synthesizer capable of generating highly linear broadband frequency sweeps as signal source of a high resolution 80 GHz FMCW radar system is presented. The system achieves a wide output range of 24.5 GHz starting from 68 GHz up to 92.5 GHz. High frequencies allow the use of small antennas for small antenna beam angles. The wide bandwidth results in a radar system with a very high range resolution of below 1.5 cm. Furthermore, the presented synthesizer provides a very low phase noise performance of −80 dBc/Hz at 80 GHz carrier frequency and 10 kHz offset, which enables high precision distance measurements with low range errors. This is achieved by using two nested phase-looked loops with high order loop filters. The use of a fractional PLL divider and a high phase frequency discriminator (PFD) frequency assures an excellent ramp linearity.