Professional Distributor - 38

Find out what
shop owners are
reading about in this
month's pages of

DIAGNOSTIC TECH

Calibrating forwardfacing radar sensors

With more vehicles featuring ADAS, it is
important for technicians to learn the basics
for calibrating the sensitive components
that allow these systems to work.
BY SCOTT BROWN
AND PTEN STAFF
Scott Brown is an ASE Master Certified L1 Technician and has over 37
years of professional service industry experience. He is an independent
shop owner in Southern California
and is engaged at various levels
within our complex industry. He has
a deep understanding of the challenges technicians experience at the
service level and is continuously
striving to move the industry forward
through education and networking.
Brown founded Diagnostic Network
(diag.net) after 22 years of service
at iATN, where he retired as
company president in 2018.

T

he forward-facing radar sensor is an integral part of the advanced driver assistance
system (ADAS) on many vehicles. When
calibrating the sensor, it is important to have some
basic knowledge about how it works, system integration, and why it needs to have specific calibration routines performed.
In basic terms, a radar sensor works by bouncing
radio waves off of objects within a space in front of
the vehicle. This wave-like pattern operates in the
"millimeter" spectrum and is considered to only
operate via line of sight. Distances can be calculated by the time it takes the waves to travel to the
object and back to the sensor, and location can be
factored by the incident angles, a process known
as triangulation. Finally, speed can be estimated
using the Doppler effect - the change in frequency and wavelength of the waves in relation to the
sensor's position.
Depending on the manufacturer, the radar sensor is typically part of a sensor suite used by the
ADAS to "sense" the world around the vehicle and
aid the driver by reducing certain driving tasks.
Today, these systems are intended for assistance
only, meaning the driver is ultimately responsible
for the safe operation of the vehicle at all times.
A radar sensor is a delicate device operating
in a harsh environment. Forward-facing radar is
usually mounted at the front of the vehicle, which
can lead to multiple challenges.
Calibration requirements for these sensors vary
by manufacturer and may be updated over time.
The component manufacturer relies on several calibrations for the sensor to function properly in all
conditions. Some of these calibrations need to be
re-established after certain services are performed
on the vehicle.
Technicians have little to no control over some
of these calibrations, however. For instance, some
internal calibrations cover the sensitivity of the

38 Professional Distributor I February 2020 I VehicleServicePros.com

Fig. 1 - Forward-facing radar on a 2019 Nissan Altima.

sensor in relation to temperature and typically don't
require any field calibration. However, it is possible
that the manufacturer may discover issues with
these calibrations that could potentially be resolved
by updating the sensor's firmware. It is important
that the technician checks for applicable technical
service bulletins and available software updates for
these systems prior to performing field calibration.
When it comes to service, the technician will
be responsible for performing certain calibrations
as prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer. Field
calibration typically relies on the technician establishing certain baseline values so the sensor knows
its position relative to 3-D space (world coordinates)
and the vehicle it is attached to.
Vehicles may require certain specifications prior
to calibration, such as a minimal amount of fuel, tire
size and pressure, and other factors that might affect
the weight and balance of the vehicle. Consult the
latest vehicle service information for requirements.

CASE STUDY
When working on a 2019 Nissan Altima, the service
information states that the technician must always
perform the radar alignment adjustment after


http://www.diag.net http://www.VehicleServicePros.com

Professional Distributor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor

On the Road to Cool Profits
Show Me Your Truck
In Focus Products
Driving Sales
Editor's Note: 2020 and Beyond
Most Wanted
Sneak Peek
Go Sell Something: Make the Most of This Year's Trade Show Season
Diagnostic Tech: Calibrating Forward-facing Radar Sensors
Tales From the Road: Bundle, Tote and Grow
Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
Time to Multitask
Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Tool Reviews
Products
M Eagles Tool Warehouse insert
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: 2020 and Beyond
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - On the Road to Cool Profits
Professional Distributor - 7
Professional Distributor - 8
Professional Distributor - 9
Professional Distributor - 10
Professional Distributor - 11
Professional Distributor - 12
Professional Distributor - 13
Professional Distributor - Show Me Your Truck
Professional Distributor - 15
Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
Professional Distributor - 17
Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
Professional Distributor - 19
Professional Distributor - 20
Professional Distributor - 21
Professional Distributor - 22
Professional Distributor - 23
Professional Distributor - 24
Professional Distributor - 25
Professional Distributor - 26
Professional Distributor - 27
Professional Distributor - 28
Professional Distributor - 29
Professional Distributor - 30
Professional Distributor - 31
Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: Make the Most of This Year's Trade Show Season
Professional Distributor - 33
Professional Distributor - In Focus Products
Professional Distributor - 35
Professional Distributor - 36
Professional Distributor - 37
Professional Distributor - Diagnostic Tech: Calibrating Forward-facing Radar Sensors
Professional Distributor - 39
Professional Distributor - 40
Professional Distributor - 41
Professional Distributor - Driving Sales
Professional Distributor - 43
Professional Distributor - 44
Professional Distributor - 45
Professional Distributor - Tales From the Road: Bundle, Tote and Grow
Professional Distributor - 47
Professional Distributor - 48
Professional Distributor - Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Professional Distributor - A2
Professional Distributor - Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
Professional Distributor - A4
Professional Distributor - Time to Multitask
Professional Distributor - A6
Professional Distributor - Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
Professional Distributor - A8
Professional Distributor - Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Professional Distributor - Tool Reviews
Professional Distributor - A11
Professional Distributor - A12
Professional Distributor - Products
Professional Distributor - A14
Professional Distributor - A15
Professional Distributor - A16
Professional Distributor - M Eagles Tool Warehouse insert
Professional Distributor - B2
Professional Distributor - B3
Professional Distributor - B4
Professional Distributor - B5
Professional Distributor - B6
Professional Distributor - B7
Professional Distributor - B8
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/december2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/october2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/september2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/august2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/july2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/june2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/may2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/april2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/march2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/february2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/december2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/october2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/september2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/august2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/professional-distributor-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/june2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/may2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/professional_distributor_april_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/march2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/february2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/Diagnostic_Process_December_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/Professional_Distributor_December_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/october2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/september2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/collisionrepairsupplement-0820
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/august2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/july2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/scantoolsupplement
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/june2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/may2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/april2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/march2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/Hand_Tool_Supplement_0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/february2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/december2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/heavydutydiagnosticsstudy2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/october2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/september2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/august2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/july2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/scantoolspecguide-june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/may2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/april2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/professionaldistributor/february2019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com