AMTA Paper Archive
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Sensitivity analysis of Fast Non-Redundant NF Sampling Methodologies with Probe Positioning errors
The planar wide-mesh scanning (PWMS) methodology is based on Non-redundant scanning schemes allowing faster measurements than classical Nyquist-compliant acquisitions based on denser, regular, equally spaced Near Field (NF) sampling. The methodology has no accuracy loss and has been validated at different bands and with different antennas . The effectiveness of the PWMS technique has always been proven in error-free (or quasi-error-free) scenarios, assuming that possible errors introduced by the technique itself are independent of the typical source of measurement uncertainty. In this paper, we investigate for the first time the sensibility of the method wrt one of this error source included in the 18-terms lists , considered by the measurement community as an exhaustive list of the NF errors: X and Y probe positioning errors. Such errors are unknown and random and are associated to the mechanical vibrations and/or backlash of the system. The investigation has been done considering actual measurements of a multi-beam reflector antenna with approximately 35 dBi gain (MVG SR40 fed by two MVG SH5000 dual ridge horn). The AUT has been measured in planar geometry emulated by a 6-axis Staubli robot. The test was performed at 22-33 GHz. A set of measurements has been performed introducing a uniformly distributed random error in the range [0-1] mm, corresponding to ?/10 at 30 GHz. Errors are considered unknown. In the paper it will be shown that both in the classical and PWMS approaches the main beam is basically not affected by the introduced errors. The sidelobes are instead affected by such errors especially in the pattern cut where the beam is tilted. Such error levels obtained with the classical approach are comparable to those obtained with the PWMS approach, meaning that the latter is stable and against such type of perturbations.
NF-FF TRANSFORMATION WITH UNIFORM PLANAR SPIRAL SCANNING FOR VOLUMETRIC ANTENNAS
NF-FF transformations have proven to be a convenient tool to accurately reconstruct the antenna pattern from NF measurements. In this framework, a very hot issue is the reduction of the time required to perform the measurements. To obtain a remarkable reduction of this time, nonredundant (NR) NF-FF transformations with planar spiral scannings have been developed in , by applying the NR representations of electromagnetic fields . Optimal sampling interpolation (OSI) formulas have been used to efficiently reconstruct the massive NF data for the classical plane-rectangular (PR) NF-FF transformation from the NR spiral samples. The drastic measurement time-saving is due to the reduced number of needed NF samples acquired on fly, by adopting continuous and synchronized motions of the linear positioner of the probe and of the turntable of the AUT. However, such a time-saving is obtained at the expense of a nonuniform step of the spiral. Therefore, the linear positioner velocity is not constant, but must vary according to a not trivial law to trace the spiral, and this implies a complex control of the linear positioner. This work aims to develop an effective NF-FF transformation with planar spiral scanning for volumetric AUTs, wherein the spiral step is uniform and, hence, the linear positioner velocity becomes constant. To this end, the AUT is considered as enclosed in a sphere, the spiral is chosen in such a way that its step coincides with the sampling spacing needed to interpolate along a radial line according to the spatial band-limitation properties, and the NR representation along such a spiral is determined. Then, an OSI algorithm is developed to recover the NF data needed by the PR NF-FF transformation from the spiral samples. Numerical simulations assessing the accuracy of the developed NF-FF transformation will be shown.
Experimental Investigation of Different Floor Materials in Automotive Near Field Antenna Testing
Spherical near-field systems installed in shielded anechoic chambers are typically involved in modern automotive antenna measurements [1-3]. Such systems are often truncated at or close to the horizon to host the vehicle under test while limiting the size/cost of the chamber. The vehicle is usually placed on a metallic floor  or on a floor covered by absorbers . The latter solution is intended to emulate a free space environment and is a key factor to perform accurate measurements down to 70 MHz. The availability of the free-space response also enables easy emulation of the car's behaviour over realistic grounds [6-7] while such emulations are more complex when a conductive ground is considered . Conductive ground measurements also suffer from a strong interaction between the conductive floor and the measurement system and only in a limited number of situations such types of floor are a good approximation of realistic grounds (such as asphalts). However, the main advantage of conductive floor systems is the ease of accommodation of the vehicle under test which is simply parked in the center of the system. In absorber-based systems, instead, more time is generally needed to remove/place the absorber around the vehicle. Moreover, at low frequencies (70-400 MHz), large and bulky absorbers are normally used to ensure good reflectivity levels and the vehicle needs to be raised to avoid shadowing effect of absorbers. In this paper we investigate whether the measurement setup phase in absorber-based systems can be simplified by using smaller absorbers at low frequencies and/or not using them at all but considering conductive floors. The loss of accuracy in such scenarios will be studied considering a scaled vehicle and an implemented scaled automotive system where it is possible to access the full-spherical, real free-space scenario which is used as reference. The analysis is carried out considering (scaled) frequencies relevant to automotive applications in the 84-1500 MHz range. Two types of scaled absorbers, of different size and reflectivity, are considered to emulate the behaviour of the realistic full-scale 48-inch and 18-inch height absorbers. Measurements over metallic floor are included also in the analysis.
Near Field Measurements with Radically reduced Sampling requirement through Numerically defined expansion Functions
We present an antenna measurement methodology requiring a radically lower number of field samples than the standard Nyquist-based theory maintaining a comparable accuracy. simulations and partial knowledge of the geometry of the Antenna Under Test are combined to build a set of numerically defined expansion functions: the method uses basic knowledge of the antenna and the assumption that scattering from large surfaces can be predicted accurately by numerical tools; areas of the antenna such as feeding structures are treated as unknown and represented by equivalent electric and magnetic currents on a conformal surface. In this way, the complexity, and thus the number of unknowns, is dramatically reduced wrt the full problem for most antennas. The basis functions representing the full antenna are used to interpolate a radically reduced set of measured samples to a fine regular grid of Near Field (NF) samples in standard geometries. Regular NF to Far Field (FF) transformation techniques are then employed to determine the FF. The sampling reduction is evaluated compared to a regular sampling on standard Nyquist-complaint grids. The method can be employed in standard sampling ranges. In  asymptotic simulation tools were used to build the numerical basis. In this paper, methods based on Surface Integral Equations (SIEs) are used to compute currents and fields. The currents induced on the antenna structure by each elementary source are computed and used to evaluate the radiated field. Both electric and magnetic elementary sources are placed around the antenna and the SIE problems use a fast algorithm to evaluate matrix-vector products. The methodology is validated with planar and spherical acquisitions on a reflector antenna (MVG SR40) fed by a dual ridge horn SH4000 and in a multi-feed configurations (using several SH5000) at 18 and 30 GHz. Patterns obtained with down-sampled fast approach are compared to standard measurements. Down-sampling factors up to 8 are achieved maintaining very high correlation levels with standard techniques.
Automotive OTA Measurement Techniques and Challenges
Characterizing the performance of automobile-mounted antennas has been an ongoing and evolving challenge for the antenna measurement community. Today, the automotive test environment poses unique challenges with its diversity and complexity of wireless on-board systems and the large electrical size of the test article. The evolution of cellular technologies over the past decade means that the basic mobile handset has now become a smartphone with significantly increased capability; this exact same trend has been mirrored by the automotive industry where we have witnessed the basic car radio and cassette player evolve into a multi-function infotainment unit. Modern vehicles include a multitude of wireless technologies, including cellular (2G, 3G, LTE), Bluetooth, WiFi, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), collision avoidance radar, and more. Testing the complete vehicle is currently the only method available that certifies the correct mode of operation for each technology (including co-existence and interference) and also assures the manufacturer that the various sub-systems are performing as expected in the presence of all other sub-systems and the vehicle itself. While modern vehicles now function like large mobile devices, the conventional Over-the-Air (OTA) measurement systems and techniques available for small form factor devices (e.g. mobile phones) are ill-suited to testing such large devices. In this paper, we will highlight some of the unique challenges encountered in the automotive test environment. We will start by looking into existing methods of measuring radiation patterns of automobile-mounted antennas and providing a qualitative assessment of the various techniques with a focus on near-field solutions. A brief description of OTA testing will follow, coupled with an in-depth look into how techniques that are proven for handset type OTA measurements are being translated to automotive measurements. This section will provide a breakdown of key OTA test metrics, the measurement hardware typically required and key assumptions about the device under test. Finally, some performance tradeoffs and challenges associated with designing a multi-purpose antenna/OTA measurement system will be described.
Using High-Accuracy Swing Arm Gantry Positioners in Spherical Near-Field Automotive Measurement Systems
Spherical Near-Field (SNF) systems using a swing arm gantry configuration have been the go to solution for automotive measurement systems. Recent advances in the automotive industry have warranted a need for SNF systems with high mechanical positioning accuracy supporting measurements up to 40 GHz and beyond. This paper presents the design and implementation of a new swing arm gantry positioner having an 8-meter radius and a radial axis to support high frequency SNF measurements. We first define the relation of the gantry axis to the global coordinate system and discuss primary sources of errors. Next, a robust mechanical design is presented including design considerations and implementation. We then present errors measured using a tracking laser interferometer for probe position through the range of gantry axis travel. Static corrections for probe positioning errors are implemented in the control system using the radial axis. The resultant residual error for the swing arm gantry is then shown to have the accuracy required for high frequency SNF measurements.
Element Failure Detection of Antenna Array using Far-field Measurement with Shallow Neural Network
In the 5G communication, antenna array has been widely used for high-speed wireless communication. For reliable antenna array system, the failure diagnosis of antenna array is one of the most important problems that has been studied for a long time. The back-projection method using near-field measurements is a one of the failure diagnosis technique based on the plane-wave expansion. However, when antenna elements are densely placed, it is difficult to estimate the excitation coefficients of the antenna elements with the back-projection method, because the obtained images from the conventional back-projection method has only a resolution of one wavelength. In addition, since there is usually a trade-off between measurement accuracy and measurement time. Therefore, it is difficult to satisfy the both requirements of accuracy and short measurement time. We have reported the element failure detection algorithm using a 2-layer shallow neural network with planar near-field measurement last year. In this report, the element failure detection of antenna array is performed with a minimum number of measurement points while maintaining enough accuracy by learning the relationship between excitation coefficients of antenna array and the electric far-field distribution by a shallow neural network. In the case of 64-elements short dipole antenna arrays, the estimation error of excitation coefficients of antenna array less than 1% are achieved by our trained neural network with a minimum number of far-field measurements with 50 dB SNR. The detailed algorithm and simulation results will be reported in the full-paper and the presentation.
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