AMTA Paper Archive
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High resolution imaging radar for ground-based diagnostic applications, A
Lincoln Laboratory has developed a high resolution imaging radar in conjunction with Flam & Russell, Inc., of Horsham, PA. This highly mobile, ground-based system is capable of 2-D and 3-D imaging of targets at very close ranges to a synthetic aperture. The radar is fully-polarimetric, and operates over two frequency bands (0.05-2 GHz and 2-18 GHz). The radar is currently being used for target imaging and for foliage and ground penetration experiments. In this paper, the radar system is described. In addition, data calibration and image formation are explained. Sample imagery, both 2-D and 3-D, are shown.
Dual-frequency,dual-polarized millimeter wave antenna characterization
The radiation characteristics for a dual-frequency, dual-polarized millimeter wave antenna for a radar operating at 33 and 95-GHz were measured at the Ipswich Research Facility. On-pole and cross-pole radiation patterns were measured using the 2600 foot far field range. In this paper we'll discuss the general design of the antenna feed system and the instrumentation ensemble used to perform the far field characterization of this high performance large aperture dielectric lens antenna.
Automated test sequencer for high volume near-field measurements, An
Test sequencing flexibility and high throughput are essential ingredients to a state-of-the-art near-field test range. This paper will discuss methods used by NSI to aid the operator through the near-field measurement process. The paper will describe NSI's expert system and customer applications of a unique test and processing sequencer developed by NSI for optimizing range measurement activities. The sequencer provides powerful control of software functions including multiplexed measurements, data processing and unattended test operations.
Measurement speed and accuracy in switched signal measurements
The interdependence of accuracy and speed should be considered when analyzing measurement requirements. Tradeoffs can be made to optimize the measurement when accuracy is of primary importance, or where speed is critical. Several different measurement modes of the HP 8530A Microwave Receiver are presented, each with different measurement speed and accuracy tradeoffs. Examples are given that illustrate which acquisition modes would be appropriate to optimize the acquisition speed and accuracy in a variety of applications
Free space characterization of materials
A simple change to the HP8510C or HP8720C vector network analyzer block diagram coupled with the TRM (Thru Reflect Match) calibration leads to accurate measurements of the material properties of flat samples. Algorithms developed for transmission line measurements can also be used in free space measurements. A description of recent improvements in the transmission/reflection algorithms is reviewed. Free space measurement results based on the transmission/reflection algorithms found in the HP85071B materials measurement software package are presented.
Demonstration of bistatic electromagnetic scattering measurements by spherical near-field scanning, A
The far-field radar cross section (RCS) of a conducting sphere is obtained by transforming scattered near-fields measured on a spherical surface. A simple and convenient calibration procedure is described that involves measuring the incident field directly at the target location. Although a non probe-corrected transmission formula was used in this study the importance of prove correction in practice is demonstrated.
Substitution and 3-antenna measurements of an 8-element VHF ocean-buoy antenna
A description of antenna measurements performed on an ocean-buoy mounted antenna array is given. The array is designed to measure the E and H fields of a received wavefront at four different heights over the ocean. Four collocated electrically-small loop-dipole antenna pairs at 2 meter height spacings were integrated into a non-conducting buoy support structure. The frequency band was 50-250 MHz. Data was taken with both the Substitution (2-antenna) and 3 Antenna Measurement Methods for comparison purposes. The ground plane range that was used is described as well as the various range setups used to accumulate all of the required data.
Planar near-field measurements of low-sidelobe antennas
The planar near-field measurement technique is a proved technology for measuring ordinary antennas operating in the microwave region. The development of very low-sidelobe antennas raised the question whether this technique could be used to accurately measure these antennas. We show that data taken with an open-ended waveguide probe and processed with the planar near-field methodology including the probe correction, can be used to accurately measure the sidelobes of very low-sidelobe antennas to levels of -55 to -60 dB relative to the main-beam peak. We discuss the major sources of error and show that the probe antenna interaction is one of the limiting factors in making accurate measurements. The test antenna for this study was a slotted-waveguide array whose low sidelobes were known. The near-field measurements were conducted on the NIST planar near-field facility
Experimental range facility for RCS measurement and imaging research
A small compact range measurement facility has been installed at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) for research aimed at improving RCS measurement and radar imaging techniques. This paper describes the facility, which is referred to as the Experimental Range Facility (ERF). The ERF has two instrumentation radars; a Flam & Russell FR959 gated CW radar and a Hughes MMS-300 pulsed radar. The radars are connected to a suite of workstations, which support a variety of internally and externally developed radar imaging and data exploitation software. The ERF is also equipped with sophisticated target positioning control and sensing equipment.
Time-frequency distribution analysis of frequency-dispersive scattering using the wavelet transformation
Time-frequency distributions (TFD) describe a signal in terms of its joint time and frequency content. In this paper, it will be shown that TFDs are particularly useful for the analysis of frequency-dispersive electromagnetic scattering. A TFD based on the wavelet transform (WT) of the scattering data is presented. As an example, measured scattering from a waveguide cavity is considered. It is shown that the wavelet TFD can provide good time resolution for specular/point scattering features, and good frequency resolution for resonant features. Application to the scattering data from the KC-135 aircraft in flight shows that the WT is capable of detecting the resonant modes of the engine outlets of the aircraft.
Prediction of phased array antenna sidelobe performance based on element pattern statistics
Phased array antenna sidelobe levels are evaluated based on the statistics of the differences in element patterns. It is shown that the differences can be treated as random errors. The standard formula for predicting the average sidelobe level of an array due to random errors is valid if the interaction between the element patterns and the excitation function is taken into account. Sidelobes of a linear array with a variety of near-field perturbations are considered. The statistics indicate that for an N-element array, adaptive calibrations may lower the average sidelobe level by a factor of N.
In flight VHF/UHF antenna pattern measurement technique for multiple antennas and multiple frequencies
The Precision Airborne Measurement System (PAMS) is a flight test facility at Rome Laboratory which is designed to measure in-flight aircraft antenna patterns. A capability which provides antenna pattern measurements for multiple VHF and UHF antennas, at multiple frequencies, in a single flight, has recently been demonstrated. A unique half space VHF/UHF long periodic antenna is used as a ground receive antenna. Computerized airborne and ground instrumentation are used to provide the multiplexing capability. The new capability greatly reduces time and cost of flight testing. The design, construction, and calibration of the half-space log-periodic ground receiving antenna is discussed and the ground and airborne segments of the instrumentation are described.
Ground and airborne calibration of the ground to air imaging radar
A Ground to Air Imaging Radar system (GAIR) used to perform diagnostic imaging and total RCS measurements on low observable airborne targets has been developed by the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM). In order to ensure accurate measurement of the scatterers contributing to a target's radar signature, proper calibration in imperative. The use of external calibrators to measure the end-to-end system transfer function is the ideal way to perform a system calibration. However, this is a more difficult and challenging task with a ground based radar viewing an airborne target, as opposed to a traditional airborne SAR which views an array of ground based trihedral corner reflectors. This paper will discuss the internal and external calibration methods used in performing an end-to-end system calibration of the GAIR. Primary emphasis is placed upon the external calibration of the GAIR and the three independent measurements utilized: a ground based corner reflector, a sphere drop, and an in-scene calibrator. The system calibration results demonstrate that the GAIR is an accurately calibrated radar system capable of providing calibrated images and total RCS data. Moreover, only the ground and internal measurements are required on a daily basis in order to maintain system calibration
HARC/STAR Microwave Measurement Facility: measurement and calibration results, The
Numerous monostatic radar cross-section (RCS) calibration routines exist in the literature. Many of these routines have been implemented at the RCS measurement facility built at the Houston Advanced Research Center in The Woodlands, TX. Key monostatic results are presented to give an indication of the measurement accuracy achievable with this chamber. Unfortunately, bistatic calibration routines are not nearly as common in the literature. As with the monostatic routines, a number of bistatic routines have been implemented and typical results are presented. Additionally, descriptions are given for some of the reference targets along with their support structures that are used during calibration.
New extrapolation/spherical/cylindrical measurement facility at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, A
A new multi-purpose antenna measurement facility was put into operation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1993. This facility is currently used to perform gain, pattern, and polarization measurements on probes and standard gain horns. The facility can also provide spherical and cylindrical near-field measurements. The frequency range is typically from 1 to 75 GHz. The paper discusses the capabilities of this new facility in detail. The facility has 10 m long horizontal rails for gain measurements using the NIST developed extrapolation technique. This length was chosen so that gain calibrations at 1 GHz could be performed on antennas with apertures as large as 1 meter. This facility also has a precision phi-over-theta rotator setup used to perform spherical near-field, probe pattern and polarization measurements. This setup uses a pair of 4 m long horizontal rails for positioning antennas over the center of rotation of the theta rotator. This allows antennas up to 2 m in length to be accommodated for probe pattern measurements. A set of 6 meter long vertical rails that are part of the source tower gives the facility that added capability of performing cylindrical near-field measurements. Spherical and cylindrical near-field measurements can be performed on antennas up to 3.5 m in diameter.
Dynamic Radar Cross Section Measurements
Unique instrumentation is required for dynamic (in-flight) measurements of aircraft radar cross section (RCS), jammer-to-signal (J/S), or chaff signature. The resulting scintillation of the radar echo of a dynamic target requires special data collection and processing techniques to ensure the integrity of RCS measurements. Sufficient data in each resolution aspect cell is required for an accurate representation of the target's signature. Dynamic RCS instrumentation location, flight profiles, data sampling rates, and number of simultaneous measurements at different frequencies are important factors in determining flight time. The Chesapeake Test Range (CTR), NAVAIRWARCENACDIV, Patuxent River, Maryland, is a leader in quality dynamic in-flight RCS, J/S ratio, and chaff measurements of air vehicles. The facility is comprised of several integrated range facilities including range control, radar tracking, telemetry, data acquisition, and real-time data processing and display.
Modeling System Reflections To Quantify RCS Measurement Errors
RCS measurement accuracy is degraded by reflections occurring between the feed antenna, the range, and the radar subsystem. These reflections produce errors which appear in the image domain (both 1-D and 2-D). The errors are proportional to the RCS magnitude of the target under test and they are present in each of the typical range calibration measurements. Current 2-term error models do not predict or account for the above errors. An improved 8-term error model is developed to do so. The model is based on measurable reflections and losses within the range, the feed antenna, and the radar. By combining the improved error model with the commonly used 2-term RCS range calibration equation, we are able to quantify the residual RCS errors. The improved error model is validated with measured results on a direct illumination range and is used to develop specific techniques which can improve RCS measurement accuracy.
Dynamic air-to-air imaging measurement system
METRATEK has completed a highly successful program to prove the feasibility of high-resolution, air-to-air diagnostic radar cross section imaging of large aircraft in flight. Experience with the system has proven that large aircraft can indeed be imaged in flight with the same quality and calibration accuracy that can be achieved with indoor and outdoor ranges. This paper addresses the results of those measurements and the Model 100 AIRSAR radar and processing system that were used on this program.
Calibration of mismatch errors in antenna gain measurements
This paper describes a calibration technique for reducing the errors due to mismatch between the measurement receiver and the antenna in microwave antenna relative gain measurements. In addition, this technique provides an accurate method for measuring the input return loss of the antenna under test. In this technique, a microwave reflectometer is mounted between the measurement receiver and the antenna test port. The reflectometer is calibrated and used to measure the return loss of both the test and calibration antennas. Using this information in conjunction with the HP 8530A antenna gain calibration, the corrected gain of the antenna under test is computed. Compact range antenna measurements verifying the calibration model and error analysis are presented. Practical implementation considerations are discussed.
A Full RCS calibration technique using a dihedral corner reflector
A full RCS calibration technique using a dihedral corner reflector is presented in this paper. This scheme is valid for monostatic configuration and characterized by three aspects: (1) the frequency responses of four measurement channels can be mutually independent and thus, no special care has to be taken for signal paths; (2) only scattering matrix measurements of the dihedral at two orientations about the line-of-sight direction are needed since the transmitter and receiver are related through the reciprocity theorem; and (3) simple and useful expressions are used to solve for the calibration parameters. This technique is verified by several 2-18 GHz wideband RCS measurements performed in the OSU/ESL compact range.
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