The purpose behind testing a product is to verify that what you are shipping to the customer performs according to the product’s specifications. PRECO has a long list of customers, who have specific ideas about how they want their radar sensors to operate. Some customers want a narrow-beam radar, some want wide beam; some want long-range, some short range radar. We like to joke that we’re kind of like Burger King of radars: “Have it your way!”—hold the fries and the shake.
Currently, PRECO is able to calibrate and build custom units because we have a large test range that can verify the product functions according the customer’s specifications.
The image above is of the PRECO test range here in Boise. You might have a few questions about the image, like what’s with all the blue/gray stuff on the walls? That is RF (radio frequency)-absorbing material that prevents outside RF waves from interfering with our testing. That brownish metal post that sticks out in the center towards the back of the image is our 1 m2 target that represents the radar cross section (RCS) of a human at 15 feet. In simple terms, if the radar can pick up that small metal sheet it will pick up a human as well.
Our radar PreView Sentry has outgrown the test range we’ve used for so many years. The specifications on this radar are for it to be effective over longer distances, wider angles of target, and using custom detection pattern. It’s not feasible for us to have a 100-foot test range (although it would be really cool) with targets popping-up at every angle (which would take FOREVER).
So to test the Sentry radar, we built a 6-foot long box (with that blue/gray stuff inside it) that simulates the targets, allowing us to calibrate each unit for ranges 100+ feet. The box also enables us to calibrate the radar unit to all angles of the radar which are +/- 90 degrees from boresight.
There’s a lot more testing and verification we do before we release a product than what goes on inside the radar range. These range tests enable us to verify that the product functions according to our customers specifications. If you’d like to know more about how we test our units, just let us know in the comments area below.
If you’re making an order and thought “fries with a radar” sounds like a great idea, let us know about that too in the comments below and use the hashtag” #PRECOFries.