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Far Field
LABORATORY RESULTS ON THE COMPENSATION OF PROBE POSITIONING ERRORS IN THE NF – FF TRANSFORMATION WITH HELICOIDAL SCAN
Francesco D'Agostino,Claudio Gennarelli, Flaminio Ferrara, Jeff A. Fordham, Massimo Migliozzi, Rocco Guerriero, November 2010
– far-field transformation with cylindrical scanning are efficiently determined by using an optimal sam­pling interpolation algorithm. The comparison of the far-field patterns reconstructed from the acquired ir­regularly distributed measurements with those ob­tained from the data directly measured on the classi­cal cylindrical grid assesses the effectiveness of the approach.
Measurement Technique for Characterizing Antennas with Very-Low Cross Polarization
Mustafa Kuloglu, November 2010
This paper discusses a measurement technique for accurately characterizing low cross polarization level of antennas, and associated sensitivity and errors. The technique involves two-antenna transmission (S21) measurement that includes an AUT and a reference antenna that has low cross polarization level. This technique needs two far-field transmission data from two different relative roll angles. The cross-polarization sensitivity is determined by SNR of cross-polarization component and cross-polarization of the reference antenna. The cross-polarization error is related to roll angle uncertainty and receiver noise.
Near-Field Testing of Defocusing Methods for Phased-Array Antenna
Philip Brady,Derrick Mauney, November 2010
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) analyzed a phased-array antenna for the purpose of testing phase-only defocusing methods. The array is defocused with the objective of broadening its beam at the cost of lower antenna gain. A design for the beam-steering computer is accomplished which adds the capability of focusing a beam, steering in azimuth and elevation, and performing beam defocusing using only element phase. Widening of the beam is accomplished using only 180° phase shifts in the elements, and it is compared with widening accomplished using gradual phase tapers. The antenna is measured in a near-field range to obtain amplitude and phase information as a function of each element in the array. Near-field testing of the antenna is also used to verify the capability of the beam-steering computer; two-dimensional antenna patterns and near-field hologram projections are compiled to prove this functionality. A software model is designed to mimic the behavior of the phased array antenna in its operational modes; it is also used to predict antenna gain and beamwidth prior to near-field testing. Measured and modeled antenna patterns are compared using focused and defocused modes. Metrics are performed on the near-field data to infer statistics of the individual phase shifters and on the computed far-field patterns to characterize the entire antenna. The defocusing methods under analysis are phase-only methods, due to the inability to control amplitude weighting of elements in this antenna. One method discussed uses only 180° shifting of elements in the antenna to achieve a desired beamwidth. This is compared with another method which gradually spoils the beam by applying a phase taper across the aperture. The results from near-field testing compare the defocusing methods and characterize the relationships between gain, beamwidth, and sidelobe levels for both defocusing methods.
EXONERATION OF PERFORMING TOTAL RCS MEASUREMENTS IN THE NEAR FIELD
Victorya Kobrinsky, November 2010
Very often far field conditions are violated at high frequencies RCS measurements and in real life scenarios. People go to great lengths to carry out these measurements in the far field. They make large investments to build suitable compact ranges, or long outdoor ranges. Others make extensive efforts to correct the near field measurements to the far field values. This paper suggests that those elaborate measures are superfluous, as far as the total RCS is concerned. Although near field measurements clip the high peaks, they broaden their shoulders compensating for the loss. Simulations and actual measurements show that the accumulative distribution of RCS values in the near field is equal or slightly higher than the distribution of these values in the far field, until one looks for very high 90th percentiles. Thus, for detection and survivability estimates the near field measurements provide a close upper bound.
A HIGH PERFORMANCE STATE OF THE ART PLANAR HYBRID SCANNER
Uri Shemer,Arnaud Gandois, November 2010
An Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) laboratory has commissioned a state-of-the-art indoor far-field antenna test facility in 2009. This facility supports highly accurate measurement of a wide range of antenna types over 1.12–40 GHz. Owing to the heavy usage of this range, it was decided to enhance the existing facility to include a Hybrid Planar Near-Field facility for high speed accurate antenna measurements with minimal changes to the existing chamber configuration. The scanner is implemented as a highly innovative Hybrid T-type scanner, with a Y-axis that consists of a Linear Multi-Probe array and a traditional single probe configuration. The linear Multi-Probe array consists of two sets of dual polarized probes each one covering a sub set of the full frequency range. In particular one set covers the 1.0-6.0GHz band (operational from 400MHz) and the other set covers the 6.0 to 18.0GHz band. The traditional Single Probe configuration includes a set of Open Ended Waveguide Probes to facilitate an operational frequency range of 1.12 – 40.0GHz, as in the existing Far Field system. The Hybrid scanner is placed along the sidewall opposite the door, on the DUT positioner side. The major benefit of this layout is that there is no need to change the basic design of the chamber and it is built according to the original plans. When the chamber is used in the far-field mode, the tower is moved to the end of the horizontal axis in the direction of the corner of the chamber. The tower sides that face away from the chamber corner are covered with absorbing material to reduce reflections from the tower. Assuming that the chamber is intended to measure directional antennas, the existence of the tower behind and to the side of the AUT is expected to introduce minimal interference. The high speed linear Multi-Probe array has typical measurement speeds ranging between 5 and 15 minutes at 5 frequencies and 2 polarizations. Instrumentation is based on an Agilent PNA E8362B. Software is based on the MiDAS 6.0 package for both Single Probe & Multi Probe modes. A Real-Time Controller (RTC), accompanied by a 4-port RF switch, facilitates multi-port antenna measurements, with the possibility of interfacing to an active antenna.
A HIGH PERFORMANCE STATE OF THE ART PLANAR HYBRID SCANNER
Uri Shemer,Arnaud Gandois, November 2010
An Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) laboratory has commissioned a state-of-the-art indoor far-field antenna test facility in 2009. This facility supports highly accurate measurement of a wide range of antenna types over 1.12–40 GHz. Owing to the heavy usage of this range, it was decided to enhance the existing facility to include a Hybrid Planar Near-Field facility for high speed accurate antenna measurements with minimal changes to the existing chamber configuration. The scanner is implemented as a highly innovative Hybrid T-type scanner, with a Y-axis that consists of a Linear Multi-Probe array and a traditional single probe configuration. The linear Multi-Probe array consists of two sets of dual polarized probes each one covering a sub set of the full frequency range. In particular one set covers the 1.0-6.0GHz band (operational from 400MHz) and the other set covers the 6.0 to 18.0GHz band. The traditional Single Probe configuration includes a set of Open Ended Waveguide Probes to facilitate an operational frequency range of 1.12 – 40.0GHz, as in the existing Far Field system. The Hybrid scanner is placed along the sidewall opposite the door, on the DUT positioner side. The major benefit of this layout is that there is no need to change the basic design of the chamber and it is built according to the original plans. When the chamber is used in the far-field mode, the tower is moved to the end of the horizontal axis in the direction of the corner of the chamber. The tower sides that face away from the chamber corner are covered with absorbing material to reduce reflections from the tower. Assuming that the chamber is intended to measure directional antennas, the existence of the tower behind and to the side of the AUT is expected to introduce minimal interference. The high speed linear Multi-Probe array has typical measurement speeds ranging between 5 and 15 minutes at 5 frequencies and 2 polarizations. Instrumentation is based on an Agilent PNA E8362B. Software is based on the MiDAS 6.0 package for both Single Probe & Multi Probe modes. A Real-Time Controller (RTC), accompanied by a 4-port RF switch, facilitates multi-port antenna measurements, with the possibility of interfacing to an active antenna.
An Adaptive Approach to Antenna Measurement
Zubair Rafiq,Irfan Majid, November 2010
Far field antenna measurements require specialized chambers, not very commonly available. The measurement process is inherently time consuming. If this time can be reduced it would increase the through put of the test chamber and would decrease the incurred expenses. This paper describes a novel adaptive far field measurement methodology for antennas, by varying the angular resolution and IF bandwidth in an adaptive manner. Different adaptive angular resolution techniques have been proposed and verified. Different type of antennas were measured with conventional antenna measurement methods and compared with proposed technique. It was observed that fine angular resolution can be achieved in main beam and first sidelobe levels with a little compromise on other side lobe and back lobe levels. The comparative results and their analysis are presented. On the average 20 to 40% measurement time is reduced with the proposed methodology. All measurements have been conducted in a CATR.
Assessment of Irregular Sampling Near-Field Far-Field Transformation Employing Plane Wave Field Representation
Carsten Schmidt,Elankumaran Kaliyaperumal, Thomas Eibert, November 2010
Near-field antenna measurements are accurate and common techniques to determine the radiation pattern of an antenna under test. The minimum near-field sampling rate is dictated by the electrical size of the antenna and usually equidistant sampling is applied for planar, cylindrical, and spherical measurements. Certain applications either rely on or benefit from near-field sampling on irregular grids. To handle irregular measurement grids near-field transformation algorithms like equivalent current methods or the multilevel fast multipole accelerated plane wave based technique are required which do not rely on regularly sampled data. In this contribution the plane wave based near-field transformation is applied to spherical, cylindrical, and “combined” near-field measurements employing irregular sampling grids. The performance is assessed by various simulated near-field measurement scenarios.
A Novel In-Water Current Probe Measurement Method for Linear Floating Antennas
Paul Mileski,Dr. David Tonn, November 2010
This paper shall discuss a method for measuring the current distribution – in both magnitude and phase - along the length of a floating antenna operating on the surface of the ocean. The method makes use of a novel toroidal current sensing device and balun arrangement, with a vector network analyzer serving as the measurement instrument. The current data obtained using this method can then be used to compute the far-field pattern of the antenna, both at the horizon and overhead, in a manner similar to near-field scanning of aperture antennas. This new method has significant advantages over the conventional far-field method of measurement in terms of accuracy, time, and cost, and can also be used to determine the realized gain of the antenna. Measured and theoretical data shall be presented on example antennas to illustrate the process of measuring the current distribution as well as computation of the far-field pattern.
Optical Approach to Spherical Near Field Transformation
Greg Hampton,Ann Hampton, November 2010
An optical diffraction technique was developed for performing far field transformations of spherical near field data. The first goal of the development was to promote a better physical understanding of the phenomena of spherical near field transformation. Along the way, the limitations of this type of measurement became associated with real, optical physics, thus providing new considerations that might not be easily derived from the traditional, multi-pole expansion of spherical waves. In addition, new applications of spherical near field measurements are suggested by this approach. Specifically, the optical method allows for better understanding of the necessity and application of probe compensation. An optical transform eliminates the need for axially symmetric probes. Perhaps more importantly, this understanding leads to new considerations toward the applicability of single scan, spherical transforms which may lead to significant increases to the effective lengths of far field ranges. The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual foundation to the spherical transformation of near field data by optical means and the immediate, associated benefits.
Side Wall Diffraction & Optimal Back Wall Design in Far-Field Antenna Measurement Chambers at VHF/UHF
John Aubin,Mark Winebrand, November 2010
Anechoic chambers utilized for far-field antenna measurements at VHF/UHF frequencies typically comprise rectangular and tapered designs. The primary purpose of conventional far-field chambers is to illuminate a test zone surrounding the Antenna Under Test (AUT) with an electric field that is as uniform as possible, while multiple reflections from the side wall absorber assemblies are kept to a minimum. The cross section dimensions of far field chambers at VHF/UHF frequencies can be electrically small, often as little as 3.. In this paper the side wall reflections at VHF/UHF bands are studied in more details for elongated rectangular and tapered chambers. In particular, the reflectivity is evaluated in rectangular chambers as a function of electrical dimensions of the chamber cross – section and of the ratio W (width of the chamber) or H (height of the chamber) to L (length – separation between antennas) for values ranging from 0.5 to 2. The methods of reflectivity improvement are presented and compared. In particular, the conventional chamber design is compared with a “Two Level GTD” approach [4,5,7] and the latter one shows significant reflectivity improvement in the test zone, even at longer source antenna AUT separations. The side wall reflections are examined in tapered chambers as well. The back wall reflection mechanism, which assumes multiple incident waves – direct from the source antenna and reflected from the side walls, floor and ceiling, is offered and confirmed by the simulation, which, in turn, yields an optimized back wall chamber design (see also [6]).
Side Wall Diffraction & Optimal Back Wall Design in Far-Field Antenna Measurement Chambers at VHF/UHF
John Aubin,Mark Winebrand, November 2010
Anechoic chambers utilized for far-field antenna measurements at VHF/UHF frequencies typically comprise rectangular and tapered designs. The primary purpose of conventional far-field chambers is to illuminate a test zone surrounding the Antenna Under Test (AUT) with an electric field that is as uniform as possible, while multiple reflections from the side wall absorber assemblies are kept to a minimum. The cross section dimensions of far field chambers at VHF/UHF frequencies can be electrically small, often as little as 3.. In this paper the side wall reflections at VHF/UHF bands are studied in more details for elongated rectangular and tapered chambers. In particular, the reflectivity is evaluated in rectangular chambers as a function of electrical dimensions of the chamber cross – section and of the ratio W (width of the chamber) or H (height of the chamber) to L (length – separation between antennas) for values ranging from 0.5 to 2. The methods of reflectivity improvement are presented and compared. In particular, the conventional chamber design is compared with a “Two Level GTD” approach [4,5,7] and the latter one shows significant reflectivity improvement in the test zone, even at longer source antenna AUT separations. The side wall reflections are examined in tapered chambers as well. The back wall reflection mechanism, which assumes multiple incident waves – direct from the source antenna and reflected from the side walls, floor and ceiling, is offered and confirmed by the simulation, which, in turn, yields an optimized back wall chamber design (see also [6]).
Reflectivity Evaluation in NF antenna Measurement Facilities Using Gated Time - Domain Technique
Mark Winebrand,John Aubin, Russell Soerens, November 2010
A widely used time-gating technique can be effectively implemented in near-field (NF) antenna measurements to significantly improve the measurement accuracy. In particular, it can be implemented to reduce or remove the effects of the following measurement errors [1]: -multiple environmental reflections and leakage in outdoor or indoor NF ranges -edge diffraction effects on measurement accuracy of low gain antennas on a ground plane [3] In addition, reflectivity in the range can be precisely localized, separated and quantified by using the time – gating procedure with only one addition (a subtraction operation) added to the standard near-field to far-field (NF – FF) transformation algorithms. In this paper a step by step procedure is described which includes acquisition of near-field data, transformation of the raw near-field data from the frequency to the time domain, definition of the correct time gate, transformation of the gated time domain data back to the frequency domain, and the transformation of the time gated near-field data to the far-field. The time gated results, as already shown in [2], provides for more accurate far-field patterns. In this paper it is shown how the 3D reflectivity/multiple reflections in the measurement chamber or outdoor range can be determined by subtracting the time gated results from the un-gated data. This technique is illustrated through use of several measurement examples. It is demonstrated that the time gated method has a clear physical explanation, and, in contrast with other techniques [4,5] is less consuming (does not require mechanical AUT precise offset installation, additional measurement and processing time) and allows for a better localization and quantization of the sources of unwanted radiation. Therefore, this technique is a straightforward one and is much easier to implement. The main disadvantage cited by critics regarding use of the time gating technique is the narrow frequency bandwidth used in many NF measurements. However, it is shown, and illustrated by the examples, that the technique can be effectively implemented in NF systems with a standard probe bandwidth of 1.5:1 and an AUT having a bandwidth as low as 5% to 10%.
Novel method to improve the signal to noise ratio in the far-field results obtained from planar near-field measurements
Francisco Cano,José Luis Besada, Manuel Sierra-Castañer, Sara Burgos, November 2010
A method to reduce the noise power in far-field pattern without modifying the desired signal is proposed. Therefore, an important signal-to-noise ratio improvement may be achieved. The method is used when the antenna measurement is performed in planar near-field, where the recorded data are assumed to be corrupted with white Gaussian and space-stationary noise, because of the receiver additive noise. Back-propagating the measured field from the scan plane to the antenna under test (AUT) plane, the noise remains white Gaussian and space-stationary, whereas the desired field is theoretically concentrated in the aperture antenna. Thanks to this fact, a spatial filtering may be applied, cancelling the field which is located out of the AUT dimensions and which is only composed by noise. Next, a planar field to far-field transformation is carried out, achieving a great improvement compared to the pattern obtained directly from the measurement. To verify the effectiveness of the method, two examples will be presented using both simulated and measured near-field data.
Plane-polar near-field scanning by means of SVD optimization
amedeo capozzoli, November 2010
A Near-Field/Far-Field (NFFF) transformation for characterizing planar aperture antennas from plane-polar scanning data is presented. The method recasts the measurement problem as a linear operator one, and solves it as a Singular Value Optimization. The field sample positions are chosen to provide the minimum number of NF samples optimizing the singular value dymamics of the relevant operator. The available a priori information on the AUT is accommodated to limit the number of parameters needed for the characterization and the transformation is performed by a regularized Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) approach. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the technique in reducing the number of required samples.
A SMALL CHAMBER FOR WIRELESS OVER-THE-AIR MEASUREMENTS
James Huff,Carl Sirles, November 2010
Both mathematical simulations and experimental results have shown that it is possible to make accurate over-the-air measurements of wireless devices at much shorter range lengths than those indicated by the far-field criteria of 2D2/.. This paper describes a small shielded anechoic chamber designed to minimize the cost and floor space requirements of over-the-air measurements while at the same time providing measurement uncertainties that are comparable to larger chambers whose design is based on the far-field criteria. The design trade-offs are presented and the construction of the chamber described. The chamber was evaluated at different wireless frequency bands using the ripple test procedure from the CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over The Air Performance. Total Radiated Power measurements were also made on gain standard dipoles to determine the uncertainty in integrated measurements. These measurement results are presented.
Reduction of Truncation Errors in Spherical Near Field Measurements
Lars Foged,Enrica Martini, Stefano Maci, November 2010
Spherical near-field to far-field transformation techniques allow for the reconstruction of the complete radiation pattern of the antenna under test (AUT) from the knowledge of the tangential electric field over a spherical surface [1-2]. However, in practical spherical near field measurements there are zones on the measurement sphere where data are either not available or less reliable. When the spherical wave coefficients (SWC) are calculated from incomplete near-field data by setting to zero the unknown samples, the abrupt discontinuity in the field values at the edge of the scan area may lead to erroneously large values of the higher-order spherical harmonic coefficients. Different solutions have been proposed to circumvent this problem [3-4] and have been demonstrated effective for small truncation areas [3]. In this paper a novel approach is proposed for the reduction of the truncation error in spherical near-field measurements. The method is based on a proper filtering of the SWC in accordance with the extent of the minimum sphere enclosing the AUT. More specifically, it consists in iteratively imposing the matching of the near-field with the measured samples and performing a spectral filtering in the spherical harmonics domain, based on the knowledge of the physical extent of the AUT [5-8]. The procedure has been tested on synthetic as well as measured near-field data and has proved to be effective and stable against measurement errors. The approach has shown to be effective even for increasing truncation areas.
Planar Near-Field Measurements for Small Antennas
George Cheng,Jan Grzesik, Yong Zhu, November 2010
We introduce a new type of planar near-field measurement technique for testing small antennas which, heretofore, have been traditionally tested via spherical or cylindrical scanning methods. Field acquisition in both these procedures is compromised to a certain extent by the fact that probe movement induces change in relative geometry with respect to, and thus interaction with, the anechoic chamber enclosure. Moreover, obstructing equipment, such as antenna pedestals, may significantly impede, or even reduce the available angular scope of any given scan. Our proposed procedure, by contrast, minimizes both the residual interaction contaminant and the threat of obstruction. We have in mind here a variant, a hybrid version of planar scanning wherein, on the one hand, we limit severely the size of the acquisition rectangle (and thus minimize the contaminating influence of a variable probe/chamber interaction), while, on the other, we really do collect near-field data throughout a complete range of solid angle around any candidate AUT, front, back, above, below, and on both sides. Such completeness is achieved through the mere stratagem of undertaking six independent planar scans with the AUT suitably rotated so as to expose to measurement, one by one, each of the faces of an enclosing virtual box. In the meanwhile, the inevitable AUT pedestal per se remains immobile and removed from any occupancy conflict with the scanned probe. We have accordingly named our new planar near-field data acquisition scheme the “Boxed Near-Field Measurement Procedure.” With subsequent use of our Field Mapping Algorithm (FMA), elsewhere reported, we obtain the entire field exactly, everywhere, both interior and exterior to the surrounding (virtual) box. In particular, we achieve enhanced accuracy in the far-field patterns of primary interest by virtue of the completeness of data acquisition and its relative freedom from spurious contamination. The angular completeness of data acquisition conferred by our procedure extends in principle to antennas of arbitrary size, provided, of course, that due provision is made for the necessary scope of measurement rectangles. The benefits are seen to be especially valuable in the case of narrow-beam antennas, whose back lobe pattern details, usually deemed as inaccessible and hence automatically forfeited during conventional (i.e., utilizing a “one­faced box,” in our new way of thinking) planar near-field testing, are thrust now into full view. Our new, full-enclosure planar acquisition technique as now described has been verified by analytic examples, as well as by hardware measurements, with excellent results evident throughout, as we are about to demonstrate.
Revival of the Northrop Grumman CTS 10K Far-Field Range
Jeff Way,John Luzwick, Mark Hozlevcar, Dan Lang, November 2010
Outdoor far- field antenna test ranges have declined in popularity due to the advent of alternative test methods, e.g., Near-Field Antenna ranges and Compact Antenna Test Ranges. They are also costly to maintain. A natural consequence of that trend is that far-field ranges are either shut down or rendered dormant for long periods of time. The latter was the situation for the NGAS (Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) CTS 10K Far-Field range. The Far-Field was an outdoor range with a 10,000’ range length, open transmit site and radome enclosed receive site. It had been dormant for 7 years and was needed for a unique test before the test site was vacated completely. This paper provides a brief description of the range, the upgrades made to address equipment obsolescence and the checkout process to ensure that the range would meet performance requirements. The range needed to operate from 100 MHz to 18 GHz. Therefore, range diagnostics were performed at various frequency points and swept measurements also executed. A Range Readiness report was created and presented internally. Elements of that report are shared in this paper.
Controlling the Far-Field Resolution in Near-Field Antenna Characterization
A. Capozzoli,C. Curcioi, A. Liseno, November 2011


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