AMTA Paper Archive
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Radiation and Scattering Pattern Characteristics of Chamfered-Tip Open-Ended Rectangular Waveguide Probes for Planar Near-Field Antenna Measurement Applications
The radiation and scattering pattern characteristics of open-ended rectangular waveguide with a chamfered tip are examined. Despite common and widespread use as a probe antenna for planar near-field antenna measurements, a methodical investigation of the chamfered-tip design and resultant performance has not been published. A computational electromagnetics (CEM) model for an open-ended rectangular waveguide probe with a parameterized chamfered tip has been constructed and results for both radiation and scattering patterns are presented. A comparison of results includes a probe without a chamfer and a probe typical of that available from commercial suppliers. It is shown that, for a series of standard waveguide size probes sharing a common thickness for the waveguide wall and chamfered tip, the radiation pattern is relatively insensitive to the chamfer tip designs studied until frequency increases into W-band (WR-10). The scattering pattern characteristics for the same series of standard waveguide size probes show a reduction in on-axis (boresight) monostatic radar cross section (RCS) for chamfered tip waveguides compared to blunt-ended waveguides and that this reduction increases for increasing frequency.
Shielding Effectiveness of Metal Mesh and Radio Frequency Shielding Film for Optical Applications
In this paper, an investigation was conducted to find materials that are optically transparent and radio frequency (RF) shielding. Materials were first optically tested, followed by a shielding effectiveness test. The optical test evaluated metal mesh sizes 20, 22, 40 and 100, single layer RF film, double layer RF film, and combinations of film and mesh. Size 22 copper mesh and RF film demonstrated desirable optical properties and were then RF tested from 26 MHz to 40 GHz. The test was conducted using a shielded enclosure featuring an aperture in a wall panel to mount the material under test. Reference field strength measurements of the aperture were compared to measurements taken when material samples were placed within the aperture in order to characterize the shielding effectiveness of each shielding material. Test results for size 22 copper mesh, RF shielding film, and a combination of one layer of size 22 copper mesh with one layer of film demonstrate average shielding effectiveness results of 43 dB for the mesh, 46 dB for the film, and 69 dB for the mesh and film together. This information can be used when there is a requirement for a material to provide optically transparent RF shielding.
One-port Calibration of Free-space Material Measurement System Using Planar Offset Short
Electrical properties of materials are requisite to analyze and design electromagnetic (EM) devices and systems. Free-space material measurement method, where the measurand is the free-space scattering parameters of an MUT (material under test) located at the middle of transmit (Tx)/receive (Rx) antennas, is suitable for non-destructively testing the MUT without prior machining and physical contact in high frequency ranges. This paper proposes a free-space two-tier one-port calibration method using three planar offset shorts with the respective offset of , ⁄, ⁄ for the measurement of the full scattering parameters of a reciprocal planar MUT from two successive oneport calibrations. Measurement results of a glass plate of 4.775 mm thickness are shown in W-band (75-110 GHz).
Autonomous Spherical Passive/Active Radar Calibration System
A Spherical Passive/Active Radar Calibration System (SPARCS) has been designed as an advanced, airborne, radar calibration device (CD). SPARCS is currently under development as an autonomous, battery-powered, high-endurance, flying platform. This self-contained, multi-function radar calibration and diagnostic system functions as 1) a Passive Spherical Reflector, 2) an Active RF Repeater, 3) a Synthetic Target Generator, and 4) an UWB RF Sensor and Data Recorder of the radar under test or the localized RF environment. This innovative CD exploits major advances in commercial technology during the past decade associated with autonomous airborne drones and miniaturized digital RF systems on chips (RFSoCs), and other miniature electronics. Emphasis has been placed on a recoverable, reusable CD that enables precision calibrations over extensive open-air test volumes used for dynamic aircraft RCS measurement, test and verification, or time space position information (TSPI) test range tracking radars. This paper highlights early efforts to parameterize and develop SPARCS, including advances in autonomous navigation and flight time, electric ducted fan performance, radar screens for thruster inlet and outlet ports, active calibration functionality, and improving calibration uncertainty. SPARCS will provide an unprecedented capability for radar instrumentation calibration, target emulation, environmental assessment and in situ, real-time calibration.
Analysis of Probe Compensation Techniques for Fast Multi-Probe Planar Near Field Measurements
In Multi-Probe (MP) based measurement systems, the standard procedure is to calibrate the probe array with a well-known reference antenna . This procedure equalizes amplitude, phase, and polarization characteristics of each probe array element. In Planar Near Field (PNF) systems, the probe pattern impact is usually more pronounced than in other near field scan geometries, such as spherical. Thus, the probe pattern must be compensated during post-processing for more accurate measurements at wider angles. While the probe array calibration ensures the on-axis equalization, the probe array elements still have individual pattern difference due to finite manufacturing accuracy and absorber interaction. Probe compensation using an equivalent probe pattern of the array has been shown to be very effective and accurate for MP PNF systems . In this paper we compare two methods to determine the equivalent probe pattern for a given MP PNF system. We also discuss the acceptable limits of pattern variation within the array versus measurement accuracy as a design parameter for MP PNF systems.
Pointwise Probe Correction Applied to a Robot-Based mm-Wave Antenna Test Range
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>
Unifying G/T and Noise Figure Metrics for Receiver Systems
The conventional method for comparing the performance of antenna-receiver systems is the classical G/T metric. The G/T metric is the ratio of antenna-circuitgainrelative to the thermal noise temperature evaluated at the input of the low noise amplifier; the thermal noise at the input to the LNA consists of the received sky noise, the LNA's effective input noise temperature, and post LNA noise referenced to the LNA's input. While this has been a standard for many years, it will be shown that G/T does an incomplete job of describing the performance under all conditions. The noise figure metric was developed as a characteristic describing signal-to-noise degradation to be applied to circuit based input/output topologies, and cannot easily be applied to hybrid systems such as an antenna-receiver system in which the input power is described by spatial field density levels, and the output power is stated in terms of a circuit-based voltage-current environment. This paper presents a noise figure metric which has been expanded to include systems that are a hybrid of wave and circuit characteristics such as the marriage of an antenna and receiver. It will also be shown that whereas a system's noise figure is dependent upon a chosen noise reference temperature, the intrinsic Effective Input Noise Temperature of the system is an invariant that does not change when a different reference temperature is selected. It will also be shown that, in contrast to G/T, the effective input noise temperature of an antenna/receiver system will accurately predict the system's output SNR for all values of system input SNR. It will be shown in detail, how to measure the antenna/receiver system's Effective Input Noise Temperature (TE), resulting in the following equation: TE = (TD1 - Y£ TD2 )/(Y - 1) Where: TD1 , and TD2 are measured noise power densities at the face of the antenna, TE is the Effective Input Noise Temperature of the system, and "Y" is the classical "Y factor" metric.
Loadbox Design for EMC Testing in Automotive GNSS/SDARS Application
In this paper, a loadbox was developed to perform theconductive and radiative Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) emission and immunity testing of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS). To perform these tests, the supplier must purchase and build bias-tee, lowpass filter, choke, Diplexer and coupling circuitry to develop a loadbox. This means that same product made by different suppliers have different test set-up in place and therefore variability in the testing which create uncertainties in the test results and product approval or rejection. This is not reliable and can cause large amount of money wasted or bad product pass through. In this work, we propose an integrated loadbox design that can be built in-house with low cost and provide unique solution across the board. A loadbox consisting distributed Printed Circuit Board (PCB) made diplexer was developed that is easy to fabricate with low cost high durability and reliability during EMC testing and keep all the EMC testing consistent across the board which is enabling factor for proper decision making. A dual band diplexer was realized to separate the combined signal coming from the LNA's output port to two separate GNSS and SDARS ports. At the GNSS and SDARS frequencies due to the short wavelength of the RF signals, inductors and capacitors can be implemented using different transmission lines widths and lengths in short, open, parallel and straight-line formation. Distributed diplexer was designed using ADS RF Momentum simulator tool from Keysight and fabricated on a 2-layers PCB, FR2 of thickness 0.787 mm and a copper thickness of 35 um with overall size of 5.8x3.1 cm. Simulated and measured s-parameter for all of diplexer ports are in good agreement with measured insertion loss of better than 1.9 dB, return loss of 11.4 dB and GNSS-SDARS isolation of 16.8 dB at the GNSS frequency band and measured insertion loss of better than 2.1 dB, return loss of 14.1 dB and SDARS-GNSS isolation of 10.9 dB at the SDARS frequency band.
Correction of the Measured Phase of the Radiation Pattern of Millimeter-Wave Antennas
To characterize the radiation characteristics of an antenna, determining the power pattern of the antenna is often sufficient. In some cases, however, both the amplitude and phase response are important. For instance, for accurate channel modeling, the antenna has to be de-embedded, requiring knowledge of the complex radiation pattern of the antenna. A vector network analyzer typically measures complex S-parameters, hence, determining the complex radiation pattern seems like a straightforward task. When measuring at higher frequencies, as the wavelength becomes shorter, antenna phase measurements are very sensitive to positioning and alignment errors. Using sophisticated measurement tools, the position and orientation of the antennas can be determined, and this information can be used to correct the measurement data. The stringent requirements on positioning and alignment at millimeter-wave frequencies, however, makes correcting the data based on physical insight, in some cases, a more practical solution. The results of a radiation pattern measurement of a WR-28 rectangular open-ended waveguide will be shown in the full paper. The magnitude of the radiation pattern is symmetric in its two principal planes, which is to be expected, but the phase of the radiation pattern is not symmetric. To explain this lack of symmetry, a two-parameter misalignment model will be presented. It will be shown that the measured phase is much more sensitive to the misalignment than the measured magnitude, explaining why the symmetry is only lacking in the measured phase. Based on the 1,708 available planar cuts, the two parameters in the misalignment model are determined with great confidence. Subsequently, the parameters are used to correct the phase of the measured radiation pattern, restoring the expected symmetry in the phase measurement.
Nearfield Antenna Measurements over Seawater - Challenges and Prospects
The question of how to perform a nearfield antenna measurement in the presence of the air-sea interface is one that has been raised previously by the author. When discussing spherical near field measurements various approaches have been proposed for addressing this problem, that are also applicable to measurements taken over a conducting ground plane. In this paper we shall discuss some of the practical challenges involved in data collection and measurement methods when performing this type of measurement. Examples shall be taken from both spherical nearfield measurements of simple sources along with single-point at-horizon measurements to examine the challenges associated with these approaches. A notional approach for measuring realized power gain at the horizon will also be discussed.
Balun Design for CISPR 16-1-5 Calibration and Reference Test Site Verification
The CISPR 16-1-5 standard requires site attenuation (SA) measurements for the validation of Calibration Test Sites (CALTS) and Reference Test Sites (REFTS). CALTS validation requires horizontally-polarized SA measurements, while REFTS validation requires both horizontally- and vertically-polarized measurements. These measurements are made with tuned linear dipole antennas driven from coaxial transmission lines via balancing networks (baluns). According to the CISPR standard, the effects of the baluns are removed with a substitution measurement. Specifically, the baluns are connected back-to-back (balanced to balanced) with the elements removed and the port-to-port insertion loss then measured. This insertion loss is then subtracted from the port-to-port insertion loss with the antennas assembled and in place on the OATS. Thus, the measurement is a true RF substitution measurement. The baluns must be perfectly symmetric for this measurement to be sound. It is then accurate only if the baluns are very well matched simultaneously to both to the coaxial transmission lines and the dipole antennas. Essentially, the dipole-to-dipole transmission, the 2-port network which is substituted, would have to behave as a matched attenuator. In the CISPR standard SA measurements are made a a minimum of 24 specific frequencies between 30 and 1000 MHz. The height of the transmitting antenna above the ground plane in all cases is 2 m, but the height of the receive antenna varies in order to avoid a transmission null. For each one of these measurements it is possible to obtain a perfect match for each dipole antenna. However, the matching network would be different for each frequency and also for the different heights involved. Thus, there is impetus to use broadband baluns and resistive matching pads. If this approach is selected, neither dipole can be perfectly matched. Moreover, if the balun is required to operate over a broad bandwidth, it is difficult for itsperformance to be made so good that it could be considered ideal. By employing a full 4-port model for antenna-to-antenna transmission on an OATS between linear dipoles with imperfect baluns and thus unbalanced antennas, we assess measurement error for topologies of balun/attenuator combinations for the CISPR 16-1-5 SA measurements.
Increasing 4-D Imaging Radar Calibration Accuracy Using Compact Antenna Test Range
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as blind spot warning and braking assistants, have been in use for years to improve road security. ADAS are currently further promoted through the autonomous driving trend. Due to their cost / performance trade-off, the automotive industry perceives 4-D high-resolution radar sensors, as one of the backbones of autonomous driving. With human safety being at stake, the topic of calibration of these sensors is obviously of the utmost importance. Performing an accurate calibration requires a test condition where the target is in the far-field of the radar under test (RUT). Due to the requirements for angular resolutions, 77 / 79 GHz radars with 15 cm radiation aperture or more are quite common. Applying Fraunhofer formula then results into a necessary measurement range length of 11.5m. Because of the high cost of ownership of an adequate anechoic range, radar manufacturers usually limit their measurements to the strict minimum and try to simplify the calibration process. A typical approach is to go for a diagonal calibration where the target is always at boresight for each beam-formed pattern of the RUT. This technique however delivers a sub-optimal compensation of the RUT biases. In particular, it creates high peak-to-side-lobe ratios (PSLR), where energetic echoes are observable in directions of side lobes of each beam. This paper introduces a new system for radar measurements, made of a short-size focal length offset-fed compact antenna test range (CATR), interfaced with an analog echo generator. With a chamber size of only 0.9 m x 2 m x 1.6 m, the setup has been designed to test apertures up to 30 cm size. The quality of the quiet zone achieved is discussed in the paper, as well as various uncertainty contributions relating to radar measurements. Tests are presented which involve a latest generation 4-D imaging radar on chip (RoC). Results obtained in the CATR are compared to a reference 7 m far-field range. Diagonal and full angular calibrations of the RoC are carried out and analyzed, demonstrating an improvement of 10 dB PSLR when the target is swept over the complete azimuth region.
Nearfield Measurements on Integrated Antennas with a Frequency Convertor and Embedded Local Oscillator
Near-field measurements on antennas require magnitude and phase information dependent on the antenna position to support the near-field to far-field transformations. Modern active antennas are often integrated into frequency converters with embedded local oscillators (LO). For example, devices ranging from small 5G transceivers to large satellite payloads often need to be tested with the antenna integrated into the overall solution. There is no access to the embedded LO signal in these systems. The unknown phase of the embedded LO masks or corrupts the near-field phase measurement of the integrated antenna under test. A novel solution to this challenge is presented based on a new Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) platform. The system utilizes two stimulus signals (a measurement signal and a pilot signal) to characterize the antenna under test which is integrated into the frequency convertor. The pilot signal captures the phase information of the embedded LO, allowing the measurement signal to capture the antenna's magnitude and phase pattern as the antenna under test is moved within the near-field region.
Adding Phase to the Rotating-Source Antenna Polarization Measurement Method
The rotating-source measurement method is usually described as an amplitude only measurement method and the axial ratio is the only characteristic that can be measured. The article illustrates how adding a phase measurement allows to get the sense of polarization and to calculate the circular partial gains over a full cut-plane of the antenna under test. Simulations and a measurement example are shown.
Measurement Traceability in the CISPR 16-1-6 pattern measurements for CISPR 16-1-4 Site Validations
The publication of CISPR 16-1-6  in 2107 marked a significant change in the CISPR documents, for the first time the consideration of how to perform antenna pattern measurements in and determine the associated estimate of the uncertainty of those measurement. This is a look at that technique and presentation of how that helps and relates to measurement traceability.
Comparison and contrast of the antenna calibration methods of ANSI and CISPR
This is a brief comparison between the two recently released documents that detail the methods used for the calibration of antennas intended for use in measuring electromagnetic compatibility.
Measurements of Non-Metallic Targets for the Austin RCS Benchmark Suite
A simulation-supported measurement campaign was conducted to collect monostatic radar cross section (RCS) data as part of a larger effort to establish the Austin RCS Benchmark Suite, a publicly available benchmark suite for quantifying the performance of RCS simulations. In order to demonstrate the impact of materials on RCS simulation and measurement, various mixed-material targets were built and measured. The results are reported for three targets: (i) Solid Resin Almond: an almond-shaped low-loss homogeneous target with the characteristic length of ~10-in. (ii) Open Tail-Coated Almond: the surface of the solid resin almond's tail portion was coated with a highly conductive silver, effectively forming a resin-filled open cavity with metallic walls. (iii) Closed Tail-Coated Almond: the resin almond was manufactured in two pieces, the tail piece was coated completely with silver coating (creating a closed metallic surface), and the two pieces were joined. The measured material properties of the resin are reported; the RCS measurement setup, data collection, and post processing are detailed; and the uncertainty in measured data is quantified with the help of simulations.
GSS (Gated-Short-Short) Calibration for Free-space Material Measurements in millimeter-Wave Frequency Band
Electrical properties of materials are requisite to design electromagnetic (EM) devices and systems. Free-space material measurement method, where the measurands are the free-space scattering parameters of MUT (Material Under Test) located at the middle of transmit (Tx)/receive (Rx) antennas, is suitable for non-destructively testing MUT without prior machining and physical contact in high frequencies. In this paper, GSS (Gated-Short-Short) calibration method using a planar offset short is proposed for calibrating a free-space material measurement system and the measurement result is shown in W-band (75-110 GHz).
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.
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.
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