AMTA Paper Archive
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Application of flexible scanning in advanced APC techniques
Present day accuracy requirements on high-performance antenna measurements are difficult to meet on any type of compact range. Numerical correction techniques can offer a good solution. An easy and effective method is the Advanced APC-technique. This method requires patterns to be measured on different locations in the test zone so that disturbances of the plane wave can be distinguished. In case of suitable distances, the "true" pattern can be derived from measured amplitude and phase data. Usually, scanning is performed in longitudinal direction. The advantage is that mutual coupling can be distinguished well, but the field ripple in this direction due to extraneous fields varies much slower than in transversal direction. Consequently, first sidelobes can be corrected more efficiently when transversal scanning is performed. Therefore, in this paper a new and flexible way of positioning is proposed depending on the location of extraneous field sources.
Incremental build of a planar near-field range
The Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan AFB has developed near-field (NF) antemia test capability over the past three years. With assistance from the National Institute of Standards and Teclmology (NIST), McClellan has assembled a modem planar near-field antenna range using components from various vendors. Although the LH( division of McClellan AFB) team's current range has been operating for over a year, it is being continuously improved for measurement accuracy, user-friendliness, and safety. This paper will briefly discuss the evolution of McClellan's near-field program, and then focus on the building of the LH near-field antenna range. Radio-frequency (RF) issues, such as RF design and electromagnetic shielding will be covered. Precision measurement teclmiques such as positioning accuracy and temperature control are discussed. Finally, relevant safety and constrnction issues affecting the McClellan facility will be examined.
Qualified and high performance test results of the cylindrical outdoor near-field test range
One of the world's most sophisticated antenna test ranges is now fully operational. This was designed by the Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) and is operated by Siemens Plessey Systems (SPS). The presented paper will describe the pioneering design philosophy adopted to ensure the stringent performance features. Although this facility is located outside, it allows extremely high precision probing of cylindrical near field of large and very complex antenna systems, with turning diameters up to 16 meters and up to 20 GHz. Besides the RCS optimized 36 m large scanner tower the significant highlights of this facility consist of a comprehensive air-conditioning system for all accuracy dependent components, a permanent autoalignment system, which ensures high precision cylindrical measurements and an interleaved high speed data collection system, which delivers a maximum of data performance within a minimum time frame. Test results including a pattern comparison of the Ref erence Antenna between measurements in DASA facilities and the SPS Cylindrical Near-Field Test Facility show good range performance. The evaluation of the range performance data demonstrates the measurement integrity of the facility and proves to be qualified to characterize a wide range of antennas.
Precise computer controlled conical rotation of string supported targets
New results on very precise, computer controlled manipulation of string supported targets suspended from an upper turntable (UTT) in the Boeing 9-77 compact radar range are presented. A computer program was developed that uses the precision optical measurement system (POMS) information for feedback to automatically control the conic_pitch and conic_roll of arbitrary radar targets to within ± 0.066° (RMS) of the desired pitch and roll. The system provides quick and accurate maneuvering of targets to any desired static position with accuracy in the static yaw, pitch, and roll of ± 0.01°. Automatic volumetric field probes are also possible using a sphere suspended from computer operated strings. Sphere movement can be continuous or stepped along any desired path and is controlled to within ±0.05 inches anywhere within the quiet zone (± 14 ft high by ± 20 ft wide by ± 25 ft).
Contrast of VHF RCS measurement challenges indoor/outdoor, A
This paper contrasts indoor and outdoor implementation of efforts during upgrades of VHR RCS measurement capabilities. Sites studied are two McDonnell Douglas Technologies Incorporated, Range Measurements Services facilities. Indoor. Radar Measurement Center (San Diego, CA) is a large compact range. Equipment-Harris Corporation Model 1630 Collimator System, Scientific Atlanta Model 2090 radar. Outdoor. Microwave test facility (Victorville, CA), large ground plane facility. Equipment-Steerable dipole feed dish, System Planning Corp, Mark III radar.
Remote thickness sensor
Applications that require tight tolerances on dielectric thickness control need accurate sensors. A technique has been developed that will allow for the measurement of thickness without requiring surface contact. High resolution radar imaging, commonly used in RCS measurements , is now being used to measure thickness. Electromagnetic fields reflected from the front and rear surface are detected and the time response delta is converted into thickness. A major advantage of this method is that it is not affected by varying sensor offset height.
Satellite and satellite antenna testing with high speed electronics
This presentation offers some examples of performance in accomplishing high volume testing under the rigorous technical constraints imposed by the satellite industry. As an example of a high speed system, the Scientific-Atlanta Model 2095 will be used to illustrate the capability offered by today's technology. This system has found applicatio0n in the facilities of five satellite manufacturers constructed within the past three years and is proven by its demonstrated application in satellite programs.
Analytic spherical near field to near/far field transformation, An
An efficient and accurate spherical near field to far field transformation without probe correction is presented. The indices m of the Legendre polynomials is summed up analytically, thereby reducing the computation time. Computations with both synthetic and experimental data illustrate the accuracy of this technique.
Measurement speed and accuracy in switched signal measurements
The interdependence of accuracy and speed should be considered when analyzing measurement requirements. Tradeoffs can be made to optimize the measurement when accuracy is of primary importance, or where speed is critical. Several different measurement modes of the HP 8530A Microwave Receiver are presented, each with different measurement speed and accuracy tradeoffs. Examples are given that illustrate which acquisition modes would be appropriate to optimize the acquisition speed and accuracy in a variety of applications
Polarization grids for applications in compact antenna test ranges
In polarimetric RCS measurements, the cross-polarization levels which are required in the test zone, correspond closely to those which are realizable with most Compact Antenna Test Ranges (CATR). On the other hand, such a performance may not satisfy the accuracy requirements in cross-polarization measurements of high performance microwave antennas. These applications include spacecraft antennas, ground stations for satellite communications or microwave antennas for terrestrial applications, where two polarizations are used simultaneously.
Validation measurements of reflector antenna strut lobes
The feed support struts often cause noticeable strut lobes in the patterns of reflector antennas. For example, strut lobes are apparent in the measured and calculated patterns presented in Ref.  for the 8-foot diameter reflector with a prime focus feed. As pointed out in , the calculated strut lobes are higher than the measured ones. The reason for the difference is secondary scattering by the oppositely located strut, which was not modeled in the calculated pattern in . Detailed examination showed a difference of about 2 1/2 dB caused by the secondary scattering for this reflector antenna design. The purpose of this paper is to present measured and calculated patterns which explicitly demonstrate the quantitative effect of the secondary strut scattering. This effort is shown by comparing the measured strut lobe levels with the oppositely located strut removed, i.e., by using 3 struts instead of 4 struts. Calculated patterns are also given in which the secondary scattering is modeled.
GHz compact range for scale model RCS measurements, A
A 585 GHz compact range has been developed for obtaining full scale RCS measurements on scale model targets. The transceiver consists of two CW submillimeter-wave gas lasers along with two colled-InSb heterodyne mixers. Coherent detection has been implemented to maximize sensitivity and allow for a vector measurement capability. In addition, the target can be rapidly translated in range to generate a doppler modulation which is used to reject background signals during low-RCS measurements. Although most scaling has evolved to develop non-metallic materials with scaled dielectric properties as well as validation and test program, RCS measurements are made on scaled simple and complex shapes and compared with full-scale measurements and computer predictions. A description of the 585 GHz compact range along with measurement examples are presented in this paper.
RF marking principle and its application in making antenna measurements
The antenna analyzer is specifically designed to make use of measurement techniques that have been difficult to use until now The analyzer is an original vectorial receiver design, based upon the analysis of one of the sidebands of the marked RF measurement signal. Thanks to the RF marking process, the antenna analyzer is not the only equipment that allows characterization (in amplitude, phase or return loss) of all devices in a transmitting chain, including the high power elements, without cutting off the transmission. Originally introduced for the analysis of wired antennas in UHF-VHF bands, its use is now extended to microwave antenna measurements, especially printed circuit antennas. A special characteristic of the new analyzer, ESTAR 2110 is its capacity to measure the phase of RF signal with power levels as low as -120dBm. The analyzer is ideal for elaborate analysis of fundamental antenna parameters such as RF current distribution, close field, antenna pattern, impedance and phase balance of antenna network. The paper describes the marking principle and its use in making antenna parameter measurements.
Effect of spherical measurement surface size on the accuracy of test zone field predictions, The
The field present in the test zone of an antenna measurement range can be calculated from the range field measured on a spherical surface containing the test zone. Calculated test zone fields are accurate only within a spherical volume concentric to the measurement surface. This paper presents a technique for determining the probing radius necessary to create a volume of accuracy containing the test zone of the range. The volume of accuracy radium limit is caused by the spherical mode filtering property of the displaced probe. This property is demonstrated in the paper using measured field data for probes of differing displacement radii. This property is used to determine the volume of accuracy radium from the probing radius. This is demonstrated using measured far-field range data.
Simulation and verification of an anechoic chamber
This paper considers an electromagnetic field simulation of an anechoic chamber with experimental verification. The simulation is a Geometric Optics (Ray Tracing) mathematical model of the direct path between two antennas and interfering scattering. There are two separate models due to the frequency dependent nature of the pyramidal radar absorbing material (RAM). The model for the frequency range of 30 to 500 MHz was used to characterize the specular scattering. The specular scattering was modeled as a lossy, tapered, TEM transmission line in an inhomogeneous anisotropic tensor material. The frequency range from 500 MHz to 18 GHz was characterized by dominant tip diffraction of RAM patches and the model made use of a Uniform Theory of Diffraction code for a dielectric corner. The measurements and simulations were based on an azimuthal cylindrical scan. Diagnostic measurements were also performed by a cylindrical scan of a directional horn antenna to locate scattering sources in the chamber. A cylindrical wave, modal expansion of the diagnostic data which included a one dimensional Fast Fourier Transform with Hankel function expansions.
Ground and airborne calibration of the ground to air imaging radar
A Ground to Air Imaging Radar system (GAIR) used to perform diagnostic imaging and total RCS measurements on low observable airborne targets has been developed by the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM). In order to ensure accurate measurement of the scatterers contributing to a target's radar signature, proper calibration in imperative. The use of external calibrators to measure the end-to-end system transfer function is the ideal way to perform a system calibration. However, this is a more difficult and challenging task with a ground based radar viewing an airborne target, as opposed to a traditional airborne SAR which views an array of ground based trihedral corner reflectors. This paper will discuss the internal and external calibration methods used in performing an end-to-end system calibration of the GAIR. Primary emphasis is placed upon the external calibration of the GAIR and the three independent measurements utilized: a ground based corner reflector, a sphere drop, and an in-scene calibrator. The system calibration results demonstrate that the GAIR is an accurately calibrated radar system capable of providing calibrated images and total RCS data. Moreover, only the ground and internal measurements are required on a daily basis in order to maintain system calibration
Experimental range facility for RCS measurement and imaging research
A small compact range measurement facility has been installed at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) for research aimed at improving RCS measurement and radar imaging techniques. This paper describes the facility, which is referred to as the Experimental Range Facility (ERF). The ERF has two instrumentation radars; a Flam & Russell FR959 gated CW radar and a Hughes MMS-300 pulsed radar. The radars are connected to a suite of workstations, which support a variety of internally and externally developed radar imaging and data exploitation software. The ERF is also equipped with sophisticated target positioning control and sensing equipment.
Radar target measurements in multipath environment
The presence of the sea surface has a powerful influence on the scattering characteristics of marine targets during radar cross section (RCS) measurements. To obtain accurate RCS measurements of a large, distributed marine target, the radar site must satisfy various requirements. The major requirement is to provide quality RCS data without strong multipath distortion of the target return signal. In this paper multipath effects on a large scatterer measured at both low-and high-elevation radar sites are summarized. It is observed that multipath effects contribute strongly to the RCS of the target measured at a low elevation radar site. The data show large RCS fluctuations of more than 15 dB when a scatterer is measured at difference altitudes or ranges. The quality of the data measured at a low-elevation radar site then becomes questionable, which creates difficulties in assessing the true RCS of the target. For diagnostic purposes, it may be necessary to change the target range or altitude several times to make a credible assessment of RCS. The same target measured at a high-elevation site has less multipath influence on the RCS data, making assessment of the true RCS feasible.
Characterization of aeronautical antennas for INMARSAT communication
Aeronautical SATCOM systems for INMARSAT typically employ circular polarized electronically or mechanically steered multi beam antennas. Characterization of thee antennas requires extensive measurements that differ from conventional antenna pattern measurements. Some of these are: A. Multiple frequently CP gain, axial ratio, and discrimination measurements over a hemisphere for a large number of beams. B. Noise temperature and G/T measurements C. Carrier to multipath rejection D. Intermodulation characteristics E. Receiver and Transmitter system characteristics Details of instrumentation and procedure for these tests are presented with special emphasis on issues such as measurement speed, accuracy and processing of large amounts of data.
Improved NRL arch technique for broad-band absorber performance evaluations
In this paper, a new error correction technique is introduced to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the traditional NRL Arch method. The use of this integrated technique allows one to correct the error terms in the traditional NRL arch setup so that a broadband evaluation of the performance of the absorber product can be performed with much better accuracy and efficiency. This technique also allows one to conduct large bistatic angle evaluation of absorbers without the cross talk and other error signal interferences. Design guidelines for a broadband NRL test arch are provided so as to successfully implement this improved NRL Arch method for a broadband evaluations of anechoic absorbers. Sample test results from Ray Proof's broadband test arch (0.5-6 GHz) are also presented.
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