ainstein_radar repository

Repository Summary

Checkout URI
VCS Type git
VCS Version master
Last Updated 2019-09-18



ROS metapackage containing functionality for interfacing with Ainstein radars.


ROS message definitions for Ainstein radars.


ROS drivers (interfaces) and nodes for Ainstein radars. All development and testing has been done in Ubuntu 16.04 with ROS Kinetic.*

Supported radars:

  • K79 (tested Feb. 2019)
  • K77 (tested Mar. 2019)
  • T79 with BSD firmware (tested Mar. 2019)

Both nodes and nodelets are provided.

Additional resources:

System Requirements and Dependencies

  • A means of creating SocketCAN interfaces (eg can0 , can1 ) either natively (on embedded hardware such as the NVIDIA Jetson series) or through the use of an adapter (such as the PEAK PCAN_USB adapter - (Optional) The linux can-utils SocketCAN utilities, installed on Ubuntu with sudo apt install can-utils , for radar configuration and debugging

ROS Package Dependencies

The following packages can be installed from apt using rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src --rosdistro=ROSDISTRO -y , replacing ROSDISTRO with your ROS distribution name.

Package Structure

├── CMakeLists.txt
├── include
│   └── ainstein_radar_drivers
│       ├── config_t79_bsd.h
│       ├── radardata_to_laserscan.h
│       ├── radardata_to_pointcloud.h
│       ├── radar_interface.h
│       ├── radar_interface_k79.h
│       └── radar_interface_t79_bsd.h
├── launch
│   ├── k77_node.launch
│   ├── k79_node.launch
│   ├── k79_nodelet.launch
│   └── t79_node.launch
├── nodelet_k79.xml
├── nodelet_radardata_to_pointcloud.xml
├── nodelet_t79_bsd.xml
├── package.xml
├── scripts
│   ├──
│   └──
└── src
    ├── k79_node.cpp
    ├── k79_nodelet.cpp
    ├── radardata_to_laserscan.cpp
    ├── radardata_to_laserscan_node.cpp
    ├── radardata_to_pointcloud.cpp
    ├── radardata_to_pointcloud_node.cpp
    ├── radardata_to_pointcloud_nodelet.cpp
    ├── radar_interface_k79.cpp
    ├── radar_interface_t79_bsd.cpp
    ├── t79_bsd_node.cpp
    └── t79_bsd_nodelet.cpp

Supported Radars and Usage

T79+BSD and/or K77:

The file src/t79_bsd_node.cpp implements a ROS node for both K77 and T79 using the RadarInterfaceT79BSD interface class. With the current 4+1 firmware, this node works for both K77 and T79 by specifying the radar type.


To configure the radar type prior to testing, use the provided script which depends on can-utils. Using eg. candump can0 is also useful debugging tool to monitor CAN traffic on the SocketCAN interface.

These CAN radars require a socketcan_bridge node publishing CAN frames to the /received_messages ROS topic (see the launch file below for an example). This package can be installed with:

sudo apt install ros-kinetic-socketcan-bridge

Command line usage:

The optional parameters are scoped private, eg host IP is read from /k77_node/radar_type in this case:

rosrun ainstein_radar_drivers t79_bsd_node [_radar_type:=RADAR_TYPE] [_frame_id:=RADAR_FRAME_ID]

where RADAR_TYPE is to be specified according to the following enum:

enum RadarType
    KANZA = 0,

For example, K77 is type 0 (KANZA), T79 on the front-left corner of a vehicle is type 1 (TIPI_79_FL) and so on. If unspecified, radar_type defaults to 0 and frame_id defaults to map .

Example launch file usage (from launch/k77_node.launch):

  <node name="socketcan_bridge" pkg="socketcan_bridge" type="socketcan_bridge_node"  required="true" >
    <param name="can_device" value="can0" />
  <node name="k77_node" pkg="ainstein_radar_drivers" type="t79_bsd_node" required="true" >
    <param name="radar_type" value="0" />

Example launch file usage (from launch/t79_bsd_node.launch):

  <node name="socketcan_bridge" pkg="socketcan_bridge" type="socketcan_bridge_node"  required="true" >
    <param name="can_device" value="can0" />
  <node name="t79_node" pkg="ainstein_radar_drivers" type="t79_bsd_node" required="true" >
    <param name="radar_type" value="1" />


The file k79_node.cpp implements a ROS node using the RadarInterfaceK79 interface class to create a UDP socket bound to the host IP address and port (which must match the radar's configuration), launch a thread to read and publish data to the RadarData message type.


The python script can be used to configure the network parameters and flash new firmware. More documentation on this to come.

Command line usage:

The optional parameters are scoped private, eg host IP is read from /k79_node/host_ip in this case:

rosrun ainstein_radar_drivers k79_node [_host_ip:=HOST_IP_ADDRESS] [_host_port:=HOST_UDP_PORT] [_radar_ip:=RADAR_IP_ADDRESS] [_radar_port:=RADAR_UDP_PORT] [_frame_id:=RADAR_FRAME_ID]

If unspecified, host_ip defaults to , radar_ip defaults to , radar_port defaults to 7 , host_port defaults to 1024 and frame_id defaults to map .

Example launch file usage (from launch/k79_node.launch):

  <node name="k79_node" pkg="ainstein_radar_drivers" type="k79_node" output="screen" required="true" >
    <param name="host_ip" value="" />
    <param name="host_port" value="1024" />
    <param name="radar_ip" value="" />
    <param name="radar_port" value="7" />

See the k79_nodelet.launch file for example nodelet usage.


RViz plugins for radar data types. Currently, support exists for the following message types:

  1. ainstein_radar_msgs/RadarData


This package is intended to contain a collection of radar sensor plugins for different Ainstein products. All radar plugins are based on the existing laser "Ray" plugin with additional processing to convert ray detections to radar targets and publish them as RadarData messages (this message type is available in the radar_ros_interface package).

While the shared library (plugin) is intended to be generic enough to simulate any Ainstein radar, it currently only is valid for 1d radars (a vertical scan dimension could be added and used to fill the elevation angle data), does not support target speed (this might be able to be computed numerically from successive scans) and the SNR is filled from the returned ray intensity (this has not really been tested and may be a bad idea).


Once the package has been built (as normal in the catkin workspace), copy the folder(s) inside the models/ directory to somewhere on your GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH, eg ~/.gazebo/models which can be added to your model path (if it isn't already) by adding this to your .bashrc:

export GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH=$GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH:~/.gazebo/models

Also, make sure that ~/catkin_ws/devel/lib/ is on your GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH as this is where the shared library will be built. To do this, add the following to your .bashrc:

export GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH=$GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH:~/catkin_ws/devel/lib

To test that the sensor is able to be loaded correctly in Gazebo (before adding it to another model), use the provided test.launch file to attempt to start Gazebo with the radar sensor. If you see an error about not finding the .so file, check your GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH.