Fractal superscatterers, road, and space-based radar reflector will enable driverless cars with greater safety and capabilities. Fractal Antenna Systems has solutions to make road tags brighter to vehicular radar, for improved driverless tracking, and enabling the antiquation of LIDAR systems.

Superscatterers are the puffer fish of electromagnetics: they have a radar signature or “radar cross section” (RCS) that is bigger than they really are. This RCS increase can be dramatic, in excess of 15 dB, with the fractal solutions. Furthermore, the RCS increase can be tailored at multiple channels or bands with fractals, allowing the radar to interpret the brightened fractal superscatterers with a spectral signature, acting as an identifying “fractal license plate” on each, if desired.

Fractal superscatterers solve the big problem of driverless cars because they can be tiny while bright to car radar. They can be installed on the roads, on signs, on barriers, and other vehicles. The proprietary invention also extends to including the fractal superscatterers into road reflectors (visible light), extending the utility of a safety device already employed, and making it dual use. Car-based radar can be dramatically more effective with the radar-bright fractal superscatterers. In contrast, LiDAR-based systems, with their “car beanie” laser systems, no longer have an advantage over the radar, and will eventually be antiquated. The expense and detrimental appearance of car LIDAR will disappear on future driverless cars and roads.

When radar looks up, the fractal superscatterers will also shine. Flying cars—scaled-up drones—will also benefit from the bright fractal superscatterers in the same way that driverless cars do, keeping flights in track and away from obstacles.