AMTA Paper Archive

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The Demystification and Measurement of Receiving Efficiency
Ryan Cutshall, Justin Dobbins, October 2023

In the 2013 revision of the IEEE Standard for Definitions of Terms for Antennas [1], multiple new terms were added to describe active antenna systems. One such term is receiving efficiency, which was added to describe the behavior of either a passive receiving antenna or an active receiving antenna system. The definition of receiving efficiency contains other new terms such as isotropic noise response and isotropic noise response of a noiseless antenna. These new terms and definitions may cause some confusion for individuals responsible for antenna design and measurement. We attempt to demystify a few of the terms added to IEEE Std 145-2013, especially those terms that relate to receiving efficiency. In addition, we propose a measurement technique for measuring the receiving efficiency of an active receiving antenna system.

NIST's Antenna Gain and Polarization Calibration Service Re-instatement
Joshua Gordon, Benjamin Moser, October 2023

After a five-year renovation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Boulder, CO, antenna measurement facility, the Antenna On-Axis Gain and Polarization Measurements Service SKU63100S was reinstated with the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). In addition to an overhaul of the antenna facility, the process of reinstatement involved a comprehensive measurement campaign of multiple international check-standard antennas over multiple frequency bands spanning 8 GHz to 110 GHz. Through the measurement campaign, equivalency with 16 National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and continuity to several decades of antenna gain values was demonstrated. The renovation process, which included implementing new robotic antenna measurement systems, control software, and data processing tools is discussed. Equivalency results and uncertainties are presented and compared to checkstandard historical values.

Exploration of UAV-based testing and qualification of NGSO earth stations
Andrian Buchi, Ondrej Pokorny, Snorre Skeidsvol, Sigurd Petersen, October 2023

This paper presents a new test procedure to asses and validate key performance indicators for NGSO antennas, and serves to introduce said methodology to the antenna measurement community to foster a discussion on future evaluation procedures for modern day ground segments. Beyond introducing the proposed test methodology we also present results highlighting the actual accuracy of a UAV based measurement system enabling the proposed measurement procedure. The paper is intended to be viewed as an initial proposal for a qualification methodology.

Modified Thru-Reflect-Match Polarimetric Calibration Technique for Focused Beam Systems
Jeffrey Massman, Michael Havrilla, October 2023

This paper extends the time-domain gated response isolation scheme for full polarimetric calibration with a modified Thru-Reflect-Match procedure for network analyzer selfcalibration where precise knowledge of the metrology standards is not required. Cross-polarization contributions from the measurement setup are neglected to simplify the procedure. A simulated cascade analysis is included to demonstrate the relative scattering parameter error of the sample under test when the measurement setup cross-polarization level is neglected. The featured calibration analysis leverages a 4x4 scattering parameter matrix notation to capture the polarimetric scattering at each cascaded stage and develops a 16-term error correction factor model to account for cross-polarization scattering contributions from the measurement sample. Finally, a wire-grid polarizer is used as a modified Match standard where a series of interrogations at multiples orientations, in combination with Thru and Reflect measurements, enables cross-polarized scattering channels to be characterized. This polarimetric self-calibration approach uses physically realizable metrology standards and accounts for all error terms for precision focus beam system measurements.

Revision Progress: IEEE Std 1720 Recommended Practice for Near-Field Antenna Measurements
Lars Jacob Foged, Justin Dobbins, Vince Rodriguez, Jeff Fordham, Vikass Monebhurrun, October 2023

The IEEE Std 1720™, "Recommended Practice for Near-Field Antenna Measurements," serves as a dedicated guideline for conducting near-field (NF) antenna measurements [1]. It serves as a valuable companion to IEEE Std 149-2021™, "IEEE Recommended Practice for Antenna Measurements," which outlines general procedures for antenna measurements [2]. IEEE Std 1720 was originally approved in 2012 as a completely new standard by the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board. It holds significant importance for users engaged in NF antenna measurements and contributes to the design and evaluation of NF antenna measurement facilities. With its tenyear term coming to an end in 2022, the standard will no longer remain active. Nonetheless, a "minor revision" of the existing standard is in progress and is expected to be completed in 2023. The objective of this paper is to provide insights into the ongoing activities surrounding the revision and to explore the proposed changes. It aims to facilitate a discussion on the modifications to and their implications for modern NF antenna measurements.

On the Uncertainty Evaluation of Absorber Reflectivity Measurements
Marc Dirix, Amin Enayati, October 2023

The reflectivity of foam absorber materials is governed by the correct loading and mixture of carbon and other supplicants such as fire retardants. In order to assess the reflectivity of the absorbers various measurement setups are applied, each having different advantages and disadvantages in terms of frequency coverage and RF performance. The measurement setups are used both in the quality control (QC) as well as for product development. Especially for the product development case, it is important to understand limits of these setups as the lower the reflectivity gets, the more difficult it becomes to detect minute differences between different variants of the absorbers. For reflectivity measurements of microwave absorbers, the available dynamic range and calibration-quality of the setup plays a vital role in this respect. By determining the uncertainty of the measurement setups, a clear assessment can be made to the quality of the measurement and the product to insure consistent QC, as well as plan for the product development.

A 5G NR FR1 UWB Antenna as Benchmark for the Development of IEEE Standard P2816
Vikass Monebhurrun, Satyajit Chakrabarti, Richelieu Quoi, October 2023

The IEEE Std P2816 recommended practice for computational electromagnetics applied for the modeling and simulation of antennas is currently being developed by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Standards Committee (APS/SC), sponsored by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (APS). The document provides guidance on the numerical modeling of antennas deployed in free space using commonly adopted computational electromagnetics (CEM) techniques such as the finite element method (FEM), the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method, the Method of Moments (MoM), the finite integral technique (FIT) and the transmission line matrix (TLM) method. Benchmark models and comparisons of numerical simulation results are included for potential users of the standard to better understand the uncertainties and limitations of these techniques. A biconical antenna was previously proposed as a benchmark model. The numerical simulation results showed a good overall agreement among the participating laboratories and against the analytical solution. Herein, a 5G New Radio (NR) FR1 ultrawide band (UWB) antenna is proposed as another benchmark model for the development of IEEE Std P2816. In addition to the comparison of the numerical simulation results obtained from the participating laboratories, the simulation results are confronted with preliminary measurement results.

Progress on the development of IEEE Std 1128 - Recommended Practice on Absorber Evaluation
Zhong Chen, Vince Rodriguez, Lars Foged, October 2023

The existing IEEE-STD 1128 on “Recommended Practice for RF Absorber Evaluation in the Range of 30 MHz to 5 GHz” was published in 1998. The standard has been referenced frequently and used as a guide for RF absorber evaluations. The document has several aspects which need updating, including the frequency range of coverage, requirements for newer test equipment, advances in test methodologies and material property evaluation, measurement uncertainty considerations, and absorber high power handling and fire testing requirements. The working group is divided into task groups and is in the final stage of collecting inputs from these subgroups. The next step is to consolidate the inputs and produce a draft standard for a wider distribution before being submitted for balloting. The subgroup contributions can be found on the IEEE imeetcentral website (https://ieeesa. The sections which have received substantive updates include bulk material measurements, instrumentation, absorber reflectivity measurements, and power handling test. In this paper, we will provide some detailed discussions on the planned updates from these contributions. For areas which did not receive sufficient input, the working group plan to table those topics for future considerations.

The Impact of Rotating Linearly-Polarized Feeds on Circularly-Polarized Gain Uncertainty
Adam Mehrabani, Rob Mercer, Jeff Fordham, October 2023

This paper addresses the circularly-polarized (CP) gain uncertainty when using linearly-polarized feeds to obtain circular polarization in Compact Antenna Test Ranges. In particular, our emphasis is placed on quantifying the inaccuracy caused by deviations in amplitude and in phase of the two orthogonal linear measurements. This is of paramount importance especially for highly directive CP antennas operating at high frequencies in that the CP gain will be adversely impacted even by a small deviation from an ideal 90- degree rotation, as well as by a situation when the rotation may cause a slight boresight misalignment. To characterize the gain uncertainty, we look at ratio differences between the peak amplitude of the linear measurements, as well as cases when the phase shift of the two orthogonal linear measurements is no longer 90 degrees. The former is done through mechanical and electrical boresighting technique in the initial setting. The latter, which is the focus of this paper, is carried out through several case studies in practice mimicking some non-ideal 90- degree rotation settings.

On Convergence of the Upper Bound on the Ratio of Gain to Quality Factor
Alex J. Yuffa, Marc Andrew Valdez, Benoıt Derat, October 2021

An antenna’s practical far-field distance can be estimated from the upper bound on the ratio of its gain to quality factor. This upper bound is an infinite series that can be truncated based on the desired accuracy. We investigate the convergence properties of this bounding series. We find that the number of terms required for convergence depends on the antenna’s electrical radius in a way similar to the Wiscombe criterion used in Mie scattering theory. For typical experimental accuracy requirements, such convergence can significantly reduce the effective far-field distance.

On the Uncertainty Sources of Drone-Based Outdoor Far-Field Antenna Measurements
Cosme Culotta-L´opez, Stuart Gregson, Andrian Buchi, Carlo Rizzo,Diana Trifon, Snorre Skeidsvoll, Ines Barbary, Joakim Espeland, October 2021

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), colloquially known as drones, offer unparalleled flexibility and portability for outdoor and in situ antenna measurements, which is especially convenient to assess the performance of systems in their realworld conditions of application. As with any new or emerging measurement technology, it is crucial that the various sources of error must be identified and then estimated. This is especially true here where the sources of error differ from those that are generally encountered with classical antenna measurement systems. This is due to the larger number of mechanical degrees of freedom, and to the potentially less repeatable and controllable environmental conditions. In this paper, the impact of some of these various error terms is estimated as part of an ongoing measurement validation campaign. A mechanically and electrically time invariant reference antenna was characterized at ESAESTEC’s measurement facilities which served here as an independent reference laboratory. The reference results were compared and contrasted with measurements performed outdoors at Quad- SAT’s premises using QuadSAT’s UAS for Antenna Performance Evaluation (UAS-APE). While a direct comparison between the measurement results from ESA-ESTEC and QuadSAT delivers information about the various uncertainties within a UAS-APE system in comparison to classical measurement facilities’ and the validity of such a system for antenna testing, other tests aim at providing an estimation of the impact of each error source on the overall uncertainty budget, thus paving the way towards a standardized uncertainty budget for outdoor UAS-based sites.

Base Station Specific Absorption Rate Assessment Based on a Combination of Over-The-Air Measurements and Full-Wave Electromagnetic Simulations
Benoit Derat, Mert Celik, Davide Colombi, Bo Xu, Christer Tornevik, David Schaefer, Winfried Simon, October 2021

Radio Base Stations (RBS) must comply with applicable radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure regulations. Although compliance evaluation is typically carried out using field strength acquisitions or computations, Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measurement is the reference method for low-power RBS, such as those used for indoor coverage. As classical robotbased probing is extremely time-consuming, especially when the whole-body SAR in a large phantom is to be assessed, faster alternative techniques are of high interest. Such solutions are becoming even more crucial, as the number of test modes is multiplying with modern communication technologies. This paper introduces an alternative, based on the convergence of Over- The-Air (OTA) measurements, equivalent current reconstruction and full-wave electromagnetic simulation. A first set of results demonstrates the relevance of this combination, by comparing actual dosimetric measurements to OTA-based reconstructed SAR values in a flat body mannequin, for a commercial lowpower RBS. A test system is realized which enables OTA electric field phase evaluations for a self-powered device under test, using digitally modulated signals. This proof of concept establishes the applicability of the technique to actual regulatory testing conditions.

Validation of Over-The-Air Testing Accuracy at Mid-Range Distance for Massive MIMO Base Stations
Benoit Derat, Mert Celik, Aidin Razavi, Aurelian Bria, Jonas Friden, October 2021

5G base stations are gradually evolving into Active Antenna Systems, improving the link budget with beamsteering capabilities. As such antenna arrays are typically eight wavelength large or more, the question of reducing the footprint of far-field testing facilities has experienced a growing interest. Recent research results have established that it is possible to conduct accurate Over-The-Air measurements around the peak radiation, at an effective far-field distance which can be as low as 20% of the Fraunhofer distance, depending on the electrical size of the antenna aperture. This paper complements the published validations of this finding, with an application to commercial massive MIMO base stations. The previously identified midrange far-field distance is even shown to be conservative for such devices. A mathematical analysis based on plane-wave expansion is proposed and allows for a general interpretation of this result.

Stochastic Filtering Technique for UAV-Based Communications On The Move Terminal Tracking Accuracy Evaluation
Saki Omi, Hyo-Sang Shin, Antonios Tsourdos, Joakim Espeland, Andrian Buchi, October 2021

Along with the growth of communication and satellite industry, the importance of satellite antenna evaluation is increasing. Particularly Communication On The Move (COTM) terminal antenna, including the communication between new types of constellations on LEO and MEO, requires tracking accuracy test for the communication on moving vehicles. The conventional test facilities are locally fixed and lack flexibility. To make the antenna measurement more accessible, we are developing a methodology for in-situ measurement by introducing multiple Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicles (UAVs) system with RF payload. Thanks to the dynamic flexibility of UAVs, this system can flexibly change the test configuration on site and make new test scenarios available, such as emulating the orbit of non-GEO satellites during the measurement. However, one of the challenges of the proposed system is the additional uncertainties during the measurement due to the mobility of UAVs. To overcome this challenge, we design recursive stochastic filtering and fusion approaches, and evaluate their estimation performance via numerical simulations. By introducing stochastic filter and fusion algorithms, the effect of error is mitigated, and better accuracy can be achieved compared to an existing method. This project is performed in collaboration with Cranfield University in the UK and QuadSAT in Denmark.

Precise Phase Center Localization of Automotive LTE Antennas in the Installed State Through Phaseless LTE Uplink Measurements
P. Berlt, C. Bornkessel, and M. A. Hein, October 2021

With the event of integrated and multi-standard wireless links, phaseless antenna measurements are attracting more and more interest in research. Especially in the context of connected and automated driving, antennas, frontends, and digital signal processing units merge into telematic units and require new methods for performance evaluation in the installed state. The measurement of the phase diagram and the exact absolute positioning of electrically large antennas, i.e., antennas interacting with the car body, present challenges for safety-relevant applications and reliable test methods. This paper describes a way to determine the position of automotive antennas in the installed state with sub-wavelength precision from phaseless measurements. Realistic LTE uplink signals were used as test signals as they would be transmitted by an active device in a real-world scenario. The localization algorithm is based on orthogonal power measurements of the transmitted signal on a cylinder surface and a non-linear optimization. By comparison with a conventional localization based on spherical far-field data, an accuracy of the approach of less than 1 cm was achieved, which is less than λ/16 at the considered frequency of 1870 MHz.

Advanced Diagnostics on a Large Array by the Equivalent Current Technique
L. Scialacqua, F. Scattone, A. Giacomini, L.J. Foged, F. Mioc, October 2021

Diagnostic techniques are crucial in antenna development and testing to enhance the Device Under Test (DUT) performances and identify the cause of possible failures in the qualification process. Among different approaches [1]-[8], it has been demonstrated that the equivalent currents method (EQC) [8]-[9], implemented in [10], is one of the most efficient for investigations in various application areas [11]-[13]. Indeed, the generality of the 3D reconstruction surface enclosing the DUT is a key feature, it ensures that this technique is unique and highly suitable for diagnostics, respect to traditional methods based on plane wave expansion. To handle electrically large problems, the EQC method has been initially based on a Fast Multipole Method (FMM) [14]. The recent advent of 5G technologies has led to an increasing need in terms of antenna electrical dimensions. Therefore, a novel technique based on a Nested Skeletonization Scheme (NSS) has been implemented to guarantee a further reduction of memory requirements and computational time. The new capability has been demonstrated in the past for a patch array antenna [15]. In this paper, the diagnostic capabilities of the EQC approach are applied to an early prototype of an electrically large array antenna for 5G antenna measurements applications [16].

Pointwise Probe Correction Applied to a Robot-Based mm-Wave Antenna Test Range
R. Moch, D. Heberling, October 2021

Robot-based measurement systems typically have a larger tolerance with respect to their positioning accuracy than conventional systems, e.g. roll-over-azimuth positioners. However, for spherical near-field measurements, the positioning accuracy of the probe is an important uncertainty in the required near-field-to-far-field transformation. One way to account for those non-idealities is to use the higher-order pointwise probe correction (PPC). It allows to consider the actual position and orientation of the probe by additional rotations and translations of the probe receive coefficients. To evaluate the PPC, the occurring position tolerances and the differences in the transformed farfield patterns of a standard gain horn are investigated at 60GHz. Using an onset measurement as reference, it is shown that the PPC provides improvements of 􀀀41dB and 􀀀65dB for the co- and cross-polarized measurements, respectively. In addition, an offset measurement is shown where the measurement sphere is shifted relatively to the AUT. The pointwise implementation of the correction method allows to reproduce the far-field pattern without additional measurement points, while the transformation without PPC fails. Thus, the implementation of the PPC not only enables the processing of irregular sampling grids, but also increases the measurement accuracy by including the actual position and orientation of the probp>

X/Ku/Ka-band high Gain Reflector Antenna Intercomparison Campaign Results
M.A.Saporetti, L.J. Foged, F. Tercero, C. Culotta-López, M. Böttcher, Y. Alvarez-Lopez, Oskar Zetterstrom, M. Sierra Castañer, October 2021

Antenna measurement Intercomparison Campaigns represent a successful activity within the working group on antenna measurement of the European Association on Antennas and Propagation [1] since the group foundation in 2005. These campaigns, constitute an important resource for participating facilities to demonstrate their measurement proficiency, useful internally but also towards obtaining or maintaining official accreditations. In this paper we present the completion of a campaign involving a high gain X/Ku/Ka-band reflector, MVG SR40 fed by an MVG SH4000 Dual Ridge Horn. Preliminary results were shown in [2]. Results from seven facilities are compared through plots of gain/directivity patterns. The data is used to generate reference patterns and establish accurate gain performance data based on the uncertainty estimates provided by each facility. Statistical analysis of the measured data such as Equivalent Noise Level and Birge ratio of each measurement with respect to the established reference will also be shown.

Errors and Prerequisites of the Short-Time Measurement and Transformation of Continuously Modulated Fields
Fabian T. Faul and Thomas F. Eibert, October 2021

Near-field far-field transformations (NFFFTs) are usually performed for time-harmonic fields. In cases where insitu antenna measurements are required and the antenna under test (AUT) is not accessible for specifically tailored test signals, the need for handling time-modulated fields arises. The shorttime measurement (STM) approach offers a way to deal with continuously modulated fields while a time-harmonic NFFFT can be employed. We present results of numerical simulations to demonstrate and characterize the STM approach for the case of a cylindrical measurement geometry as found in UAV-based antenna measurements. We further derive guidelines from the simulation results that describe the applicability of the STM for different measurement situations.

Additional Tools for Locating and Quantifying a Range’s Stray Signals
Scott T. McBride, October 2021

Earlier works have shown the benefits of imaging stray signals in a range with planar-scanner data. This paper discusses some additional tools that can be employed for stray-signal identification. Related range diagnostics are presented that employ Fourier spectral and holographic processing of 1D linear scans through the quiet zone. For the special case of a compact range, the interpretation of arrival angles from the paraboloidal reflector surface is explored. Measured data from multiple facilities are presented that were used to locate, quantify, and remedy the unwanted signals.
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