AMTA Paper Archive
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Compact Antenna Measurement Range for OTA testing of Active Antenna System Base Stations
Measurement scenarios for 5G mobile communications are nowadays challenging the industry to define suitable turn-key solutions that allow Over the Air (OTA) testing of non-connectorized devices. In order to respond to the needs of an effective measurement solution, that allow measuring all the required OTA parameters at both sub6GHz and mm-Wave frequencies and that could be deployed in a very short time, the Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) was chosen. In this paper, we will summarize the performance and the testing capabilities of a short focal-length, corner-fed CATR design, providing a 1.5 m x 1.5 m cylindrical Quiet Zone, operating from 1.7 GHz to 40 GHz and upgradeable to 110 GHz, allowing OTA measurements of Active Antenna System (AAS) Base Stations (BS), installed at Ericsson premises in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017.
Geometric Effects on Radar Echoes from a Corner Reflector
Radar data on the complete polarimetric responses from a 4" dihedral corner reflector from 4 to 18 GHz have been collected and studied. 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, or 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 reflector as a calibration target is discussed.
Rydberg Atom-based RF Power Measurements
The power transmitted through a waveguide was determined using in-situ atom-based electric field measurements. The field distribution in the waveguide was measured using Rydberg atoms to find the maximum field, which was used to determine the power. For a proof-of-concept, the power of radio frequency fields at 17.86, 19.63, 26.53, and 33.03 GHz were measured in a WR42 waveguide. A section of waveguide was sealed and filled with cesium atoms. These atom-based measurements are self-calibrated and independent of typical power measurement methods.
Measurement of Active Reflection Coefficient for Co-located MIMO Radar Using Dual Directional Couplers
This paper presents a way to determine mutual coupling effects through analysis of the active voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) to predict the presence of large reverse power levels in co-located multiple input multiple output (MIMO) radars in transmit mode. The methodology consists of measuring the forward and reverse waves on a dual directional coupler (DDC) to directly obtain the active reflection coefficient on a co-located MIMO radar system. The active VSWR of each individual antenna is computed from measurements of the active reflection coefficient. These results are compared against analytical methodologies.
Fully Probe Corrected Spherical Near Field Offset Measurements with Minimum Sampling Using the Translated-SWE Algorithm
The Translated Spherical Wave Expansion (TSWE) has recently been proposed as a very effective Near-Field-to-Far-Field (NF/FF) transformation tool for down-sampled Spherical Near Field (SNF) measurements with offset Antenna Under Test (AUT). In case of electrically small probes and/or small AUT-probe view angles the TSWE can be accurately applied without compensating for the probe effect. Instead, when electrically larger probes and/or larger view angles are considered, the measured signal is affected by an averaging field effect that should be properly compensated to ensure a good accuracy. In this paper the TSWE technique is applied for the first time tacking into account the full effect of the measuring probe. To validate the proposed technique, a standard gain horn intentionally displaced in offset configuration have been measured in SNF geometry with a first order probe and two different wideband higher-order antennas as probe.
Some Advantages of Using Bi-directional S-Parameters in Near-Field Measurements 1
The unknown-thru calibration technique is being used to achieve a system level calibration at millimeter wave frequencies (>50 GHz) on the robotic ranges at NIST. This two-port calibration requires the use of a full bi-directional measurement, instead of a traditional single-direction antenna measurement. We explored the value of the additional data acquired. We find that we can use this information to verify antenna/scan alignment, image the scattering from the positioner/facility, and perform a first order correction to the transmission data for uncertainties due to LO cable flexure.
Spot-Probe Reflectometer Measurements of Geological Core Slab Samples
Rock core specimens collected during surveys for oil drilling have, in a standard form, a 4" diameter. Cores are cut in half or in 1/3-2/3 sections to provide core slab. We developed a measurement procedure based on spot probe illumination to characterize geological and/or geochemical properties of core slab specimens via their complex permittivity for frequencies between 2.5 GHz and 20 GHz. Conventional reflectometer methods are based on illumination of a thin slab of air-or metal-backed material. However, in this case only the front surface is flat and the back surface is semicircular. A measurement method was developed based on time-domain gating to separate the back-surface reflection from that of the front. Material inversion is then based on the amplitude and phase of the reflection just from the front surface. This paper presents details of the calibration for this reflectometer measurement method, along with example measurements of core slab materials. Two different inversion methods are applied to these measured data. The first is a more conventional frequency-by-frequency method for inverting complex permittivity from the amplitude and phase of the reflection. The second method applies a physical model, the Debye relaxation model, to the data. This model-based approach minimizes the errors from edge diffraction from the small sample size.
Precision Optical Antenna Alignment System for Tracking Antennas in 6-DOF
We present on an all-optical spatial metrology system , the PiCMM, that aids in the alignment and tracking of antennas with accuracies on the order of 25 microns and 0.01 deg. This system speeds up millimeter-wave antenna alignment, does not require contact, and links spatial measurements to a laser tracker world coordinate frame. An automated Pixel Probe and dark-field imaging are used to directly measure the aperture geometry and its pose. These measurements are absolute in the world-frame of a laser tracker and associated coordinate metrol-ogy space of the antenna scanner. Thus, aperture geometries can be linked directly to any laser tracker target (i.e. 6DOF, 3DOF) and data such as that used to calibrate positioner kinematics. For example, the links and joints defining the Denavit-Hartenberg kinematic model of a robotic arm scanner. The new automated aspect of the system reduces alignment time to under an hour. The synergy with laser tracker targets allows for a high level of repeatability. Furthermore, antennas can be exchanged or realigned in the antenna scanner autonomously because antenna geometry and kinematic models reside in the same laser tracker coordinate metrology space.
Improved Nearfield Gain Measurement of High Gain Antennas Using Directivity and Loss Technique
Antenna gain is the product of directivity and antenna loss. Antenna gain is typically measured by comparing the antenna under test (AUT) to a standard gain horn (SGH) or direct gain measurement using a calibrated probe. This requires an accurate account of power into the AUT and SGH, the loss of all test cables and switches must be measured to obtain an accurate AUT gain. Additionally, SGH calibration uncertainty reduces the quality of the measurement. The gain measurement technique describe here exploits the near-field range capability of accurately producing the pattern of high gain antennas. The near-field range allows the full wave capture of antenna aperture fields and transformation to the far-field with high resolution. The new technique uses the directivity obtained by integrating the far-field pattern, accounts for the spill-over energy not measured by the near-field range, and uses measured network losses of the AUT. It does not require measured losses of test cables and switches. Since AUT losses are typically measured as part of antenna integration the technique reduces overall measurement burden. Accurate calculation of spill-over energy is the key to success. The technique has been shown to yield better accuracy than the typical gain calibration method for multi-beam high gain antennas.
Extending the Scan Volume of Planar Near-Field Scanners with AUT Rotation
Planar near-field ranges are popular facilities to evaluate far-field antenna patterns. These ranges typically have the scanner plane parallel to the Antenna Under Test (AUT). Having the scanner plane parallel to the AUT can limit the maximum far-field angles that can be properly measured due to the mechanical extents over which the range can accommodate. This paper summarizes a test approach where the AUT is rotated in the near-field such that sufficient energy is concentrated within the range extents, ultimately resulting in an accurate far-field pattern. Measured results will be shown which demonstrate the limitations of the current testing approach, as well as the benefits of the near-field rotation approach.
DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility -2017/18 Upgrade and Validation Measurements with the DTU-ESA VAST12 Antenna
This paper documents the various elements of the 2017/18 upgrade and presents results from the performance validation measurements with the DTU-ESA 12 GHz Validation Standard antenna conducted before and after the upgrade. The upgrade concerned several major improvements to the building infrastructure, the ventilation system, the antenna positioner, and the probe positioner. The validation measurements involved the averaging of measurements at different distances between the antenna under test and the probe to compensate the multiple reflections between these. This in turn necessitated the investigation of the compensation of the system drift between the measurements and of the sensitivity of the probe calibration to the position of the probe on the probe positioner.
Power Density Measurement at 5G Millimeter-Wave Using Inverse Source Method
5G user equipment, such as mobile terminals and tablets shall comply with radio frequency (RF) safety guidelines. At millimeter-wave frequencies, human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is evaluated in terms of incident power density, i.e., free space Poynting vector. As, the electrical size of mobile terminals increase with higher frequencies, longer testing times are needed to determine power densities in the proximity of devices by traditional scanning. A new approach to accurately determine the power densities in close vicinity to a device is based on standard near-field measurements and processing by the inverse source method. This method is faster, simpler, and thus desirable compared to dedicated scan on a device dependent surface. The new method uses the capabilities of the equivalent current expansion to determine the power density by NF/NF transformation on any surface and at any distances according to the safety normative. The method was presented on a device in  by comparison to simulated power densities. Although correlations were promising, some discrepancies were likely due to the approximated numerical model of the device. In this paper, the SH4000, Dual Ridge Horn, with well-known full wave model is investigated to validate the power density determination against accurate simulations.
Coupling Suppression and Measurements on a Millimeter Wave Cylindrical Repeater
This paper discusses some aspects of isolation improvement and associated measurements on a cylindrical millimeter-wave repeater operating over K, Ka and V bands. The isolation between the transmitting and receiving antennas is improved by means of reactive impedance surface implemented as tapered depth corrugations. The designed tapered depth profile broadens bandwidth of the surface compared to the traditional quarter wavelength corrugations. Required isolation of 80 dB and large electrical size of the platform make numerical analysis and actual measurements challenging. Details of the analysis and measurements are summarized. Along with external coupling, the coupling due to leakages from waveguide components and antennas is also discussed. Measurements confirm that the design goal isolation is accomplished.
Reference Chip Antenna for 5G Measurement Facilities at mm-Wave
In this paper, we present a chip antenna in the 27GHz band, targeting 5G measurements. This antenna can be used as reference in mm-wave measurement systems, such as the MVG µ-Lab, feeding the antenna under test through a micro-probe station. The reference antenna is employed to calibrate in gain through the substitution method. The antenna shown in this paper is an array of four patches, fed through a strip-line beam forming network. A transition strip-line to coplanar waveguide allows the antenna be fed by the micro-probe.
Top-fed P-band Dual Circular Polarization Patch Antenna Design
This paper discusses about the design, fabrication and testing of a compact P-band (370 MHz) dual circular polarization (CP) patch antenna. The antenna is intended for reflectometry applications by measuring both direct and ground reflected 370 MHz signals transmitted from a satellite or airborne source. This design adopts quadrature-phase hybrid feeding network for achieving excellent polarization purity and supporting simultaneously LHCP and RHCP measurements. Another novel design aspect is placing the feeding network on top of the patch so that the antenna can be mounted directly on a ground plane. Therefore, the resonant modes inside the patch is excited from the top instead of from ground plane as in conventional designs. High dielectric material (ECCOSTOCK®HiK) with a dielectric constant of 9 and loss tangent of 0.002 was used as the substrate to reduce the antenna size. The final antenna has a dimension of 5.9" x 5.9" x 1.3" (excluding ground plane) and weight of 1620 gram. The measured performance on a 1-foot diameter circular ground plane showed 4.5 dBic gain and 23 dB co-polarization to cross-polarization isolation at the center frequency for both LHCP and RHCP. The 1-dB gain bandwidth is approximately 3.7%.
Near Field Reconstruction for Electromagnetic Exposure of 5G Communication Devices
Compliance with regulatory exposure requirements of power density for 5G systems will need accurate measurements. In this work a near field measurement technique for electromagnetic exposure of 5G communication devices is presented. The technique requires two measurements, one of a device under test and one of a small aperture as a calibration measurement. The method uses method of moments and involves reconstructing equivalent currents on a predefined surface. These currents are then used to generate and propagate the electromagnetic fields to an arbitrary plane and further compute the power density. The measurement data are obtained through a planar scan of a device under test using a probe and probe calibration using a small aperture to obtain an accurate field with absolute positioning. Measurement data is presented and compared with simulations for several distances and two antennas, operating at 28 GHz and 60 GHz. The computed power density agrees well with simulations.
Effective Polarization Filtering Techniques for Ground Penetrating Radar Applications
The effect of different decomposition techniques on the imaging and detection accuracy for polarimet-ric surface penetrating data is studied. We derive the general expressions for coherent polarimetric decomposition using the Stokes parameters and model based polarimetric decomposition using the Yamaguchi technique. These techniques are applied to multi-frequency (0.4-4.8GHz) full polarimetric near-field radar measurements of scattering from surface laid calibration objects and shallow buried landmine types and show in detail how the decomposition results provide effective surface and sub-surface clutter reduction and guide the interpretation of scattering from subsurface objects. Data processing methods assume cross-polar symmetry and a novel bistatic calibration procedure was developed to enforce this condition. The Yamaguchi polarimetric decomposition provides significant clutter reduction and image contrast with some loss in signal power; while Stokes parameters also provide imagery localising targets, complementary information on the scattering mechanism is also obtained. Finally a third novel polarimetric filter was formulated based on differential interferometric polarimetric decomposition. The three combined techniques contribute to a significant improvement of subsurface radar performance and detection image contrast.
Evaluation of Software Defined Radio Receiver for Phaseless Near-Field Measurements
This paper presents a time domain antenna measurement technique by using a low cost software defined radio receiver. The technique aims to resolve measurement challenges derived from antennas where the reference signal is not accessible. The phase reconstruction implemented in this work is based on calculating the Fast Fourier Transform of the time domain signal to estimate the power spectrum and the relative phase between measurement points. In order to do that a reference antenna is used to retrieve the phase, providing a full characterization in amplitude and phase of the electric field and allowing source reconstruction. The results demonstrate the potential of this technique for new antenna measurement systems and reveal some of the limitations of the technique to be optimized, like the undesired reflections due to the interactions between the probe and the reference antenna.
A study of the Low-frequency Coaxial Reflectometer measurement procedure for evaluation of RF absorbers' reflectivity -II
The Low frequency Coaxial Reflectometer is the recommended procedure to measure the absorbers' reflectivity as per the IEEE 1128-1998 standard. The standard recommends the operable frequency range up to 500 MHz with a permissible error of 2 dB and higher error beyond 600 MHz. This paper studies and discusses the error on different types of absorber. Each of the absorber type is simulated in the square section of the reflectometer setup to compute the absorber's reflectivity using Ansys HFSS. An effective time gating technique is applied to reduce the effect of edge effects. These results are compared to the unit cell simulation results with a plane wave excitation and periodic boundary conditions. The absorbers are then simulated in the complete reflectometer setup to include the mismatch associated with the transition and compared to the unit cell model results. The errors associated with the comparison of the absorbers' simulation results for these different models are analyzed. The combination of these different absorbers is simulated in unit cell model. The absorbers are placed in different regions and orientations inside the reflectometer. The comparison between the unit cell results of the combination of the absorbers and the results of the absorbers inside the reflectometer in different orientations give the effect of the non-uniform field distribution inside the reflectometer.
Enhanced PNF Probe Positioning in a Thermally-Uncontrolled Environment using Stable AUT Monuments
The need for thermal stability in a test chamber is a well-established requirement to maintain the accuracy and repeatability sought for high frequency planar near-field (PNF) scanner measurements. When whole chamber thermal control is impractical or unreliable, there are few established methods for maintaining necessary precision over a wide temperature range. Often the antenna under test (AUT) itself will require a closed-loop thermal control system for maintaining stable performance due to combined effects from transmission heat dissipation and the environment. In this paper, we propose a new approach for near-field system design that leverages this AUT stability, while relaxing the requirement of strict whole chamber thermal control. Fixed reference monuments strategically placed around the AUT aperture perimeter, when measured periodically with a sensing probe on the scanner, allow for the modeling and correction of the scanner positioning errors. This process takes advantage of the assumed stability of the reference monuments and attributes all apparent monument position changes to distortions in the scanner structure. When this monument measurement process is coupled with a scanner structure that can tolerate wide thermal variations, using expansion joints and kinematic connections, a robust structural error correction model can be generated using a bilinear mapping function. Application of such a structure correction technique can achieve probe positioning performance similar to scanners that require tightly controlled environments. Preliminary results as well as a discussion on potential design variations are presented.
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