Bellevue company develops advanced radar system

In a nondescript office tucked near Highway 520 in Bellevue, a couple dozen physicists and engineers think they have reached what may be the biggest breakthrough in commercial radar in a generation.

The company, Echodyne, shipped its first radar-array prototype to a prospective partner in July. It’s currently offering a handful more devices for other radar makers to evaluate.

Echodyne says its radar, whose secret sauce is “metamaterials” engineering, comes cheaper, and much lighter, than the advanced arrays on the market. They see potential markets in builders of drones, self-driving cars and robots, among other businesses.

“The holy grail in radar is to have high performance, with low cost, size, weight and power,” said Eben Frankenberg, Echodyne’s chief executive officer. The company’s product, he said, brings “many factors of improvement compared to what’s available.”

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