Driverless cars and RF over Fiber
Really? What is the link, if any? The challenges for driverless cars where RF over fiber can provide solutions are at least in two areas:
- Test ranges and setups will require very accurate timing signals to experiment, check, and validate the usability of satellite signals and the compatibility of the deployed equipment. The current methodology utilizes a fiber-based delay line to generate precise timing signals for delay discriminators, radar built in test sets, radar warning receiver, variable delay lines and phased array antenna systems.
- Infrastructure (see article here) like tunnels, parking garages, in-city skyscrapers and canyons all create a challenging environment for wireless data coverage and GPS signal accuracy. RF over Fiber based DAS (distributed antenna systems) will be deployed to provide the necessary coverage, but, there is no clear solution for GPS location accuracy that meets the demand created by driverless cars.
The infrastructure challenges are high, and it will take time to get there. Cost pressure and new technology will play roles toward a solution that does not necessarily rely on RFoF for the long term. But until it become ubiquitous, there are plenty of opportunities for improved GPS over Fiber systems, individual GPS links, Antenna Extender for wireless indoor distribution, satellite communication extensions to indoor (ReRad) as well as for tailored timing test ranges.