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Effective Polarization Filtering Techniques for Ground Penetrating Radar Applications
The effect of different decomposition techniques on the imaging and detection accuracy for polarimet-ric surface penetrating data is studied. We derive the general expressions for coherent polarimetric decomposition using the Stokes parameters and model based polarimetric decomposition using the Yamaguchi technique. These techniques are applied to multi-frequency (0.4-4.8GHz) full polarimetric near-field radar measurements of scattering from surface laid calibration objects and shallow buried landmine types and show in detail how the decomposition results provide effective surface and sub-surface clutter reduction and guide the interpretation of scattering from subsurface objects. Data processing methods assume cross-polar symmetry and a novel bistatic calibration procedure was developed to enforce this condition. The Yamaguchi polarimetric decomposition provides significant clutter reduction and image contrast with some loss in signal power; while Stokes parameters also provide imagery localising targets, complementary information on the scattering mechanism is also obtained. Finally a third novel polarimetric filter was formulated based on differential interferometric polarimetric decomposition. The three combined techniques contribute to a significant improvement of subsurface radar performance and detection image contrast.
A study of the Low-frequency Coaxial Reflectometer measurement procedure for evaluation of RF absorbers' reflectivity -II
The Low frequency Coaxial Reflectometer is the recommended procedure to measure the absorbers' reflectivity as per the IEEE 1128-1998 standard. The standard recommends the operable frequency range up to 500 MHz with a permissible error of 2 dB and higher error beyond 600 MHz. This paper studies and discusses the error on different types of absorber. Each of the absorber type is simulated in the square section of the reflectometer setup to compute the absorber's reflectivity using Ansys HFSS. An effective time gating technique is applied to reduce the effect of edge effects. These results are compared to the unit cell simulation results with a plane wave excitation and periodic boundary conditions. The absorbers are then simulated in the complete reflectometer setup to include the mismatch associated with the transition and compared to the unit cell model results. The errors associated with the comparison of the absorbers' simulation results for these different models are analyzed. The combination of these different absorbers is simulated in unit cell model. The absorbers are placed in different regions and orientations inside the reflectometer. The comparison between the unit cell results of the combination of the absorbers and the results of the absorbers inside the reflectometer in different orientations give the effect of the non-uniform field distribution inside the reflectometer.
Enhanced PNF Probe Positioning in a Thermally-Uncontrolled Environment using Stable AUT Monuments
The need for thermal stability in a test chamber is a well-established requirement to maintain the accuracy and repeatability sought for high frequency planar near-field (PNF) scanner measurements. When whole chamber thermal control is impractical or unreliable, there are few established methods for maintaining necessary precision over a wide temperature range. Often the antenna under test (AUT) itself will require a closed-loop thermal control system for maintaining stable performance due to combined effects from transmission heat dissipation and the environment. In this paper, we propose a new approach for near-field system design that leverages this AUT stability, while relaxing the requirement of strict whole chamber thermal control. Fixed reference monuments strategically placed around the AUT aperture perimeter, when measured periodically with a sensing probe on the scanner, allow for the modeling and correction of the scanner positioning errors. This process takes advantage of the assumed stability of the reference monuments and attributes all apparent monument position changes to distortions in the scanner structure. When this monument measurement process is coupled with a scanner structure that can tolerate wide thermal variations, using expansion joints and kinematic connections, a robust structural error correction model can be generated using a bilinear mapping function. Application of such a structure correction technique can achieve probe positioning performance similar to scanners that require tightly controlled environments. Preliminary results as well as a discussion on potential design variations are presented.
Laboratory Proofs on a Nonredundant Spherical NF-FF Transformation for a Quasi-Planar AUT Mounted in Offset Configuration
This communication provides an experimental assessment of an accurate near-field-far-field (NF-FF) transformation with spherical scan, properly developed to take into account a mounting in offset configuration of a quasi-planar antenna under test (AUT). Such a technique relies on the nonredundant sampling representation of electromagnetic fields and, unlike the classical NF-FF transformation, it allows the reconstruction of the far field radiated by an AUT from a minimum number of NF data, which remains practically the same both when the AUT is mounted in onset and offset configuration, since this number is related only to the surface modeling the AUT. Such a surface has been here chosen coincident with that formed by two circular bowls with the same aperture and eventually different bending radii. Experimental results assessing the validity of such a technique are reported.
Resurfacing the NASA Langley Experimental Test Range Reflector
An ambitious resurfacing campaign was launched in late 2017 to correct for large reflector surface distortions present at the NASA LaRC Experiment Test Range (ETR) in support of performing Europa Clipper flight High Gain Antenna (HGA) measurements at X-and Ka-band frequencies. The effort was successful as the worst case peak-to-peak amplitude ripple was reduced from 4.0-dB to 1.5-dB across the 4.1-meter quiet zone.
Measurement Methodology For Fast Antenna Testing Using Existing PNF ranges
In this paper, we investigate the achievable time savings in planar near-field (PNF) measurement of high gain antennas using a planar wide-mesh scanning (PWMS) approach [1-2]. The PWMS employs at least four times less measurements points than standard scanning without degrading the measurement accuracy leading to an under-sampling factor of four. Such mesh scanning can be implemented on standard planar near-field systems similar to the ESTEC, Hertz PNF scanner [3, 4]. The measurement accuracy vs time-saving for the wide-mesh approach is investigated using the numerical model of a highly-shaped Ku-band reflector antenna. This antenna is a realistic representation of what is currently flying on typical satellites with European coverage such as Eutelsat W . The Near Field to Far Field transformation accuracy is investigated by comparing traditional and PWMS results using the same base data from the antenna model. A discussion on implementation on existing scanners and the relation with measurement time-savings is included. The experimental verification of the technique will be included in the conference presentation.
Uncertainty Analysis Technique for Planar Field-Probing Measurements and Quiet-Zone Simulations of a Compact Antenna Test Range
The performance of a compact antenna test range is evaluated by field-probing measurements of the quiet zone. The comparison between the simulated and measured data, however, is misleading due to the finite measurement accuracy and the limited nature of the numerical model. In order to allow a comparison, the uncertainty terms of the field-probing measurements and the numerical model are identified based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology 18-term uncertainty analysis technique. The individual terms are evaluated with simulations or measurements using the equivalent-stray-signal model. Bearing the differences between the model and the actual measurements in mind, the electrical field can be estimated precisely within the overlapping region of both uncertainty budgets.
Measurements of the dynamic pattern of an electronically steerable phased antenna array with circular polarization in Ka-band
This paper presents two methods for measuring dynamic antenna patterns of phased arrays in a compensated compact range. The first method uses the turntable of the compact range to counter steer the antenna beam. The dynamic pattern is created by measuring single points of the pattern over time. This method is successfully tested, and the measurement results show the effect of phase jumps during the steering process. The second method extends the range of application to fast steering phased arrays by decoupling the antenna scan angle and the azimuth angle of the turntable.
A New Dielectric Analyzer for Rapid Measurement of Microwave Substrates up to 6 GHz
This paper presents a new measurement method based on the parallel plate capacitor concept, which determines complex permittivity of dielectric sheets and films with thicknesses up to about 3.5 mm. Unlike the conventional devices, this new method uses a greatly simplified calibration procedure and is capable of measuring at frequencies from 10 MHz to 2 GHz, and in some cases up to 6 GHz. It solves the parasitic impedance limitations in conventional capacitor methods by explicitly modeling the fixture with a full-wave computational electromagnetic code. Specifically, a finite difference time domain (FDTD) code was used to not only design the fixture, but to create a database-based inversion algorithm. The inversion algorithm converts measured fixture reflection (S11) into dielectric properties of the specimen under test. This paper provides details of the fixture design and inversion method. Finally, example measurements are shown to demonstrate the utility of the method on typical microwave substrates.
Multi-Level Spherical Wave Expansion for Fast Near- Field to Far-Field Transformation
Traditional near-field to far-field transformation algorithms based on modal expansion are unable to deal with arbitrary measurement surfaces. To approach these problems, a matrix inversion method can be used to retrieve the spherical wave expansion (SWE) of the antenna under test (AUT) fields. Modeling the antenna with a set of multiple SWEs centered at arbitrary points over its surface offers a flexible approach for the solution of field transformation problems over arbitrary surfaces. The coefficients of each SWE are obtained using an iterative inversion approach where the matrix-vector products can be replaced by multilevel operators based on recursive aggregations and interpolations of the partial SWE fields, reducing the computational complexity from í µí± ¶(í µí² í µí¿) to í µí± ¶í µí² í µí¿ í µí°¥í µí°¨í µí° í µí². The proposed algorithm is tested using synthetic data and measurements showing good scalability and reduced transformation error.
2D RCS Prediction from Multistatic Near-Field Measurements on a Plane by Single-Cut Near-Field Far-Field Transformation and Plane-Wave Synthesis
A near-field far-field transformation (NFFFT) technique with a plane-wave synthesis is presented for predicting two-dimensional (2D) radar cross sections (RCS) from multistatic near-field (NF) measurements. The NFFFT predicts the FF of the OUT illuminated by each single source, then the plane-wave synthesis predicts the FF of the OUT each illuminated by each plane-wave by synthesizing the FFs given in the NFFFT step. The both steps are performed in the similar computational procedure based on a single-cut NFFFT technique that has been proposed previously. The method is performed at low cost computation because the NF and source positions are required only on a single cut plane. The formulation and validation of the method is presented.
A Straightforward Dynamic Range Error Analysis
The significant measurement standards in the antenna measurement community all present suggested error analysis strategies and recommendations. However, many of the factors in these analyses are static in nature in that they do not vary with antenna pattern signal level or they deal with specific points in the pattern, such as realized gain, side lobe magnitude error or a derived metric such as on-axis cross polarization. In addition, many of the constituent factors of the error methods are the result of analyses or special purpose data collections that may not be available for periodic measurement. The objective of this paper is to use only a few significant factors to analyze the error bounds in both magnitude and phase for a given antenna pattern, for all levels of the pattern. Most of the standards metrics are errors of amplitude. However, interest is increasing in determining phase errors and, hence, this methodology includes phase error analysis for all factors.
Robust Automotive Satellite Navigation Achieved with Distributed Groups of Sub-arrays
Ambiguous direction-of-arrival estimation is a key problem for uniformly distributed antenna arrays with inter-element spacing exceeding half of the carrier wavelength. The primary reason behind such ambiguity are the grating lobes generated in the radiation patterns due to insufficient spatial sampling. An L-shaped orthogonal arrangement of radiating elements in distributed sub-arrays is an approach that removes grating lobes and consequent ambiguity to a great extent. The reduction of footprint area by distributing the elements across a car also makes it a suitable approach for conformal integration into automotive exterior parts. In order to realize the feasibility of its application in passenger cars, we investigate and evaluate this concept through measurements and digital array signal processing. This paper presents a comparison of L-shaped antenna element arrangements for different spacings between two sub-arrays, as well as a verification of the concept when mounted on a passenger car. For each scenario, the radiation patterns are analyzed and the robustness of the system against a static interferer is verified.
A Compact Reconfigurable Millimeter-Wave Antenna Measurement System Based Upon an Industrial Robot
Echodyne has recently completed and qualified a new millimeter-wave antenna measurement system for characterization of beam-steering antennas such as our Metamaterial Electronic Steering Arrays (MESAs). Unlike most far-field systems that employ a standard Phi/Theta or Az/El positioner, we use a six-axis industrial robot that can define an arbitrary AUT coordinate system and center of rotation. In different operational modes, the robot is used as an angular AUT positioner (e.g., Az/El) or configured for linear scan areas. This flexible positioning system allows us to characterize the range illumination and quiet zone reflections without modification to the measurement system. With minor modifications, the system could also be used in a planar-near field configuration. Range alignment can be easily performed by redefining the coordinate system of the AUT movement in software. The approximate 5.2-meter range length is within the radiating near-field of many arrays of interest, so we employ spherical near-field (SNF) correction when necessary, using internally-developed code. Specialty tilted absorber was installed in the chamber to improve quiet zone performance, over standard absorber treatment for similar aspect ratio ranges. Narrower ranges often have specular reflections that exceed 60° and benefit from the specialty tilted absorber designed to reduce the angle of incidence. We present an overview of the measurement system and some initial measurement data, along with lessons learned during design and integration. I. MEASUREMENT SYSTEM OVERIVEW A 7.3m x 3.7m x 3.7m footprint was allocated for the new R&D millimeter-wave antenna measurement chamber. After accounting for structural considerations, the final chamber interior dimensions are 7.1m(L) x 3.45m(W) x 3.35m(H) and the final range length (separation between range antenna and quiet zone center) is about 5.2 m. Table 1 lists the high-level goals of the measurement system are listed in. Table 1. Echodyne R&D chamber goals. Parameter Goal Frequency range 12-40 GHz, with provisions up to 80 GHz Polarization Dual-linear switched or simultaneous AUT positioner Azimuth-over-Elevation and linear scanning Quiet zone size 0.4m(L) x 0.4m(W) x 0.4m(H) Side lobe uncertainty +/-1 dB for-20 dB sidelobe Figure 1 shows the dimensions of the rectangular chamber, which is lined with the special absorber design described in Section II. Figure 2 shows an overview of the measurement system. The RF subsystem consists of a 4-port vector network analyzer (VNA), a Gigatronics GT-1050A power amplifier, a directional coupler (placed after the amplifier) to provide the VNA reference signal and a MVG QR18000 dual-polarized closed boundary quad-ridged horn  as the range antenna. This setup provides continuous frequency coverage from 12 to 40 GHz. External frequency converter modules can be used to extend the range further into millimeter wave. Horizontal and vertical polarization are acquired simultaneously by measuring three receiver channels (B, C & R1) and calculating the ratios B/R1 and C/R1 which remove the effects of amplifier drift (such as temperature coefficient). The range antenna is mounted to a rotary stage to allow direct measurement of Ludwig-III polarization if desired (versus polarization synthesis in post-processing). The AUT positioner described in Section III is a six-axis industrial robot that provides both angular azimuth-over-elevation and linear scanning with high-accuracy. Linear scanning allows planar near-field measurements in addition to the quiet zone evaluation shown in Section IV. The 5.2 m range length is within the radiating near-field of many arrays of interest, especially at higher frequencies. For example, even a relatively small (140 mm) AUT would have a 22.5° phase taper across at 40 GHz. We use the spherical near-field measurement correction  described in Section V to obtain true far-field patterns in the Az/El coordinates described by the robot motion. Figure 1. Rectangular chamber dimensions (in inches).
Personal Near-field System
In 1987 the author built the world's first Personal Near-field antenna measurement System (PNS). This led to the formation of Nearfield Systems Inc. (NSI) a company that became a major manufacturer of commercial near-field antenna measurement systems. After leaving NSI in 2015 several new personal antenna measurement tools were built including a modern updated PNS. The new PNS consists of a portable XY scanner, a hand held microwave analyzer and a laptop computer running custom software. The PNS was then further generalized into a modular electromagnetic field imaging tool called "Radio Camera". The Radio Camera measures electromagnetic fields as a n-dimensional function of swept independent parameters. The multidimensional data sets are processed with geometric and spectral transformations and then visualized. This paper provides an overview of the new PNS and Radio Camera, discusses operational considerations, and compares it with the technology of the original 1987 PNS. Today it is practical for companies, schools and individuals to build low-cost personal antenna measurement systems that are fully capable of meeting modern industry measurement standards. These systems can be further enhanced to explore and visualize electromagnetic fields in new and interesting ways.
Combination of Spherical and Planar Scanning for Phaseless Near-Field Antenna Measurements
The two scans phaseless technique is a well-known procedure for the characterization of antennas on near-field ranges without need of measuring the phase. Amplitude information over two surfaces compensates for the lack of phase reference. In this paper we propose the combination of spherical and planar surfaces for the application of the two scans technique, together with the application of Wirtinger Flow, a state-of-the art phase retrieval algorithm with high convergence guarantees. The use of different types of surface adds additional information about the field's degrees of freedom, allowing for smaller separation between acquisition surfaces as compared with the 2-sphere techniques. In addition, an initial estimation for the phase is not required. The phase retrieval process is formulated in terms of the Spherical Wave Expansion (SWE) of the antenna under test. The SWE-to-PWE (Plane Wave Expansion) is utilized in order to process the amplitude field on the planar surface. Results for simulated and measured near-field data are shown to demonstrate the potential capabilities of the proposed technique.
Indoor 3D Spherical Near Field RCS Measurement Facility: A new high resolution method for 3D RCS Imaging
Indoor RCS measurement facilities are usually dedicated to the characterization of only one azimuth cut and one elevation cut of the full spherical RCS target pattern. In order to perform more complete characterizations, a spherical experimental layout has been developed at CEA for indoor Near Field monostatic RCS assessment . This experimental layout is composed of a 4 meters radius motorized rotating arch (horizontal axis) holding the measurement antennas while the target is located on a polystyrene mast mounted on a rotating positioning system (vertical axis). The combination of the two rotation capabilities allows full 3D near field monostatic RCS characterization. 3D imaging is a suitable tool to accurately locate and characterize in 3D the main contributors to the RCS. However, this is a non-invertible Fourier synthesis problem because the number of unknowns is larger than the number of data. Conventional methods such as the Polar Format Algorithm (PFA), which consists of data reformatting including zero-padding followed by an inverse fast Fourier transform, provide results of limited quality. We propose a new high resolution method, named SPRITE (for SParse Radar Imaging TEchnique), which considerably increases the quality of the estimated RCS maps. This specific 3D radar imaging method was developed and applied to the fast 3D spherical near field scans. In this paper, this algorithm is tested on measured data from a metallic target, called Mx-14. It is a fully metallic shape of a 2m long missile-like target. This object, composed of several elements is completely versatile, allowing any change in its size, the presence or not of the front and / or rear fins, and the presence or not of mechanical defects, … Results are analyzed and compared in order to study the 3D radar imaging technique performances.
Experimental Validation of Minimum Redundancy Scanning Schemes in PNF Measurements at V band
The planar wide-mesh scanning (PWMS) methodology is based on a non-redundant sampling scheme ,  and is thus without loss of accuracy. It has the potential to enable much faster measurements than standard Planar Near Field (PNF) scanning that is based on denser, regular, equally spaced NF sampling fulfilling Nyquist criteria. In , the non-redundant methodology has been validated numerically by simulated measurements on a highly shaped reflector antenna and with actual measurements on a pencil beam antenna in Ku-band and on a navigation antenna in L-band. In this paper, we present the experimental verification of the PWMS methodology, at V band using dedicated PNF measurements of a Standard Gain Horn antenna MVG SGH4000. The results accuracy of the non-redundant methodology has been investigated against Far-Field patterns, implemented by standard scanning methods, by visual comparison, and by computation of the Equivalent Noise Level (ENL). The achieved under-sampling factor is equal to 12, corresponding to similar time reduction in the stepped measurement system employed for the presented validation.
Reduced Aperture Flanged Rectangular Waveguide Probe for Measurement of Conductor Backed Uniaxial Materials
An algorithm is developed for the non-destructive extraction of constitutive parameters from uniaxial anisotropic materials backed by a conductive layer. A method of moments-based approach is used in conjunction with a previously-determined Green function. A dominant-mode analysis is done for rapid comparison of the derived forward model with that of commercially-available software. Finally, laboratory measurements are taken to compare this approach to that of a destructive, high-precision method.
Recent Developments in International Facility Comparison Campaigns
The EurAAP (the European Association on Antennas and Propagation)  Measurements working group (WG5), constitutes a framework for cooperation to advance research and development of antenna measurements. An important ongoing task of this group is to sustain the Antenna Measurement Intercomparisons. The comparison of each facility measurement of the same reference antenna in a standard configuration results in important documentation and validation of laboratory expertise and competence, allowing to validate and document the achieved measurement accuracy and to obtain and maintain accreditations like ISO 17025. An additional outcome is the improvement in antenna measurement procedures and protocols in facilities and contributions to standards, which is one of the long-term objectives of the EurAAP WG5. Several participants among Europe but also USA and ASIA have joined the activity. These campaigns will also serve for a new task, recently approved within the WG5, of self-evaluation from comparison of the measurement results. An important ongoing campaign involves a X/Ku/Ka-band high gain reflector antenna MVI-SR40 fed by SH4000 Dual Ridge Horn. In this paper we report the results here for the first time. The medium gain ridge horn, MVI-SH800, equipped with an absorber plate to enhance the correlation in different facilities has been the reference antenna of another campaign. In  the preliminary results were shown. In this paper we present the final validation. The comparison is reported plotting the gain/directivity patterns and computing the equivalent noise level and the Birge ratio with respect to the reference pattern obtained taking into account the uncertainty declared by each facility.
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