Radar-Based Smoke Detection at Millimeter Wave Frequencies: An Experimental Study

The influence of smoke on electromagnetic waves in the W-Band range is investigated in this paper. To understand the interaction between smoke and radar signals, it is important to employ a suitable dielectric model. To analyze the primary mechanisms involved, two separate test fires were examined in a fire laboratory following the European standard EN54. The initial experimental series involved the combustion of liquid n-heptane, followed by a series of experiments on open polyurethane combustion. The measurements were carried out using a frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar, a PT1000 resistor, and an optical extraction measuring instrument. Based on the highly precise phase evaluation of a W-Band FMCW radar signal, initial correlations were established between the radar-measured phase and the temperature and particles. The demonstrated capability to distinguish between the two test fires show the potential for utilizing radar technology for smoke detection in fire scenarios.