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Far Field
Use of a Compact Range to Measure Satellite TV Reflectors And Low Noise Block Downconverter Feeds
j. Aubin,S. Cook, November 2006
Satellite TV reflectors for home use, provided to the public by service companies such as DIRECTV, have many features which must be adequately characterized prior to design release, including: • Multiple Beam Frequency Re-use • FCC Sidelobe Envelope Verification • Circular Polarization Isolation These features must be adequately tested at frequencies up to Ku band and beyond. The use of a far-field range is impractical, as some of the reflectors measure several feet in diameter, and thus requires a range length of several hundred feet at Ku band. Near-field testing requires a full scan to determine a single cut for evaluation of FCC compliant sidelobe performance. Thus, a compact range is a logical alternative for measurement of this class of antennas. The compact range can provide a quick assessment of multiple beam coverage performance and pass/fail analysis against FCC sidelobe curve specifications. In addition, the feeds for these antennas often use Low Noise Block (LNB) Downconverters that are built in as part of the feed assembly. Measuring the output of an LNB does not yield the phase information required to determine all polarization parameters. A spinning linear measurement with some unique processing was implemented on this range to determine the full polarization characterization, using some elementary assumptions about polarization sense. This paper describes the implementation of a compact range based measurement facility for satellite antenna testing, with emphasis on the circular polarization measurement of the LNB assembly, capability for comparison against FCC sidelobe levels, and measurement of offset beams featuring frequency re-use capability.
Near-Field to Far-Field Characterization Using Computational Electromagnetics Through Equivalent Sources
T. Sarkar,L. Kempel, November 2006
A computational technique based on near-field to far field transformation is presented. This can be more versatile and accurate than the conventional modal expansions. The established method for near-field to far-field transformation has been the modal expansion method. The primary drawback of the technique is that when a Fourier transform is used, the fields outside the measurement region area is assumed to be zero, particularly in the planar and cylindrical case. Consequently the far-fields are accurately determined only over a particular angular sector which is dependent on the measurement configuration. A simple and accurate integral equation solution which represents an alternate method for computing far-fields from measured near-fields is presented. The basic idea is to replace the radiating antenna by equivalent electric and/or magnetic currents which reside on a fictitious surface and encompasses the antenna. These equivalent currents are assumed to radiate identical fields as the original antenna in the region of interest. Using the surface equivalence principle different types of the E-field integral equation (EFIE) have been developed. The method of moments (MoM) has been utilized to transform the integral equation into a matrix one and the conjugate gradient (CG) procedure has been applied to solve it numerically. Hence, this procedure is not limited by the Nyquist sampling criteria nor by the presence of evanescent waves which may make source reconstruction using current procedures unstable. Accurate far-fields over large elevation and azimuthal ranges have been calculated from simple measurements based on planar and spherical scanning.
Near-Field to Far-Field Characterization Using Computational Electromagnetics Through Equivalent Sources
T. Sarkar,L. Kempel, November 2006
A computational technique based on near-field to far field transformation is presented. This can be more versatile and accurate than the conventional modal expansions. The established method for near-field to far-field transformation has been the modal expansion method. The primary drawback of the technique is that when a Fourier transform is used, the fields outside the measurement region area is assumed to be zero, particularly in the planar and cylindrical case. Consequently the far-fields are accurately determined only over a particular angular sector which is dependent on the measurement configuration. A simple and accurate integral equation solution which represents an alternate method for computing far-fields from measured near-fields is presented. The basic idea is to replace the radiating antenna by equivalent electric and/or magnetic currents which reside on a fictitious surface and encompasses the antenna. These equivalent currents are assumed to radiate identical fields as the original antenna in the region of interest. Using the surface equivalence principle different types of the E-field integral equation (EFIE) have been developed. The method of moments (MoM) has been utilized to transform the integral equation into a matrix one and the conjugate gradient (CG) procedure has been applied to solve it numerically. Hence, this procedure is not limited by the Nyquist sampling criteria nor by the presence of evanescent waves which may make source reconstruction using current procedures unstable. Accurate far-fields over large elevation and azimuthal ranges have been calculated from simple measurements based on planar and spherical scanning.
Comparison of the Classical Mode Expansion and the Equivalent Current Method for Near-Field to Far-Field Transformations Using Data from Arbitrary Surfaces
J. Migl,H. Schippers, J. Habersack, J. Heijstek, T. Fritzel, November 2006
Nowadays near-field measurement techniques are widely used for detecting the characteristics of the radiated pattern for a large variety of antennas. The core of any near-field measurement is the near-field to far-field transformation. Such transformations use different coordinate systems, like planar, cylindrical, or spherical, and may utilize special solutions. They are already well known for many years. The common feature of all mentioned near- to far-field transformations is the usage of regular measurement grids on planar, cylindrical, or, respectively, spherical surfaces. Future applications, like the Airborne Near-Field Test Facility (ANTF) are expected to lack this characteristic of regular measurement grids, since the flying or floating probe platform cannot be guided sufficiently accurate. This requires the utilization of advanced data processing methods for interpolating measured data on an arbitrary irregular grid to a nearby regular grid, or direct transformation to the far-field. It will be shown that this data processing can be performed by using the Stratton-Chu representation formula utilizing equivalent currents on a well-chosen artificial surface or the classical mode expansion method with additional pre-processing. This paper describes briefly the principles of the ANTF, discusses the application of the equivalent current method and compares it with the widely used mode expansion method. Measured and processed data examples will be presented.
Integration and Testing of a Transmission Line System for an Electromagnetically Transparent Antenna Array
E. Lee, November 2006
A transmission line system has been developed for an electromagnetically transparent antenna array. The goal was to provide equal signal distribution to the array elements while maintaining the transmissivity of the antenna. The transmission lines consist of microstrip directional power couplers which are fed in series. This reduces the transmission line length needed. The transmission line was built, tested, and integrated with an array of circular polarized array elements mounted over a frequency selective surface (FSS) ground plane. Preliminary bench tests performed on the integrated array with a small test dipole indicated that the transmission lines provided uniform signal distribution. Outdoor far field measurements of the integrated antenna indicated that the antenna performance was satisfactory. The integrated antenna array was tested in the compact range located at the ElectroScience Laboratory at The Ohio State University. These tests were used to accurately characterize the antenna performance at S band and the transmissivity properties of the integrated array at L band. The measured antenna pattern and beamwidth were consistent with predictions. Transmissivity of the antenna as viewed by a second antenna was also consistent with predictions.
Broadband Far Field Direct Illumination Range Upgrade at The University of Toronto
J. Puri,J-M. Moreau, November 2006
The R&D testing of antennae today is still an important challenge for many universities. They find it difficult to instrument their antenna labs with equipment that allows the flexibility of re-configuring their test science for their various AUT configurations. Antenna test facilities at educational institutions are typically used sporadically and for a high mix of different antenna types with frequencies ranging up to millimeter wave. Unlike their industry counterparts that build and instrument a production antenna test facility geared to the specifications of the antenna under test. The challenge lies in configuring an antenna test facility to operate within these wide boundaries at a reasonable cost. A flexible RF Sub-System will be discussed that utilizes the Agilent PNA series vector network analyzer and harmonic mixers as the receiver, and a remote PSG series source and multipliers as the stimulus. This paper will examine the steps undertaken to define the requirements necessary to upgrade the existing antenna test facility at the University of Toronto in Toronto Canada. It will also include design considerations necessary to create a power budget in order to estimate the dynamic range of the test system. This paper will also delve into the aspect of selecting and exploring the benefits of the test software requirements.
B-1 Fully Integrated Data Link Program Measures Antenna Pattern and Isolation in Support of USAF Communication Systems Upgrade
P. Oleski,S. Grudzinski, November 2006
Antenna pattern and isolation measurements for the B-1 Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL) Program have been completed at the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Antenna Measurements Facility located near the AFRL Rome Research Site (RRS), Rome, NY. This combined satellite and airborne communications upgrade has been performed under the supervision of the B-1 Systems Group, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. One eighth scale antenna patterns were collected on a far field range for new Link-16 antennas, a relocated VHF/UHF2/L-Band antenna and the new Satcom transmit antenna, while on a one eighth scale B-1 model. Antenna to antenna isolation measurements were performed with antennas mounted on a full scale front section of the B-1 airframe. The RF Technology Branch (IFGE) has developed techniques for evaluating the effects of airframe and external stores on the radiation pattern characteristics of antenna systems in a simulated flight environment. Data obtained in this manner is used to evaluate antenna radiation characteristics of antenna/systems without the requirement of an extensive flight test program. Using similar techniques, AFRL has developed procedures whereby precision measurements of isolation between aircraft mounted antennas can be accomplished. This paper will present how the measured data was obtained for the antennas involved in the FIDL upgrade.
Time domain Planar Near-Field Measurement Simulation
X. Shen,X. Chen, November 2006
The UWB radar operates simultaneously over large bandwidth and the antenna parameters must refer to simultaneous performance over the whole of the bandwidth. Conventional frequency domain (FD) parameters like pattern, gain, etc. are not adequate for UWB antenna. This paper describes an UWB radar antenna planar near field (PNF) measurement system under construction to get the impulse response or transient characteristic of the UWB antenna. Unlike the conventional antenna or RCS time domain test system, the UWB radar signal instead of the carrier-free short time pulse was used to excite the antenna that can avoid the decrease of the dynamic range and satisfy the needs of SAR and the other UWB radar antennas measurement. In order to demonstrate the data analysis program, FDTD simulation software was used to calculate the E-field of M×N points in a fictitious plane at different times just like the actual oscilloscope’s sampling signals in the time domain planar near field (TDPNF) measurement. The calculated results can be considered the actual oscilloscope’s sampling output signals. Through non-direct frequency domain near field to far field transform and direct time domain near field to far field transform, we get the almost same radiation patterns comparing to the FD measurements and software simulation results. At last, varied time windows were used to remove the influences of the non-ideal measurement environment.
Full Sphere Far-Field Antenna Patterns Obtained Using a Small Planar Scanner and a Poly-Planar Measurement Technique
S. Gregson,C. Parini, J. McCormick, November 2006
This paper presents an overview of work carried out in developing the probe-corrected, poly-planar near-field antenna measurement technique [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The poly-planar method essentially entails a very general technique for deriving asymptotic far-field antenna patterns from near-field measurements taken over faceted surfaces. The probe-corrected, poly-planar near-field to far-field transformation, consisting of an innovative hybrid physical optics (PO) [6] plane wave spectrum (PWS) [7] formulation, is summarised, and the importance of correctly reconstructing the normal electric field component for each of the discrete partial scans to the success of this process is highlighted. As an illustration, in this paper the poly-planar technique is deployed to provide coverage over the entire far-field sphere by utilising a small planar facility to acquire two orthogonal tangential near electric field components over the surface of a conceptual cube centred about the antenna under test (AUT). The success of the poly-planar technique is demonstrated through numerical simulation and experimental measurement. A discussion into the limitations of the partial scan technique is also presented.
Hemispherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements in an EMC Chamber Environment
G. Pinchuk,E. Katz, R. Braun, T. Kozan, November 2006
Hemispherical Near-Field (NF) antenna measurement technique has been applied for automotive antenna testing within a chamber dedicated to EMC tests. An existing turntable was used for azimuth rotation of a vehicle and a new portable 90°arch was added for elevation scanning of the radiated NF of the Device Under Test (DUT - vehicle with the antenna). Two antenna types were tested during chamber commissioning, one for GPS and another for XM satellite radio applications at frequencies 1.57 and 2.33 GHz respectively. Test results have shown that the EMC chamber can be successfully used for automotive antenna measurements as well, with accuracies acceptable for automotive applications. For higher operating frequencies, the EMC absorbers must be changed to less reflective material. In the paper, the measurement system is described, and the test results are presented, as well as some considerations on far-field pattern restoration based on measured hemispherical NF data.
Conical Near-field Antenna Measurement System
Daiel Leatherwood, PhD, November 2007
A probe-compensated near-field-to-far-field transform algorithm has been developed that can generate far-field patterns from near-field measurements made on an arbitrary surface. We present the concept, the algorithm, and computer simulated and measured test results for measurements on a conical surface. The prototype conical near-field measurements were made in a planar near-field range on a horn antenna under test (AUT) mounted on an azimuth-over-elevation positioner to produce a conical measurement surface. This system is especially applicable for producing full-hemisphere far-field patterns for antennas mounted on vehicles where other standard measurement systems may not adapt to the profile well, may not provide full-hemisphere coverage, or may require large, mechanically complex systems.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL NEAR FIELD/FAR FIELD CORRECTION
Renaud Cariou,Régis Guillerey, November 2007
The DGA/CELAR (France) (Centre d'Electronique de l'Armement: French Center for Armament Electronics) is able to measure targets in order to get their RCS (Radar Cross Section). Yet CELAR RCS measurement facilities are not compact bases and therefore the measured field is a near field. This article proposes a solution allowing the transformation of this near field to a far field and this in the three dimensions of space without limiting any dimension with Fraunhöfer criterion. Thanks to this method the RCS of a target is able to be known in any direction of space and moreover the calculation of a three-dimensional ISAR (Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar) picture is thus possible. At first the theoretic part of our work is presented. Then a fast method in order to calculate the transformation of a near field to a far field by optimising the calculation time thanks to signal processing theory is given. Finally obtained results from simulated bright points are presented.
NF–FF TRANSFORMATION WITH PLANAR SPIRAL SCAN: AN EFFECTIVE SOURCE MODELLING FOR QUASI-PLANAR ANTENNAS
Francesco D'Agostino,Carlo Rizzo, Claudio Gennarelli, Flaminio Ferrara, Massimo Migliozzi, Rocco Guerriero, November 2007
ABSTRACT A new probe compensated near-field – far-field trans­formation technique with planar spiral scanning is here proposed. It is tailored for quasi planar antennas, since an oblate ellipsoid instead of a sphere is consid­ered as surface enclosing the antenna under test. Such an ellipsoidal modelling is quite general (containing the spherical one as particular case) and allows one to consider measurement planes at a distance smaller than one half the maximum source size, thus reducing the error related to the truncation of the scanning sur­face. Moreover, it reduces significantly the number of the needed near-field data when dealing with quasi planar antennas. Numerical tests are reported for demonstrating the accuracy of the far-field reconstruc­tion process and its stability with respect to random errors affecting the data.
Calibration of RE02 Common Mode Emission Measurements for Near Field to Far Field Amplitude Conversion
Louis Anderson, November 2007
Modern day remote sensing spacecraft often feature multiple payloads sharing a common bus (spacecraft platform). RE02 emission testing (1, 2) characterizes the emission signature of a given payload in order to assess electromagnetic compatibility with respect to other payloads (i.e. “victims”) on the bus. Typically, a simple path loss model based on 1/r2 power variance (ref: Friis path loss equation) is used to account for the distance between the emitting and victim payloads using measured amplitudes taken during RE02 measurements. RE02 measurement technique (2) dictates that emissions testing take place at a fixed radial distance of one meter from the radiating instrument. At certain frequencies, however, this measurement takes place in the near field of the emitter. In general, power density amplitudes are greater in the near field than its far field counterpart. This paper investigates any potential error incurred by not accounting for this effect. A simple math model for a common mode radiator is developed to estimate this error and attempt to better understand the field relationships at lower frequencies where the near field predominates.
Outdoor RCS Measurement Range for Spaceborne SAR Calibration Targets
Björn Döring,Marco Schwerdt, Robert Bauer, November 2007
The Microwaves and Radar Institute regularly performs calibration campaigns for spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems, among which have been X-SAR, SRTM, and ASAR. Tight performance specifications for future spaceborne SAR systems like TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X demand an absolute radiometric accuracy of better than 1 dB. The relative and absolute radiometric calibration of SAR systems depends on reference point targets (i. e. passive corner reflectors and active transponders), which are deployed on ground, with precisely known radar cross section (RCS). An outdoor far-field RCS measurement facility has been designed and an experimental test range has been implemented in Oberpfaffenhofen to precisely measure the RCS of reference targets used in future X-band SAR calibration campaigns. Special attention has been given to the fact that the active calibration targets should be measured under the most realistic conditions, i. e. utilizing chirp impulses (bandwidth up to 500 MHz, pulse duration of 2 µs for a 300 m test range). Tests have been performed to characterize the test range parameters. They include transmit/receive decoupling, background estimation, and two different amplitude calibrations: both direct (calibration with accurately known reference target) and indirect (based on the radar range equation and individual characteristics). Based on an uncertainty analysis, a good agreement between both methods could be found. In this paper, the design details of the RCS measurement facility and the characterizing tests including amplitude calibration will be presented.
Application of the SWE-To-PWE Antenna Diagnostics Technique to an Offset Reflector Antenna
Cecilia Cappellin,Aksel, Frandsen, Olav Breinbjerg, November 2007
A new antenna diagnostics technique has been developed for the DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility at the Technical University of Denmark. The technique is based on the transformation of the Spherical Wave Expansion (SWE) of the radiated field, obtained from a spherical near-field measurement, to the Plane Wave Expansion (PWE), and it allows an accurate reconstruction of the field in the extreme near-field region of the antenna under test (AUT), including the aperture field. While the fundamental properties of the SWE-to-PWE transformation, as well as the influence of finite measurement accuracy, have been reported previously, we validate here the new antenna diagnostics technique through an experimental investigation of a commercially available offset reflector antenna, where a tilt of the feed and surface distortions are intentionally introduced. The effects of these errors will be detected in the antenna far-field pattern, and the accuracy and ability of the diagnostics technique to subsequently identify them will be investigated. Real measurement data will be employed for each test case.
The Effect of Range Length on the Measurement of TRP
James D. Huff,Carl W. Sirles, November 2007
Total Radiated Power (TRP) and Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) are the two metrics most commonly used to characterize the over the air (OTA) performance of a handheld wireless device. The minimum range length for these measurements has usually been determined using the far-field criteria of R>2D2/.. Since the devices are relatively small (<30cm) and the frequencies relatively low (<2GHz), the range length required to meet the far-field criteria is less than 120 cm. However, wireless devices are being designed that operate at the higher frequencies of the IEEE 802.11 standards, and many of these devices are no longer small handheld devices but rather notebook computers, appliances or even vehicles. Applying the far-field criteria to testing such devices can generate requirements for large and expensive chambers. This paper demonstrates through both numerical simulations and actual measurements that accurate TRP and TIS measurements can be made at range lengths significantly shorter than those indicated by R>2D2/..
Planar/Spherical Near-Field Range Comparison with -60 dB Residual Error Level
Allen Newell, November 2007
Comparisons of the far-field results from two different ranges are a useful complement to the detailed 18 term uncertainty analysis procedure. Such comparisons can verify that the individual estimates of uncertainty for each range are reliable or indicate whether they are either too conservative or too optimistic. Such a comparison has recently been completed using planar and spherical near-field ranges at Nearfield Systems Inc. The test antenna was a mechanically and electrically stable slotted waveguide array with relatively low side lobes and cross polarization and a gain of approximately 35 dBi. The accuracies of both ranges were improved by testing for, and where appropriate, applying small corrections to the measured data for some of the individual 18 terms. The corrections reduce, but do not eliminate the errors for the selected terms and do not change the basic near-to-far field transformations or probe correction processes. The corrections considered were for bias error leakage, multiple reflections, rotary joint variations and spherical range alignment. Room scattering for the spherical measurements was evaluated using the MARS processing developed by NSI. The final results showed a peak equivalent error signal level in the side lobe region of approximately -60 dB for both main and cross component patterns for angles of up to 80 degrees off-axis.
Planar/Spherical Near-Field Range Comparison with -60 dB Residual Error Level
Allen Newell, November 2007
Comparisons of the far-field results from two different ranges are a useful complement to the detailed 18 term uncertainty analysis procedure. Such comparisons can verify that the individual estimates of uncertainty for each range are reliable or indicate whether they are either too conservative or too optimistic. Such a comparison has recently been completed using planar and spherical near-field ranges at Nearfield Systems Inc. The test antenna was a mechanically and electrically stable slotted waveguide array with relatively low side lobes and cross polarization and a gain of approximately 35 dBi. The accuracies of both ranges were improved by testing for, and where appropriate, applying small corrections to the measured data for some of the individual 18 terms. The corrections reduce, but do not eliminate the errors for the selected terms and do not change the basic near-to-far field transformations or probe correction processes. The corrections considered were for bias error leakage, multiple reflections, rotary joint variations and spherical range alignment. Room scattering for the spherical measurements was evaluated using the MARS processing developed by NSI. The final results showed a peak equivalent error signal level in the side lobe region of approximately -60 dB for both main and cross component patterns for angles of up to 80 degrees off-axis.
A Method to Correct Measurement Errors in Far-Field Antenna Ranges
Scott A Goodman,Inder J. Gupta, PhD, November 2007
Now-a-days, far-field ranges are being used to measure antenna radiation patterns. Two main types of ranges used are used for these measurements: direct and indirect illumination. In either case, the accuracy of the measurement is dependent upon the quality of the range quiet-zone fields. In direct illumination, phase and amplitude taper cause discrepancies in the fields. For indirect illumination, only amplitude taper must be accounted for. Additionally, stray signals and cross-polarization will further distort the quiet-zone fields and lead to measurement errors. This new methodology starts with the measured antenna data and a priori knowledge of the incident fields and estimates an Effective Aperture Distribution (EAD). The EAD compensates for these sources of error and can be used to predict the far-field radiation pattern of the antenna under test. Analytical results are presented for taper and stray signal analysis.


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