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Compact Range
Evaluation of a compact range for millimeter wave antenna measurements
J.H. Pape (Scientific-Atlanta Inc.), November 1980
The compact antenna range has been recognized as an effective means of testing microwave antennas. Antennas which normally require long outdoor ranges for testing can be tested under far field conditions at an indoor facility, using the compact range. The compact range operates on the principal that a parabolic reflector will transform an incident spherical wave into a collimated plane wave in its near zone. The plane wave produced is suitable for testing antennas, thus simulating far field electromagnetic criteria in the near zone. The typical compact range is housed in a room approximately 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high. The performance of the compact range has been well documented and specified over a frequency range of 3.95 GHz to 18.0 GHz. Now, through recent testing performed at Scientific-Atlanta, the compact range can be specified for operation up through 60.0 GHz. This paper describes the tests that were performed, discussed the results of these tests and establishes performance specifications for operation at these millimeter frequency bands.
Verification testing of a spherical near-field algorithm
D.W. Hess (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.),Joseph J. Tavormina (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.), November 1981
Over the past year an extensive set of verification tests has been made on a particular test antenna in order to confirm the design and operation of a spherical near-field algorithm. The measurement checks included data taken at two frequencies at three range lengths, with two coordinate orientations and with two types of probe horns. Comparisons were made against the compact range and among the various spherical near-field tests. In this talk we show examples from this program of measurements and summarize the results which demonstrate the operation of the spherical near-field scanning technique.
New class in compact ranges
V.J. Vokurka (Eindhoven University of Technology), November 1981
Compact Antenna Ranges (C.R.) proved to suitable for indoor measurements of antennas of moderate size (up to about 4 feet) in the frequency ranges from 4-18 GHz. Where less accurate measurements are allowed, the upper frequency limit can be as high as 60 GHz in current C.R. design. Dimensions of such a range are approximately 4 times larger (in linear dimension) than those of the test antenna. This is due to the face that there is a considerable taper in the amplitude over the aperture of the C.R. Considerable improvements in the electrical performance may be expected for ranges in which two crossed parabolic cylindrical reflectors are used. Due to the increased focal length the uniformity of the amplitude distribution across the final aperture is increased considerably compared to conventional design. Furthermore, an asymmetrical plane-wave zone can be created which makes it possible to measure the patterns of asymmetrical antennas or devices including the direct environment (antennas on aircraft or spacecraft). A compact range which consists of a main reflector with overall dimensions of 2x2 metres has been used for experimental investigation in the 8-70 GHz frequency band. At 10 GHz the plane-wave zone has a slightly elliptical shape (100x90cm). The amplitude variations are in this case less than 0.3dB; the corresponding phase errors are less than 4 degrees. It has been shown that the reflectivity level can be kept below –60dB. Only a minor degradation in performance was found at 70 GHz. In conclusion, the performance of this new compact range is as good as, or better than that of most outdoor ranges. The upper frequency limit is about 100 GHz for ranges of moderate size (up to 3 metres). Summarizing, the main advantages compared to other compact ranges are: -Larger test zone area (up to 2x) for the same C.R. reflector size -better crosspolar performance -considerably higher upper frequency limit The last-named is due to the cylindrical reflector surfaces, which are easier and cheaper to manufacture than double-curved surfaces.
Testing of Reflector Antennas (4-8 ft. dia.) at S-Band (2GHz) and K-Band (23 GHz) on a Compact Range
R.J. Meier (General Electric), November 1982
Test results will be presented for a four foot S-Band reflector antenna together with the compact range modification and test verification at 2.2 GHz. Similarly compact range test results will be presented for an eight foot K-band reflector antenna at 23 GHz.
Field probe measurements and stray signal evaluation of a spherical near-field range
D.W. Hess (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.), November 1982
Just as with far-field or compact ranges, it is important to evaluate spherical near-field ranges with electromagnetic field-probe measurements. Recall that the fundamental motion for utilizing the spherical near-field measurement technique is to permit antenna measurements to be made at short range lengths, relieved from the constraint of the far-field criterion. Just as the illumination function in the test zone of an ideal far-field range is a uniform planar wavefront, the ideal illumination function for a near-field range is a spherical wavefront from an elemental dipole. The field probe measurements provide a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the deviation of either a near-field or far-field range from ideal conditions.
An Airborne S-band telemetry antenna system which uses a Luneberg lens aperture
W.O. Copeland (Kentron International, Inc.), November 1982
An S-band telemetry antenna system was designed and fabricated using a 30-inch diameter lightweight Luneberg lens as the aperture. It is equipped with four feeds in the azimuth plane to achieve single beam patterns or multiple beam patterns. Initial measurements with the lens without a radome were made with various feeds and feed combinations in the compact range of the Georgia Tech Engineering Experiment Station. The final design also done by Georgia Tech to Kentron Specifications, uses a custom designed quad ridged circular feed with orthogonal linear polarization outputs which are converted to left- and right-hand circular polarization using 90o hybrid couplers. A control panel permits the operator to manually select a single beam coverage of 11o x 11o, twobeams combined for 22o x 11o sector coverage, or four beams combined for 44o azimuth x 11o elevation sector coverage. A automatic mode permits the full gain of a single beam, about 22 dB, to be attained and switched automatically to the RF feed containing the greatest signal power as sensed by eight total power radiometer receivers; one for each orthogonal polarization for each of the four antenna feeds. Selectable integration time constants are 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 milliseconds. Dependable switching is obtained for signals of -99 dBm or greater. The RF switching is achieved by PIN-diode switches in 10 nanoseconds. The system employs eight state-of-the-art gain and phase matches GaAs FET low-noise preamps which have a noise figure of 1.1 dB and gain of 51 dB. External limiters at the input of each LNA protect the devices from accidental RF inputs up to six watts average power. The system was designed as a removable package to be flown aboard the U.S. Army’s C-7A Caribou aircraft with an opened rear cargo ramp to collect terminal TM data from missile reentry vehicles (RV’s) impacting near the Kwajalein Missile Range. Flight testing of the system against target of opportunity missions began the third week of June 1982. The system is expected to be declared an operational system in support of ballistic missile testing by December 1982.
Conceptual Analysis of Radar Cross-Section Measurements on Compact Ranges
D.W. Hess (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.),Richard C. Johnson (Georgia Institute of Technology), November 1982
A strong emphasis is now being placed on techniques for reduction of radar cross-section. A missile or aircraft which is invisible to radar has an important strategic advantage. With this fact in mind, the user of a weapons system may place an upper limit on the radar cross-section that he will permit his missile or aircraft to have. The designer must then make use of “stealth technology” to reduce the cross-section to an acceptable level. In order to verify the design, radar cross-section measurements must be made. Thus the current emphasis on cross-section reduction leads to an important need for accurate and reliable methods of measuring radar cross-section.
Testing of a large reflector antenna at 20/30 GHz on a compact range
R.J. Meier (General Electric Co.), November 1983
Test techniques and test results will be presented on Compact Range testing of a 1.9m offset reflector at 20/30 GHz. The antenna is part of a demonstration model for an intersatellite link antenna system.
Gain comparison measurements in spherical near-field scanning
D.W. Hess (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.),J.R. Jones (Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.), November 1983
A set of near-field measurements has been performed by combining the methods of non-probe-corrected spherical near-field scanning and gain standard substitution. In this paper we describe the technique used and report on the results obtained for a particular 24 inch 13 GHz paraboloidal dish. We demonstrate that the gain comparison measurement used with spherical near-field scanning give results in excellent agreement with gain comparison used with compact range measurement. Lastly we demonstrate a novel utilization of near-field scanning which permits a gain comparison measurement with a single spherical scan.
An Antenna Test Range for Satellite Payload Tests
A. Saitto (European Space Agency),D.C. Patel (European Space Agency), November 1983
Conventional antenna test techniques – both far field “slant ranges” and near field – pose limitations for radiative RF testing of satellite antennas and payload systems, of increasing complexity in terms of size, operating frequencies, configurations and technology, particularly when such systems need to be evaluated in their “in-situ” locations on typical satellite platforms, in their flight configurations. Often, combination of tests and simulation has been the only recourse for evaluating system performance. In this paper, a methodology is proposed to achieve these test objectives via the use of a suitable configures, wideband, large (Quiet zone 7m x 5m x 5m), compact range for evaluation od system parameters like E.I.R.P., G/T, C/I, BER, and RF sensing performances. The test plan and evaluation schemes appropriate for these tests are elaborated to demonstrate the validity and usefulness of the approach. For some specific parameters like C/I (for a multibeam payload system) and the radar parameters (for a satellite borne radar system), it turns out that the proposed test methodologies offer the only realistic and complete tool for evaluating such system at satellite level.
Millimeter wave antenna measurements
M. S. Morse (Boeing Aerospace Company), November 1984
Millimeter wave antenna measurements are hampered by a lack of cost effective automated test equipment and the necessity of using unwieldy waveguide set-ups. This paper describes some practical considerations in using readily available test equipment to perform accurate, repeatable antenna measurements. Experimental results of gain, polarization and sidelobe level measurements will be discussed and compared with calculated results.
A Dual shaped compact range for EHF antenna measurements
J.K. Conn (Harris Corporation),C. L. Armstrong (Harris Corporation), L. S. Gans (Harris Corporation), November 1984
A dual offset shaped reflector compact range is described. Improvements over the traditional single reflector, apex-fed compact range are outlined and discussed. A design plan for a dual offset shaped reflector compact range for EHF antenna measurement is presented.
Cylindrical near field test facility for UHF Television Transmitting Antennas
J.A. Donovan (Harris Corporation),E.B. Joy (Georgia Institute of Technology), November 1984
This paper describes a horizontal, cylindrical surface, near-field measurement facility which was designed and constructed in 1984 and is used for the determination of far field patterns from near field measurement of UHF television transmitting antennas. The facility is also used in antenna production as a diagnostic and alignment tool.
The New ANSI RF Radiation Exposure Standard: Its Background and Impact
D.E. Hudson (Lockheed Aircraft Service Company), November 1984
This presentation will focus on the recently revised ANSI C95 RF Radiation Exposure Standard. Some of the research background for the new standard will be given, and its impact will be explained. Instrumentation guidelines for measuring potentially hazardous fields will be presented. The possible damaging effects of non-ionizing RF radiation is receiving increased attention in the public eye, and it behooves the practicing antenna engineer to be aware of the potential dangers to health and safety from exposure of RF energy.
A Dual shaped compact range for EHF antenna measurements
J.K. Conn (Harris Corporation),C. L. Armstrong (Harris Corporation), L. S. Gans (Harris Corporation), November 1984
A dual offset shaped reflector compact range is described. Improvements over the traditional single reflector, apex-fed compact range are outlined and discussed. A design plan for a dual offset shaped reflector compact range for EHF antenna measurement is presented.
A New antenna test facility at General Electric Space Systems Division in Valley Forge, PA.
R. Meier (General Electric Co.), November 1984
This paper describes the new antenna test facility under construction at General Electric Space Systems Division in Valley Forge, PA. The facility consists of a shielded anechoic chamber containing both a Compact Range and a Spherical Near-Field Range. In addition, it provides for a 700’ boresight range through an RF transparent window. The facility will be capable of testing antenna systems over a wide frequency range and will also accommodate an entire spacecraft for both system compatibility and antenna performance tests.
Complete RF qualification of a large helical space antenna
J. Whelpton (Canadian Astronautics Limited),J. G. Dumoulin (Canadian Astronautics Limited), N. Sultan (Canadian Astronautics Limited), R. Cote (Canadian Astronautics Limited), M. M. Moody (Canadian Astronautics Limited), November 1984
The complete sequence of RF tests required to evaluate the electrical performance of a broad band UHF helix antenna to be used in the zero gravity environment of space is described. The development of an adequate structure which would support the antenna and yet cause no pattern perturbation is mentioned. The test range configuration used, with the UHF antenna inside and anechoic chamber and the source antenna illuminating it through a polyfoam window in one side, is discussed. The problems encountered in taking radiation pattern plots and in making gain measurements using a gain standard near the low frequency limit, 250 MHz, of the antenna test range and the methods utilized to minimize their effect are given in some detail.
Near field RCS measurements
E.B. Joy (Georgia Institute of Technology), November 1984
A planar surface, near-field measurement technique is presented for the near-field measurement of monostatic radar cross-section. The theory, system configuration and measurement procedure for this technique are presented. It is shown that the far field radar cross-section can be determined from the near field measurements. An associate near-field radar cross-section measurement technique is presented for the measurement of bistatic near field radar cross-section. The bistatic technique requires a plane wave illuminator in addition to the planar surface near field measurement system. A small compact range is used as the bistatic illuminator. Bistatic near-field measurements are presented for a simple target.
Effects of the alignment errors on ahorn's crosspolar pattern measurements. Application to L-SAT propagation package antennas.
M. Calvo (Universidad Potitecnica de Madrid),J.L. Besada (Universidad Potitecnica de Madrid), November 1984
When low crosspolar pattern measurements are required, as in the case of the L-SAT Propagation Package Antennas (PPA) with less than -36 dB linear crosspolarization inside the coverage zone, the use of good polarization standards is mandatory (1). Those are usually electroformed pyramidal horns that produce crosspolar levels over the test zone well below the -60 dB level typically produced by the reflectivity of anechoic chambers. In this case the alignment errors (elevation, azimuth and roll as shown in fig. 1) can become important and its efects on measured patterns need to be well understood.
Ultra low sidelobe testing by planar near field scanning
K. R. Grimm (Technology Service Corporation), November 1984
An innovative technique has been developed for accurately measuring very low Sidelobe Antenna patterns by the method of planar near field probing. The technique relies on a new probe design which has a pattern null in the direction of the test antenna’s steered bean direction. Simulations of the near field measurement process using such a probe show that -60dB peak side-lobes will be accurately measured (within established bounds) when the calibrated near field dynamic range does not exceed 40 dB. The desireable property of the new probe is its ability to “spatially filter” the test antenna’s spectrum by reduced sensitivity to main beam ray paths. In this way, measurement errors which usually increase with decreasing near field signal level are minimized. The new probe is also theorized to have improved immunity to probe/array multipath and to probe-positioning errors. Plans to use the new probe on a modified planar scanner during tests with the AWACS array at the National Bureau of Standards will be outlined.


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