AMTA Paper Archive
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Slotted Waveguide Array Beamformer Characterization Using Integrated Calibration Channel
In military applications, where low sidelobes and high precision in beam pointing are vital, a phased array antenna beamformer requires to be calibrated regarding the cabling that connects the beamformer to the antenna and mutual coupling between antenna elements. To avoid problems associated with mismatched phase transmission lines between the beamformer and the antenna and include the coupling effects, beamforming network characterization must be done with the antenna integrated to the beamformer. In this paper, a method to characterize the beamformer of a slotted waveguide array antenna in the antenna measurement range is introduced. The antenna is a travelling wave slotted waveguide array scanning in the elevation plane. The elevation pattern of the antenna is a shaped beam realized by a phase-only beamformer. The calibration channel includes serial cross-guide couplers fed by a single waveguide line. The channel is integrated to the waveguide lines of the antenna. In the first phase of the characterization, the far field pattern of each antenna element is obtained from the near field measurements at the “zero” states of the phase shifters. In the second stage, all states of the phase shifters are measured automatically using the calibration channel described above. The results of calibration channel measurements are used to determine the changes in phase and magnitude for different states of phase shifters. The phase and magnitude of the peak point of the far field pattern is referenced to the zero state measurement of the calibration channel. Phase only pattern synthesis is carried out using the results of both zero-state near field and calibration channel measurements and the required phase shifter states are determined accordingly. Measured patterns show good agreement with the theoretical patterns obtained in the synthesis phase.
Computational Electromagnetic Modeling of Near-Field Antenna Test Systems Using Plane Wave Spectrum Scattering Matrix Approach
In recent years a number of analyses and simulations have been published that estimate the effect of using a probe with higher order azimuthal modes with standard probe corrected spherical transformation software. In the event the probe has higher order modes, errors will be present within the calculated antenna under test (AUT) spherical mode coefficients and the resulting asymptotic far-field parameters [1, 2, 3, 4] where the simulations were harnessed to examine these errors in detail. Within those studies, a computational electromagnetic simulation (CEM) was developed to calculate the output response for an arbitrary AUT/probe combination where the probe is placed at arbitrary locations on the measurement sphere ultimately allowing complete near-field acquisitions to be simulated. The planar transmission equation was used to calculate the probe response using the plane wave spectra for actual AUTs and probes derived from either planar or spherical measurements. The planar transmission formula was utilized as, unlike the spherical analogue, there is no limitation on the characteristics of the AUT or probe thereby enabling a powerful, entirely general, model to be constructed. This paper further extends this model to enable other measurement configurations and errors to be considered including probe positioning errors which can result in ideal first order probes exhibiting higher order azimuthal mode structures. The model will also be used to determine the accuracy of the Chu and Semplak near-zone gain correction  that is used in the calibration of pyramidal horns. The results of these additional simulations are presented and discussed. Keywords: near-field, antenna measurements, near-field probe, spherical alignment, spherical mode analysis. REFERENCES A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) 34th Annual Meeting & Symposium, Bellevue, Washington October 21-26, 2012. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Higher Order Mode Probes in Spherical Near-Field Measurements”, 7th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2013) 8-12 April 2013. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) 35th Annual Meeting & Symposium, Columbus, Ohio, October 6-11, 2013. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Azimuthal Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, The 8th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2014) 6-11 April 2014. T.S. Chu, R.A. Semplak, “Gain of Electromagnetic Horns,’’ Bell Syst. Tech. Journal, pp. 527-537, March 1965
Investigations on Gain Measurement Accuracies at Limited Far-Field Conditions
Driven by the mobile data communications needs of market broadband antennas at the upper frequency bands are already state-of-the-art, e.g. at the Ka-Band. For the characterization of an antenna the antenna gain is one of the major test parameters. This measurement task is already challenging for standard applications at the Ka-Band. However, for the calibration of remote station antennas utilized in high precision test facilities, e.g. the compact range, even higher measurement accuracies are typically required in order to fulfil the overall system performance within the later test facility. Therefore the requirement for this investigation is to improve the measurement set-up and also the steps to get a failure budget which is better than ± 0.15 dB. Every antenna gain measurement technique is affected by required changes in the measurement setup, e.g. the Device under Test (DUT) or the remote station, respectively. This results for example in a variation of mismatch with resulting measurement errors. To determine and compensate the occurred mismatches, the scattering parameters of the involved components have to be measured and be evaluated with a corresponding correction formula. To quantify the effect for the gain measurement accuracy the remaining uncertainty of the mismatch correction values is examined. Another distortion is caused by multiple reflections between the antenna apertures. To reduce this error source, four additional measurements each with a decreased free space distance should be performed. In addition to the common methods, this paper explains in detail an advanced error correction method by using the singular value decomposition (SVD) and compares this to the standard mean value approach. Finally the restricted distance between both antennas within the applied anechoic far-field test chamber has to be analysed very critically and optionally corrected for the far-field gain at an infinite distance in case the measurement distance is fulfilling the minimum distance requirement, only. The paper will discuss all major error contributions addressed above, show correction approaches and verify these algorithms with exemplary gain measurements in comparison to the expected figures.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Hemispherical Scanning Techniques
When performing far field or near field antenna measurements on large antennas, it is often necessary to have various types of mechanical positioning systems to achieve the required hemispheric scans. Measurement systems employing a single-arm gantry, a dual-arm gantry, a fixed arch moving probe, or a fixed arch multi-probe have been paired with either an azimuth positioner or a vehicle turntable to provide hemispheric scanning of the object being tested. This paper will highlight the key characteristics of various scanning methods making comparisons between the different techniques. Positioning and system accuracy, speed, stowing ability, calibration, frequency range, upgradability, relative cost and other key aspects of the various techniques will be discussed in detail to help the end user during the system design and selection process. In addition, the paper will highlight novel hemispheric and truncated spherical scanning approaches. In many applications, the success of the entire project often centers on the judicious selection of the positioning subsystem. This paper will provide guidance toward making the proper selection of the scanning concept as well as of the positioning system.
Equiangular Phase Shifting Holography for THz Near-field/Far-field Prediction
A three-step equiangular (120º) phase shifting holography (EPSH) technique is proposed for THz antenna near-field/far-field prediction. The method is attractive from the viewpoint of receiver sensitivity, phase accuracy over the entire complex plane, simplified detector array architecture, as well as reducing planarity requirements of the near-field scanner. Numerical modeling is presented for the holographic receiver performance, using expected phase shift calibrations errors and phase shift noise. The receiver model incorporates responsivity and thermal noise specifications of a commercial Schottky diode detector. Additionally, simulated near-field patterns at 372GHz demonstrate the convenience of the method for accurate and high dynamic range THz near-field/far-field predictions, using a phase-shifter calibrated to ±0.1°.
Testing of Panels And Radomes Using De-embedding To Reduce Probe Interaction Errors
Legacy methods for testing the performance of radome panels and finished radomes have always been in isolation from the system antenna, for many reasons. The legacy method of testing employed horn antennas at relatively close distances, a fixed-frequency signal source, and primitive receivers. More modern systems used much better receivers capable of measuring both phase and amplitude, and these gave way to automatic network analyzers. The network analyzer system also replaces the fixed-frequency source, because it has its own step-frequency source. The rest of the setup remains the same. A network analyzer can itself be calibrated, but that calibration cannot include the probe antennas, nor can it account for interactions, particularly at normal incidence. With increasing demands on performance, it is essential that the interaction effects of the probe antennas with the radome be removed. The micorwave integrated circuit industry has the identical problem. The circuit probes that are used to reach into the circuit assemblies have very small tips, and the internal elements to accomplish this size reduction make probe mataching difficult. Thus the probe parameters become embedded into the overall measured response. The circuit testing community has developed a process to de-embed these probes, yielding the S-parameters of the circuit under test in isolation from surroundings. This paper investigates a method for applying this closed-system technique to open-system testing, such as panel-measuremsnt tables, by using a secondary calibration technique that is adapted to open systems. This effectively extends the calibration of the analyzer system to encompass the probes, thus improving accuracy.
Combining Pattern, Polarization and Channel Balance Correction Routines to Improve the Performance of Broad Band, Dual Polarized Probes
Broad band, dual polarized probes are becoming increasingly popular options for use in near-field antenna measurements. These probes allow one to reduce cost and setup time by replacing several narrowband probes like open-ended waveguides (OEWG) with a single device covering multiple waveguide bands. These probes are also ideal for production environments, where chamber throughput should be maximized. Unfortunately, these broadband probes have some disadvantages that must be quantified and corrected for in order to make them viable for high accuracy near-field measurements. Most of these broadband probes do not have low cross polarization levels across their full operating bandwidths and may also have undesirable artifacts in the main component of their patterns at some frequencies. Both of these factors will result in measurement errors when used as probes. Furthermore, the use of a dual port RF switch adds an additional level of uncertainty in the form of port-to-port channel balance errors that must be accounted for. This paper will describe procedures to calibrate the pattern and polarization properties of broad band, dual polarized probes with an emphasis on a newly developed polarization correction algorithm. A simple procedure to measure and correct for amplitude and phase imbalance entering the two ports of the near-field probe will also be presented. Measured results of the three calibration procedures (pattern, polarization, channel balance) will be presented for a dual-polarized, broad band quad-ridged horn antenna. Once calibrated, this probe was used to measure a standard gain horn (SGH) and will be compared to baseline measurements acquired using a good polarization standard open-ended waveguide (OEWG). Results with and without the various calibration algorithms will illustrate the advantage to using all three routines to yield high accuracy far-field pattern data.
Dual Polarized Near Field Probe Based on OMJ in Waveguide Technology Achieving More Than Octave Bandwidth
In classical probe-corrected spherical near-field measurements, one source of measurement errors, not often given sufficient consideration is the probe [1-3]. Standard near-field to far-field (NFFF) transformation software applies probe correction with the assumption that the probe pattern behaves with a µ=±1 azimuthal dependence. In reality, any physically-realizable probe is just an approximation to this ideal case. Probe excitation errors, finite manufacturing tolerances, and probe interaction with the mounting interface and absorbers are examples of errors that can lead to presence of higher-order spherical modes in the probe pattern [4-5]. This in turn leads to errors in the measurements. Although probe correction techniques for higher-order probes are feasible , they are highly demanding in terms of implementation complexity as well as in terms of calibration and post-processing time. Thus, probes with high azimuthal mode purity are generally preferred. Dual polarized probes for modern high-accuracy measurement systems have strict requirements in terms of pattern shape, polarization purity, return loss and port-to-port isolation. As a desired feature of modern probes the useable bandwidth should exceed that of the antenna under test so that probe mounting and alignment is performed only once during a measurement campaign. Consequently, the probe design is a trade-off between performance requirements and usable bandwidth. High performance, dual polarized probe rely on balanced feeding in the orthomode junction (OMJ) to achieve good performance on a wide, more than octave, bandwidth [5-7]. Excitation errors of the balanced feeding must be minimized to reduce the excitation of higher order spherical modes. Balanced feeding on a wide bandwidth has been mainly realized with external feeding network and the finite accuracy of the external components constitutes the upper limits on the achievable performance. In this paper, a new OMJ designed entirely in waveguide and capable of covering more than an octave bandwidth will be presented. The excitation purity of the balanced feeding is limited only by the manufacturing accuracy of the waveguide. The paper presents the waveguide based OMJ concept including probe design covering the bandwidth from 18-40GHz using a single and dual apertures. The experimental validation is completed with measurements on the dual aperture probe in the DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field facility in Denmark. References: Standard Test Procedures for Antennas, IEEE Std.149-1979 Recommended Practice for Near-Field Antenna Measurements, IEEE 1720-2012 J. E. Hansen (ed.), Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements, Peter Peregrinus Ltd., on behalf of IEE, London, UK, 1988 L. J. Foged, A. Giacomini, R. Morbidini, J. Estrada, S. Pivnenko, “Design and experimental verification of Ka-band Near Field probe based on wideband OMJ with minimum higher order spherical mode content”, 34th Annual Symposium of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, AMTA, October 2012, Seattle, Washington, USA L. J. Foged, A. Giacomini, R. Morbidini, “Probe performance limitation due to excitation errors in external beam forming network”, 33rd Annual Symposium of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, AMTA, October 2011, Englewood, Colorado, USA T. Laitinen, S. Pivnenko, J. M. Nielsen, and O. Breinbjerg, “Theory and practice of the FFT/matrix inversion technique for probe-corrected spherical near- eld antenna measurements with high-order probes,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 58, no. 8, pp. 2623–2631, Aug. 2010. L. J. Foged, A. Giacomini, R. Morbidini, "Wideband dual polarised open-ended waveguide probe", AMTA 2010 Symposium, October, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. L. J. Foged, A. Giacomini, R. Morbidini, “ “Wideband Field Probes for Advanced Measurement Applications”, IEEE COMCAS 2011, 3rd International Conference on Microwaves, Communications, Antennas and Electronic Systems, Tel-Aviv, Israel, November 7-9, 2011.
Polarimetric Weather Radar Antenna Calibration Using Solar Scans
The US NEXRAD weather surveillance Doppler radar (WSR-88D) was recently upgraded to polarimetric capability. This upgrade permits identification of precipitation characteristics and type, thus providing the potential to significantly enhance the accuracy of radar estimated rainfall, or water equivalent in the case of frozen hydrometeors. However, optimal benefits are only achieved if errors induced by the radar hardware are properly accounted for through calibration. Hardware calibration is a critical element in delivering accurate meteorological information to the forecast and warning community. The calibration process must precisely measure the gain of the antenna, the Polarimetric bias of the antenna, and the overall gain and bias of the receive path. The absolute power measurement must be accurate to within 1 dB and the bias between the Polarimetric channels must be known to within 0.1 dB. These requirements drive a need for precise measurement of antenna characteristics. Engineers and scientists with the NEXRAD program employ solar scanning techniques to ascertain the absolute gain and bias of the 8.53 m parabolic center fed reflector antenna enclosed within a radome. They are also implementing use of daily serendipitous interference strobes from the sun to monitor system calibration. The sun is also used to adjust antenna gain and pedestal pointing accuracy. This paper reviews the methods in place and under development and identifies some of the challenges in achieving the necessary calibration accuracies.
Revising the Relationships between Phase Error and Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Within RF measurement systems, engineers commonly wish to know how much phase ripple will be present in a signal based on a given signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In a past AMTA paper (Measurement Considerations for Antenna Pattern Accuracy, AMTA 1997), John Swanstrom presented an equation which demonstrated how the bound on the phase error could be calculated from the peak SNR value. However, it can be shown that the Swanstrom bound is broken when the signal has a peak SNR value of less than approximately 15 dB. This paper introduces a new equation that bounds the maximum phase error of a signal based on the signal’s peak SNR value. The derivation of this new bound is presented, and comparisons are made between the old Swanstrom bound and the new bound. In addition, the inverse relationship (i.e., calculating the SNR value of a signal from phase-only measurements) is investigated. In the past, analytical equations for this relationship have been presented by authors such as Robert Dybdal (Coherent RF Error Statistics in IEEE Trans. on Microwave Theory and Techniques) and Jim P.Y. Lee (I/Q Demodulation of Radar Signals with Calibration and Filtering in a Defense Research Establishment Ottawa publication). The analytical equations for calculating the SNR value using phase-only measurements are reviewed and discussed, and a brand new numerical relationship based on a polynomial curve fitting technique is proposed.
Calibration of Multi-Channel Adaptive Array Receivers
In array signal processing; i.e. direction of arrival estimation, digital beam forming/ nulling one needs to know the antenna array manifold (relative gain and phase of individual antenna elements) as well as the relative response of RF front end of the various channels. Here the RF front end is defined as LNA, filters, various down convertors and A/Ds. Since RF front end response is highly dependent on the physical environment, in general, nearly real time calibration of the RF front end is carried out. To accomplish this, a pilot signal is injected in various channels or a strong signal is received from a known direction. The received pilot is isolated, and the isolated signal is processed for relative calibration of the various front ends. One simple processing technique is to divide the signal received at a given frequency by the channel of interest with the signal received by the reference channel at that frequency. This technique works fine when the pilot signal has high SNR (20 dB or so). For low SNR, the front end calibration will have large variance and also bias, which is undesired. One can also cross correlate the signal received by the two channels at the frequency of interest, and normalize the cross correlation with the autocorrelation of the signal received by the reference channel. We will show that for low SNR of the pilot signal, this approach can lead to bias in the estimated relative magnitude. We will also present a novel approach that leads to unbiased estimate with small variance. The approach is based on signal space idea. At the given frequency, we generate a covariance matrix that contains the correlation between the signals received by various channels. Next, the principle eigenvector (corresponding to the largest eigenvalue) of the covariance matrix is calculated. The eigenvector is adjusted such that its element corresponding to the reference channel is unity. Then the other elements of the eigenvector yield the relative response of the front end of various channels. We have applied the suggested approach to real world data with very good results. Some examples are discussed in the paper.
Gain and Phase Center Calibration of Log Periodic Dipole Arrays using Complex Fit Algorithm
Abstract – This paper introduces a method for calibrating the gain and the frequency dependent phase center locations of Log Periodic Dipole Arrays (LPDAs). The method builds upon the three antenna method, but is conducted over a PEC ground plane in an Open Area Test Site (OATS). Similar to the traditional three antenna method, three pairings of transmission measurements are taken. In each measurement, one antenna is set at a fixed height above the ground plane, while the other antenna is scanned in height over 1 to 4 m heights. Magnitude and phase responses between the two antennas are taken at multiple heights. Measured results are fit to a theoretical model using a complex fit algorithm. From this process, the gain and frequency dependent phase center locations of each antenna can be solved. Measurement data show that it is effective in reducing systematic uncertainties associated with assuming fixed phase center locations. In addition, unlike other calibration methods over a conducting ground plane, no assumptions are made about the antenna patterns. This method provides an accurate, versatile and fast method for calibrating LPDAs from as low as 100 MHz.
Dual-calibration Processing Based on Minimum Weighted Mean Squared Error (MWMSE) in RCS Measurement
Dual-calibration was first proposed by Chizever et al. in 1996 [AMTA'1996] and had get wide applications in evaluation of the uncertainty in radar cross section (RCS) measurement and calibration. In 2013, LaHaie proposed a new technique based on jointly minimizing the mean squared error (MMSE) [AMTA'2013] among the calibrated RCS of multiple calibration artifacts, which estimates both the calibration function and the calibration uncertainty for each artifact. MMSE greatly improves the estimation accuracy for the radar calibration function as well as results in lower residual and RCS calibration errors. This paper presents a modified version of LaHaie's MMSE by minimizing the weighted mean squared error (MWMSE) for RCS calibration processing from multiple calibrator measurements, which is related to the following functions and parameters: the calibration function; the theoretical and measured RCS; the number of calibration artifacts the number of frequency samples and the weight for ith calibration artifacts which may be defined in terms of the theoretical RCS of all the calibration artifacts. For example, if the weight is defined as the inverse of the total theoretical RCS of the ith calibration artifacts for all frequency samples, the error then represents the total relative calibration error instead of an absolute error as in MMSE. MWMSE then means that an optimal calibration function is found in terms of minimum total relative calibration error, which is expected for most applications. Numerical simulation results are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed technique.
Insertion Phase Calibration of Space-Fed Arrays
Calibrating a passive, space-fed, phased array antenna is more difficult and time consuming then calibrating corporate-fed arrays because individual elements cannot be activated or deactivated. We will present our method of determining element state-phase curves and insertion phase bias between elements. We will also explain this method’s theoretical basis and validate it by comparing data measured in an anechoic chamber with data measured in a planar near field range. The anechoic chamber data will be compared with the typical, proven, but more time-consuming planar near field calibration method.
A New Method for VHF/UHF Characterization of Anisotropic Dielectric Materials
Recent interest in anisotropic metamaterials and devices made from these materials has increased the need for advanced RF material characterization. Moreover, the quest for measurement of inhomogeneous and anisotropic materials at VHF and UHF frequencies has long been one of the primary stretch goals of the RF materials measurement community. To date, the only viable method for these types of materials has been either fully filled or partially filled VHF waveguides, which are large, expensive, and slow. This paper introduces a new fixture design that greatly simplifies the process of obtaining intrinsic properties for inhomogeneous and anisotropic dielectric materials. The fixture combines low frequency capacitance and high frequency coaxial airline concepts to measure cube shaped specimens, and is termed an “RF Capacitor”. Furthermore, a significant limitation of past measurement methods is their reliance on approximate analytical models to invert material properties. These analytical models restrict the available geometries and frequency ranges that a measurement fixture can have. The present method avoids this limitation by implementing a new inversion technique based on a full-wave, finite difference time domain (FDTD) solver to exactly model the measurement geometry. In addition, this FDTD solver is applied in a novel way to enable inversion of frequency-dependent dielectric properties within seconds. This paper presents the fixture design and calibration for this new measurement method, along with example measurements of isotropic and anisotropic dielectric materials. In particular, 3” cube specimens are measured and the bulk dielectric properties in the three principal planes are determined by measuring the same specimen in three different orientations within the measurement fixture. Finally, calculations are presented to show the relative accuracy of this method against a number of probable uncertainty sources, for some characteristic materials.
Characterization of Reflectivity Losses in Space Reflector Antennas at Temperatures above 350°C
In the recent years, the microwave and mm wave communities have been experiencing a strong interest in the characterisation of the RF proprieties of materials used in the manufacture of antennas and structures that, in one way or another, interact with propagating electromagnetic fields. Of particular interest are materials used for for space applications, where antennas face a harsh environment at all times making it challenging to keep antenna performances in all orbital conditions, whether in eclipse or under full sunlight exposure. A particular example is the coming Solar Orbiter mission, where the antenna reflector will be exposed to a high intensity of solar energy. This paper describes a measurement system with a custom-built setup that enables the measurement of reflectivity losses of space antenna materials and coatings at very high temperatures - up to 500 degrees Celsius. The design of the high temperature fixture will be presented in detail, together with the development of the necessary measurement and calibration techniques. The paper will conclude with a critical assessment of the obtained results and system performance and achieved accuracies.
A Calibration Method Using Interpolation to Reduce Measurement Errors in Electromagnetic Compatibility Measurements
MIL STD 461 is the Department of Defense standard that states the requirements for the control of electromagnetic interference (EMI) in subsystems and equipment used by the armed forces. The standard requires users to measure the unintentional radiated emissions from equipment by placing a measuring antenna at one meter distance from the equipment under test (EUT). The performance of the antenna at 1m distance must be known for the antenna to measure objects located at this close proximity. MIL STD 461 requires the antennas to be calibrated at 1 m distance using the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) 958. This SAE ARP 958 document describes a standard calibration method where two identical antennas are used at 1m distance to obtain the gain at 1m for each antenna. In this paper the authors show using simulations that the SAE ARP 958 approach introduces errors as high at 2 dB to the measured gain and AF. To eliminate this problem the authors introduce a new method for calibrating EMC antennas for MIL STD 461. The Method is based on the well-known extrapolation range technique. The process is to obtain the polynomial curve that is used to get the far field gain in the extrapolation gain procedure, and to perform an interpolation to get the gain at 1 m. The results show that some data in the far field must be collected during the extrapolation scan. When the polynomial is calculated the antenna performance values at shorter distances will be free of near field coupling. Measured results for a typical antenna required for emissions testing per the MIL STD 461 match well with the numerical results for the computed gain at 1 m distance. Future work is required to study the use of this technique for other short test distances used in other electromagnetic compatibility standards, such as the 3 m test distance used by the CISPR 16 standard. Keywords: Antenna Calibrations, EMC Measurements, Extrapolation Range Techniques
Comparison of Payload Applications in Near Field and Compact Range Facilities
For satellite applications payload measurements are a crucial part of the radio frequency validation campaign before the launch. Parameters like Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP), Input Power Flux Density (IPFD), Gain over Noise Temperature (G/T), Gain over Frequency (G/F), Group Delay, and Passive Intermodulation (PIM) are to be measured in suitable facilities on satellite level. State-of-the-art payload measurements are conducted in compensated compact range facilities which offer a real-time test capability which is easy to setup and use. Closed link tests are straightforward to realize with two compact range feeds employing feed scanning. The measurement techniques as well as the error budgets are well known. Near-field facilities are widely used for antenna pattern measurements. However, there is not much literature available discussing in particular measurements of G/T, G/F, and Group Delay in the near field. Measurements of the above parameters in the near field seem to be feasible, however, the processing of the measured data has to be adapted and further calibration measurements are required. In this paper methodologies for payload parameter measurements in compact range and near field facilities will be described. A comparison of payload measurement campaigns in near field and compact range facilities will be drawn. The techniques will be compared in terms of measurement timing and effort, practicability for satellite applications, and achievable accuracies.
Development of a FMCW Radar Sensor For Soil Humidity Estimation
To determine the proper moisture content in the soil is critical to get maximum grow in plants and crops and its estimation it is used to regulate the amount of irrigation that it is needed. For this reason, many sensors that measure water content have been developed to give the grower some feedback of the water content. Some methods such as the ones based in gravimetric properties are accurate but labor consuming, other such as the tension meters require periodic service, the neutron probe is also accurate but expensive. The more popular sensor is based in electrical resistance measurement that gives acceptable accuracy and it is not expensive. However, this sensor has the disadvantage that needs to be buried in the soil. Here, we are exploring the characteristics of electromagnetic propagation and its scattering properties as a tool to identify the physical soil composition. The presence of water changes drastically the dielectric properties of the soil affecting the reflected signal. In this research, we are assessing the viability of a sensor based in FMCW radar technology for water detection with the advantage of being portable and low cost. The research involves the fabrication of a directive antenna operating in a broadband regimen, transmitter/ receiver circuit and the signal processing of the return signal adjusted to the detection of moisture in soil. We present the calibration methods and graphic results of the intensity of the reflected signal of dry bare soil, wet soil, and soil covered by plants.
Monostatic RCS Calibration of Radar Target Using Extrapolation Method in Millimeter-wave Frequency Band
In this paper, we propose a calibration method for monostatic radar cross section (RCS) of simple radar targets (e.g. trihedral corner reflectors and square flat-plate reflectors) using extrapolation method. By the proposed method, we can calibrate the monostatic RCS of radar targets from 1-port S-parameter measurements. In our system, the applicable size of radar targets are 75 mm to 125 mm for corner reflectors and 40 mm to 75 mm for square flat-plate reflectors, respectively. The nominal RCS of reflector targets calculated by physical optics ranges from +3 dBsm to +15 dBsm in W-band. The measured results are agree well with simulation results calculated by method of moment (MoM).
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