EYE ON NPI – InnoSenT’s 24 GHz IMD-2000 Radar Sensor #Adafruit #DigiKey @digikey @InnoSenT_GmbH

This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) should be on *your* radar – it’s InnoSenT’s 24 GHz IMD-2000 Radar Sensor.

This all-in-one sensor is easy to integrate into your next product and brings high-tech radar sensing to an affordable range.

Radar is literally “Radio Detecting And Ranging” – a way of bouncing ‘high frequency’ electromagnetic waves off of objects to detect the reflection. We’re familiar with radar in a few contexts: originally developed for military use, it worked great for detecting metal things in the sky (airplanes) as they would approach a city to possibly bomb it.

We still use it a lot in military contexts: detecting planes, bombs, boats and submarines. It’s also super handy in domestic contexts like air traffic control, if you can detect planes you can verify their positions and make sure each one comes in or out of the airport without collision.

Radar is also useful for weather pattern detection (although this sensor isn’t good for that purpose, just a fun fact for you to know).

Another common purpose for radar you’re probably familiar with is the dreaded speeding radar gun, a small-enough-to-be-handheld radar device that can be pointed at a car to determine its speed without requiring a difficult-to-calculate “time between two points” measurement. These reliable devices (which apparently now are replaced with LIDAR based ones!)

Now, most folks who have used IR sensors, Time of Flight, or sonar sensors can understand how to detect an object by counting the delay between sending a signal vs when its received and dividing by the wavelength. How can you determine velocity – normally you’d need to detect location twice, then determine the time between the two locations whereas radar can do it one measurement. This is thanks to the ‘Doppler Effect‘, the same scientific principle that causes ambulance sirens to be higher pitch as they approach and lower pitch as they drive away from you due to the ‘bunching up’ of the waves as the wave source moves. Likewise with Radar, the frequency will shift slightly depending on the speed of the object, which can be detected by calculating the minute variation in frequency.

Radar sensors are often used in similar cases as IR, ToF, sonar or LIDAR sensors: for detecting objects or motion or distance. Compared to IR, Radar will give you a much longer range and will work with a wider range of objects without being affected by ambient light, object color or shininess. Compared to ToF you’ll get velocity, long range. Sonar is longer range than IR or ToF but has a wide spread. LIDAR is very comparable but is new and more expensive – Radar is easy to implement and low cost by comparison.

And this Radar module is particularly easy to use because unlike many cheap modules that only give you a pulse signal that has to be massaged and measured to determine object distance and/or speed, this one has an FTDI-cable compatible UART signal out. Simply provide 5V power and you’ll get 250 kbps TTL signal out with a listing of objects, distances and velocities. This makes it trivial to integrate with any computer or microcontroller.

The InnoSenT 24 GHz IMD-2000 Radar Sensor is the easiest to use Radar sensor we’ve seen and it’s in stock now, for immediate shipment from Digi-Key! Book it today and you can be radaring, object counting, distance measuring, velocity-finding and more by tomorrow afternoon.

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