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Bistatic cross-polarization calibration
R.J. Jost,R.F. Fahlsing, November 1997

Calibration of monostatic radar cross section (RCS) has been studied extensively over many years, leading to many approaches, with varying degrees of success. To this day, there is still significant debate over how it should be done. In the case of bistatic RCS measurements, the lack of information concerning calibration techniques is even greater. This paper will present the results of a preliminary investigation into calibration techniques and their suitability for use in the correction of cross-polarization errors when data is collected in a bistatic configuration. Such issues as calibration targets and techniques, system stability requirements, etc. will be discussed. Results will be presented for data collected in the C and X bands on potential calibration targets. Recommendations for future efforts will also be presented.

Interlaboratory comparisons in polarimetric radar cross section calibrations
L.A. Muth,B. Kent, D. Hilliard, M. Husar, W. Parnell, November 1997

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is coordinating a radar cross section (RCS) interlaboratory comparison study using a rotating dihedral. As an important component of measurement assurance and of the proposed RCS certification program, interlaboratory comparisons can be used to establish repeatability (within specified uncertainty limits) of RCS measurements within and among measurement ranges. The global importance of intercomparison studies in standards metrology, recently conducted comparison studies at NIST, and the status of the first national RCS intercomparison study using a set of cylinders are discussed in [1]. In a companion program, we examine full polarimetric calibration data obtained using dihedrals and rods. Polarimetric data is essential for the complete description of scattering phenomena and for the understanding of RCS measurement uncertainty. Our intent is to refine and develop polarimetric calibration techniques and to estimate and minimize the correstponding measurement uncertainties. We apply theoretical results [2] to check on (1) data and (2) scattering model integrity. To reduce noise and clutter, we Fourier transform the scattering data as a function of rotation angle [2], and obtain the radar characteristics using the Fourier coefficients. Calibration integrity is checked by applying a variant of the dual cylinder calibration technique [3]. Future directions of this measurement program are explored.

Improved validation of IER results
J.C. Davis,L. Sheffield, November 1997

Image Editing and Reconstruction (IER) is used to estimate the RCS of component parts of a complex target. We discuss the general areas of controversy that surround the technique, and present a set of practical data processing procedures for assisting in validation of the process. First, we illustrate a simple technique for validating the end-to-end signal processing chain. Second, we present a procedure that compares the original unedited, but fully calibrated, RCS data with the summation of all IER components. For example, if we segregate the image into two components - component of interest, remainder of the target mounting structure plus other clutter - we require that the two patterns coherently sum to the original. This indirectly references the results to the calibration device. In addition, it provides a quantitative means of assessing the relative contribution of the component parts to overall RCS. We demonstrate the procedures using simulated and actual data.

Alignment errors and standard gain horn calibrations
M. Dich,H.E. Gram, November 1997

The DTU-ESA Spherical Near Field Antenna Test Facility in Lyngby, Denmark, which is operated in a cooperation between the Danish Technical University (DTU) and the European Space Agency (ESA), has for an ex­ tensive period of time been used for calibration of Standard Gain Horns (SGHs). A calibration of a SGH is performed as a spherical scanning of its near field with a subsequent near-field to far-field (NF-FF) transformation. Next, the peak directivity is determined and the gain is found by subtracting the loss from the directivity. The loss of the SGH is determined theoretically. During a recent investigation of errors in the measurement setup, we discovered that the alignment of the antenna positioner can have an extreme influence on the measurement accuracy. Using a numerical model for a SGH we will in this paper investigate the influence of some mechanical and electrical errors. Some of the results are verified using measurements. An alternative mounting of the SGH on the positioner which makes the measurements less sensitive to alignment errors is discussed.

Study of a corner reflector of finite thickness
P.S.P. Wei, November 1997

New measurements on the complete polarimetric responses from a 4" dihedral corner reflector from 4 to 18 GHz are presented. As a function of the azimuth, the vertically suspended object may present itself to the radar as a dihedral, a flat plate, an edge, a wedge, and combinations of these. A two­ dimensional method-of-moment (2-D MOM) code is used to model the perfectly electrical conducting (PEC) body, which allows us to closely simulate the radar responses and to provide insight for the data interpretation. Of particular interest are the frequency and angular dependences of the responses which yield information about the downrange separation of the dominant scattering centers, as well as their respective odd- or even-bounce nature. Use of the corner as a calibration target is discussed.

Mutual coupling measurements of a synthetic aperture Ka-band waveguide array
D.T. Fralick,M.C. Bailey, November 1997

NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is participating in a technology program element in Synthetic Aperture Microwave Radiometry. This includes deployable antenna technology for "sparse" arrays to provide improved spatial resolution with lower mass and less packaging volume. One instrument under consideration includes a deployable L-Band antenna made up of 16 slotted waveguide array elements. Mutual coupling between elements is known to be critical to the calibration and performance of these systems. Currently, waveguide element portions of a 37 GHz "minimum redundancy" array, on loan from the US Naval Research Laboratory, were characterized in an effort to develop a computer model of such a system. Coupling measurements were performed on the WR-28, slotted array elements at spacings out to 50 wavelengths. Measurement results will be used for radiometric modeling and validation of a new coupling prediction code developed at NASA LaRC.

RCS characterization on a portable pit with a foam column at VHF/UHF
M. Husar,J.H. Eggleston, November 1997

The RATSCAT radar cross section (RCS) measurement facility at Holloman AFB, NM is working to satisfy DoD and customer desires for certified RCS data. This paper discusses the low frequency characterization of the RATSCAT VHF/UHF Measurement System (RVUMS). The characterization was conducted on a portable pit with a 30' foam column at the RAMS site. System noise, clutter, backgrounds and generic target measurements are presented and discussed. Potential error sources are examined. The use of background subtraction and full polarimetric calibration are presented. Potential errors, which can occur from using certain cross-pol calibration techniques, are discussed. The phase relationship between each polarization components of the scattering matrix and cross-pol validation techniques are considered.

UWB noise radar using a variable delay line
E. Walton,I. Theron, S. Gunawan, November 1997

The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory (OSU/ESL) has built a series of radars that transmit UWB random noise. On receive, the signal is cross correlated with a delayed version of the transmitted signal. When the response of the system is taken as a function of the delay time, the result is proportional to the impulse response of the system. After background subtraction and calibration, the impulse response of the target results. We will present a description of the variable delay line system and show an example ISAR image made from measurements taken in the OSU compact range.

Accurate gain calibration procedure for large antennas
M.A.J. van de Griendt (Eindhoven University of Technology),V.J. Vokurka (Eindhoven University of Technology), November 1996

Gain calibration of circular horns and radiation pattern integration applying patterns in two principle planes only is accurate and does not require large computational or measurement effort. This technique is thus more practical than the integration over the entire angular domain, required in case of rectangular horns. However, for many types of AUT’s, additional errors may occur due to the differences in aperture size of the AUT and standard gain horn. The AUT will in many cases have physically larger aperture dimensions. Consequently, unknown test-zone field variations across this aperture can result in additional errors in gain determination. The new method uses a flat plate as a reference target. An RCS measurement of the flat plate is used to derive test-zone field characteristics over the same physical area as the AUT. Combined with the accurate gain calibration described above, field information is available over the entire area of interest and the accuracy in gain determination is increased. In this paper, experimental results and practical considerations of the method will be presented.

Study of interference between simple objects
P.S.P. Wei (Boeing Defense & Space Group),D.C. Bishop (Boeing Defense & Space Group), November 1996

New results on the complete scattering matrix measurements during the interference between a sphere and a second object are presented. The objects involved are strings of two sized, a rod, and a dihedral. In cases for the strings or the rod, in-phase oscillations in HH and VV are observed. For the dihedral, the HH and VV responses are exactly out-of-phase. We find that the results are in excellent agreement with the characteristics of the scatterer types. Use of targets other than the sphere for cross-polarized calibrations is discussed.

ISAR imaging using UWB noise radar
E. Walton (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory),S. Gunawan (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory), V. Fillimon (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory), November 1996

It is possible to build a very inexpensive radar which transmits wide band radio noise. On receive, the signal is cross correlated with a delayed version of the transmitted signal. In this paper we will discuss the design and operation of a UWB noise radar which was installed in the OSU compact RCS measurement range. Scattering measurements were made for a number of targets over 360 degrees of aspect angle. Calibration was performed, and then the data converted to ISAR images. Example ISAR images will be shown.

Indoor low frequency radar cross section measurements at VHF/UHF bands
A. Bati (Naval Air Warfare Center),D. Hillard (Naval Air Warfare Center) K. Vaccaro (Naval Air Warfare Center) D. Mensa (Integrated Systems Analysts, Incorporated), November 1996

In recent years there has been much interest in developing low frequency radar cross section (RCS) measurement capability indoors. Some of the principal reasons for an indoor environment are high security, all-weather 24-hour operation, and low cost. This paper describes recent efforts to implement VHF/UHF RCS measurement capability down to 100 MHz using the large compact-range collimator in the Bistatic Anechoic Chamber (BAC) at Point Mugu. The process leading to this capability has given rise to a number of technical insights that govern successful test results. An emphasis is placed on calibration and processing methodology and on measurement validation using long cylindrical targets and comparing the results with method-of-moment computer predictions and with measurements made at other facilities.

A 160 GHz polarimetric compact range for scale model RCS measurements
M.J. Coulombe (University of Massachusetts Lowell),J. Neilson (U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center), J. Waldman (University of Massachusetts Lowell), S. Carter (U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center), T. Horgan (University of Massachusetts Lowell), W. Nixon (U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center), November 1996

A fully-polarimetric compact range operating at 160 GHz has been developed for obtaining X-band RCS measurements on 1:16th scale model targets. The transceiver consists of a fast switching, stepped, CW, X-band synthesizer driving dual X16 transmit multiplier chains and dual X16 local oscillator multiplier chains. The system alternately transmits horizontal (H) and vertical (V) radiation while simultaneously receiving H and V. Software range-gating is used to reject unwanted spurious responses in the compact range. A flat disk and a rotating circular dihedral are used for polarimetric as well as RCS calibration. Cross-pol rejection ratios of better than 40 dB are routinely achieved. The compact range reflector consists of a 60” diameter, CNC machined aluminum mirror fed from the side to produce a clean 20” quiet zone. A description of this 160 GHz compact range along with measurement examples are presented in this paper.

Radar cross section range characterization
L.A. Muth (National Institute of Standards and Technology),B. Kent (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), J. Tuttle (Naval Air Warfare Center) R.C. Wittmann (National Institute of Standards and Technology), November 1996

Radar cross section (RCS) range characterization and certification are essential to improve the quality and accuracy of RCS measurements by establishing consistent standards and practices throughout the RCS industry. Comprehensive characterization and certification programs (to be recommended as standards) are being developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) together with the Government Radar Cross Section Measurement Working Group (RCSMWG). We discuss in detail the long term technical program and the well-defined technical criteria intended to ensure RCS measurement integrity. The determination of significant sources of errors, and a quantitative assessment of their impact on measurement uncertainty is emphasized. We briefly describe ongoing technical work and present some results in the areas of system integrity checks, dynamic and static sphere calibrations, noise and clutter reduction in polarimetric calibrations, quiet-zone evaluation and overall uncertainty analysis of RCS measurement systems.

Radar target scatter (RATSCAT) division low frequency range characterization
M. Husar (Air Force Development Test Center),F. Sokolowski (Johnson Controls World Services, Inc.), November 1996

The RATSCAT Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurement facility at Holloman AFB, NM is working to satisfy DoD and program office desires for certifies RCS data. The first step is to characterize the Low Frequency portion of the RATSCAT Mainsite Integrated Radar Measurement System (IRMS). This step is critical to identifying error budgets, background levels, and calibration procedures to support various test programs with certified data. This paper addresses characterization results in the 150 – 250 MHz frequency range. System noise, clutter, background and generic target measurements are presented and discussed. The use of background subtraction on an outdoor range is reviewed and results are presented. Computer predictions of generic targets are used to help determine measurement accuracy.

Evaluation of a CPTR using an RCS flat plate method
M.A.J. van de Griendt (Eindhoven University of Technology),V.J. Vokurka (Eindhoven University of Technology) J. Reddy (European Space Agency) J. Lemanczyk (European Space Agency), November 1996

Compact Payload Test Ranges (CPTR) for test zones of 5 meters or larger can be used for both payload and advanced antenna testing. In both cases accurate calibration, including amplitude and phase characteristics across the test zone, is required. Accurate data analysis is needed in order to establish corresponding error budgets. In addition, boresight determination will be required in both measurement types for most applications. Since it may be difficult or even impossible to scan the test zone field using a (planar) scanner, application of a large reference target (a rectangular or circular flat plate) can be seen as in interesting alternative. RCS measurements are then performed and test-zone field characteristics are determined in both amplitude and phase. Time- and spectral domain techniques can provide valuable information as to the location of possible disturbances. The evaluations is complemented with the measurement of a VAlidation STandard (VAST) antenna in combinations with an advanced APC technique. These techniques have been demonstrated at the CPTR at ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Results and practical considerations are presented in this paper.

On reducing primary calibration errors in radar cross section measurements
H. Chizever (Mission Research Corporation),Russell J. Soerens (Mission Research Corporation) Brian M. Kent (Wright Laboratory), November 1996

To accurately measure static or dynamic Radar Cross Section (RCS), one must use precise measurement equipment and test procedures. Recently, several DoD RCS ranges, including the Advanced Compact RCS Measurement Range at Wright-Patterson AFB, established procedures to estimate measurement error. Working cooperatively with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Wright Laboratory established a baseline error budget methodology in 1994. As insight was gained from the error budget process, we noted that many common RCS measurement calibration techniques are subject to a wide variety of potential error sources. This paper examines two common so-polarized calibration devices (sphere and squat cylinder), and discussed techniques for evaluating calibration induced errors. A rigorous “double calibration” methodology is offered to track calibration measurement error. These techniques should offer range owners fairly simple methods to monitor the quality of their primary calibration standards at all times.

Polarimetric calibration of nonreciprocal radar systems
L.A. Muth (National Institute of Standards and Technology),R.C. Wittmann (National Institute of Standards and Technology), W. Parnell (Air Force Development Test Center), November 1996

The calibration of nonreciprocal radars has been studied extensively. A brief review of known calibration techniques points to the desirability of a simplified calibration procedure. Fourier analysis of scattering data from a rotating dihedral allows rejection of noise and background contributions. Here we derive a simple set of nonlinear equations in terms of the Fourier coefficients of the data that can be solved analytically without approximations or simplifying assumptions. We find that independent scattering data from an additional target such as a sphere is needed to accomplish this. We also derive mathematical conditions that allow us to check calibration data integrity and the correctness of the mathematical model of the scattering matrix of the target.

Time and direction of arrival estimation of stray signals in a RCS/antenna range
I.J. Gupta (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory),E. Walton (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory), W.D. Burnside (The Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory), November 1996

A method to generate time and direction of arrival (TADOA) spectra of the quiet zone fields of a RCS/ antenna range is presented. The TADOA spectra is useful for locating the stray signal sources in the RCS/ antenna range. To generate the TADOA spectra, quiet zone fields along a linear scan over the desired frequency band are probed. The probed data are calibrated to remove the magnitude and non-linear phase variation versus frequency. A calibration technique is also proposed in the paper. The TADOA spectra for simulated probed data as well as experimental probed data are shown.

RFI measurement system for field sites, An
R.B. Dybdal,G.M. Shaw, T.T. Mori, November 1995

A portable system for measuring the RF environment at remote sites is described. A frequency range between 500 MHz and 18 GHz is covered by this system. The design, calibration and use of this system are discussed.
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