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Scattering Suppresion in a Combined Compact Range and Spherical Near-field Measurement Facility
Stray signals/scattering suppression techniques will be deployed to enhance measurements quality of a combined compact antenna test range (CATR) and spherical near-field (SNF) measurement facility. Spherical mode filtering and softgating techniques will be the focus of this paper. Using soft-gating the mutual effects between the CATR and SNF facilities will be shown and mitigated. The use of SNF decomposition to enhance the far-field measurements will be also shown. This contributes to a reduction of the costs arising from the need of absorbers to shield both facilities and cover the antenna's support structure.
Feasibility of Near-Field Pattern Characterization for V-band Antennas
This paper presents V-band radiation pattern characterization of both low- and high-directivity antennas. A fourarm micro-machined spiral antenna with monolithically integrated mode-forming network designed for dual circularlypolarized radiation represents the low-directivity antenna, while a standard gain horn is used for the highly directive antenna. All measurements were performed using an in-house NSI-700S- 30 system capable of spherical near-field measurements from 1-50 GHz and direct far-field measurements from 50-110 GHz. Complete comparisons of simulated, near- and far-field patterns show the feasibility of near-field measurements in V-band. Based on pattern comparison and measurement statistics conclusions are drawn about V-band near-field measurements.
Enhanced Spherical Near-Field Imaging of the Quiet Zone by Combining Mode Rotation and the CLEAN Deconvolution Algorithm
Abstract—It has been shown that it is possible to get a good estimation of the location of the largest centers of reflection causing ripple in the quiet zone using spherical near-field scanning of the quiet zone in combination with back projection to far-field. This method however, suffers from poor resolution at lower frequencies making it hard to distinguish small contributions from the main beam if they are closely spaced. For this purpose the CLEAN algorithm has been adapted and is presented here.
Calculating Complex Gain Voltage with Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements
Abstract—The measurement geometry and data processing techniques employed in spherical near-field (SNF) antenna measurements naturally quantify the directivity of an antenna under test. Computing antenna gain from these measurements requires additional information and processing. Equations that can be used to calculate the magnitude of antenna gain from spherical near-field measurements are provided in seminal SNF references, but equations that describe how to calculate the complex gain voltage of an antenna with spherical near-field methods have been largely absent in the literature. This paper presents equations that may be used to calculate the complex gain voltage of an antenna using the gain substitution method in a spherical near-field test range. The equations are presented in a more generalized format than previously seen, and will show how to use a combination of data collected in the near-field with data transformed to the far-field to calculate the gain voltage. Practical examples are provided for determining gain voltage using a single measurement set-up or multiple measurement set-ups, including a method to calculate gain voltage of each port of a multi-port antenna requiring only a single full sphere measurement of the standard gain antenna.
Cylindrical near-field antenna measurement system using photonic mm-wave generation with UTC-PD
Abstract— In order to achieve precise antenna pattern measurement in mm-wave frequency region, we propose a cylindrical near-field antenna measurement system using photomixing technique with UTC-PD. Due to this system, we can use an optical fiber as the transmission line of mm-wave signal and downsize the mm-wave signal source. Accordingly, we can achieve flexible cable movement and suppress the disturbance from the waveguide components. In this paper, we will show the measured near-field distribution on cylindrical coordinate by the proposed system and calculated far-field antenna pattern of standard gain horn antenna in W-band.
New Method to Design a Multiband Flexible Textile Antenna
Abstract— This paper presents an original way for the design simulation, implementation, and measurement of a multiband flexible textile antenna. The aim is to realize an antenna with a dipolar radiation at several resonance frequencies. The radiating element is a monopole antenna. This antenna naturally exhibits a dipole and a quadripole radiation pattern for the first and second resonance frequency respectively. This behavior is due to the current distribution on the antenna. To constrain the second mode to change into a dipolar radiation pattern, two decorrelated and non-radiating parasitic elements are added to the antenna. At this second resonance frequency, the current distribution is different from the one of the quadripolar mode by the parasitic elements. The dimensions of these parasitic elements are defined by electromagnetic simulations and measurements. To validate this method, the monopole antenna is studied. The radiating element of the antenna is sewn on the textile flexible substrate. This substrate was previously characterized in terms of relative permittivity and losses. The near-field magnetic field and the far-field radiation pattern are studied in simulations and measurements.
Four-Arm Wideband Log-Periodic Antenna and its High Power Measurements
Abstract—Four arm Log-Periodic (LP) antennas are frequency independent antennas that are capable of producing dual circular polarizations from the same aperture and over the same bandwidth making them more versatile than commonly used spiral antennas. In this paper we present a four arm LP that is capable of being a high power radiator. Each pair of arms of the LP is fed with a microstrip line that functions as both an impedance transformer and a 180° balun, thereby greatly simplifying the required beamformer. The antenna is tested successfully up to 500W of input CW power. Post high power characterizations of the antenna (far-field gain, radiation patterns, and VSWR) for linear polarization are presented and the stable high power performance of the antenna is demonstrated. With an appropriate beamformer, good quality circular polarization can be expected. Presented results should pave the way for use of the LP in relevant wideband high power applications.
COMBINATION PLANAR, CYLINDRICAL, FAR-FIELD AND DUAL SPHERICAL NEAR-FIELD TEST SYSTEM FOR 0.2 – 110 GHz APPLICATIONS
Abstract — Nearfield Systems Inc. (NSI) has been contracted by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Waterloo to install a unique antenna test system with multiple configurations allowing it to characterize a wide variety of antenna types over a very wide bandwidth. The system employs a total of 10 positional axes to allow near-field and far-field testing in various modes of operation with great flexibility. A 4 m x 4 m planar near-field (PNF) scanner is used for testing directive antennas operating at frequencies up to 110 GHz with laser interferometer position feedback providing dynamic probe position correction. The PNF’s Y-axis can also be used for cylindrical near-field (CNF) testing applications when paired with a floor mounted azimuth rotation stage. A single phi-over-theta positioner permits both spherical near-field (SNF) testing from L-band to W-band and far-field testing down to 0.2 GHz. This positioner is installed on a translation stage allowing 1.8 m of Z-axis travel to adjust the probe-to-AUT separation. In addition, a theta-over-phi swing arm SNF system is available for testing large, gravitationally sensitive antennas that may be easily installed on a floor mounted rotation stage. In order to ensure system and personnel safety, a complex interlock system was designed to reduce the risk of mechanical interference and ease the transition from one configuration to another. The system installation and validation was completed in March 2013. We believe that this facility is unique in that it encompasses all commonly used near-field configurations within one chamber. It therefore provides a perfect environment for the training of young engineers and could potentially form the baseline of future academic test facilities. This paper will outline the technical specifications of the scanner and discuss the recommended applications for each configuration. It will also describe the details of the safety interlock system.
High Gain Antenna Back Lobes from Near-Field Measurements
Abstract -We propose a method of utilizing near-field spherical measurements so as to obtain the back lobes of high gain antennas without sacrificing the accuracy of the far-field, high-gain main lobe prediction. While a spherical scan is perfectly adequate to gauge the relatively broad back lobes, it is in general inadequate to capture the required details of a sharp forward peak. We overcome this difficulty through recourse to our Field Mapping Algorithm (FMA), which latter allows us to assemble planar near-field data based upon the spherical measurements actually acquired. In particular, planar data of this sort on the forward, main-lobe side offers the standard route to predicting the desired, high-gain, far-field pattern. Our spherical-to-planar FMA near-field data manufacture showed excellent agreement with direct planar near-field measurements for a slot array antenna, each one of them, naturally, underlying a common, far-field, high-gain pattern.
Mechanical and Electrical Alignment Techniques for Plane-polar Near-field Test Systems
This paper will describe newly developed mechanical and electrical alignment techniques for use with plane-polar near-field test systems. A simulation of common plane-polar alignment errors will illustrate, and quantify, the alignment accuracy tolerances required to yield high quality far-field data, as well as bounding the impact of highly repeatable systematic alignment errors. The new plane-polar electrical alignment technique comprises an adaptation of the existing, widely used, spherical near-field electrical alignment procedure  and can be used on small, and large, plane-polar near-field antenna test systems.
Spherical Near-Field Measurement Results at Millimeter-Wave Frequencies Using Robotic Positioning
We describe millimeter-wave near-field measurements made with the new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) robotic scanning system. This cost-effective system is designed for high-frequency performance, is capable of scanning in multiple configurations, and is able to track measurement geometry at every point in a scan. We have measured a WR-5 standard gain horn at 183 GHz using the spherical near-field method. We compare these results to a theoretical model and to a direct far-field measurement.
Slotted Waveguide Array Beamformer Characterization Using Integrated Calibration Channel
In military applications, where low sidelobes and high precision in beam pointing are vital, a phased array antenna beamformer requires to be calibrated regarding the cabling that connects the beamformer to the antenna and mutual coupling between antenna elements. To avoid problems associated with mismatched phase transmission lines between the beamformer and the antenna and include the coupling effects, beamforming network characterization must be done with the antenna integrated to the beamformer. In this paper, a method to characterize the beamformer of a slotted waveguide array antenna in the antenna measurement range is introduced. The antenna is a travelling wave slotted waveguide array scanning in the elevation plane. The elevation pattern of the antenna is a shaped beam realized by a phase-only beamformer. The calibration channel includes serial cross-guide couplers fed by a single waveguide line. The channel is integrated to the waveguide lines of the antenna. In the first phase of the characterization, the far field pattern of each antenna element is obtained from the near field measurements at the “zero” states of the phase shifters. In the second stage, all states of the phase shifters are measured automatically using the calibration channel described above. The results of calibration channel measurements are used to determine the changes in phase and magnitude for different states of phase shifters. The phase and magnitude of the peak point of the far field pattern is referenced to the zero state measurement of the calibration channel. Phase only pattern synthesis is carried out using the results of both zero-state near field and calibration channel measurements and the required phase shifter states are determined accordingly. Measured patterns show good agreement with the theoretical patterns obtained in the synthesis phase.
A Portable Antenna Measurement System for Large-Scale and Multi-Contour Near-Fields
Antenna measurement facilities face their physical limits with the growing size of today’s large and narrow packed antenna farms of telecom satellites but also of large unfurlable reflector antennas for low frequency telecom applications. The special operational constraints that come along when measuring such large future antennas demand for new measurement approaches, especially if the availability or realization of present measurement systems with large anechoic chambers is not an option. This paper presents a new system called PAMS (Portable Antenna Measurement System). The most characteristic part of PAMS is that the RF instrumentation is installed inside a gondola that is positioned by an overhead crane. The gondola is equipped with one or several probes to scan the near-fields of the antenna under test. With a modified crane control the gondola can be placed anywhere within the working space of the crane, which is considered as being giant in comparison to measurement volumes of existing large antenna test facilities. The whole system supports but is not limited to common classical near-field scanning techniques. Thanks to new near-field to far-field transformations the system can deal with arbitrary free form scanning surfaces and probe orientations allowing measurements that have been constrained by the classical near-field theory so far. The paper will explain the PAMS concept on system level and briefly on sub-system level. As proof of concept, study results of critical technologies are discussed. The paper will conclude with the status about on-going development activities.
Computational Electromagnetic Modeling of Near-Field Antenna Test Systems Using Plane Wave Spectrum Scattering Matrix Approach
In recent years a number of analyses and simulations have been published that estimate the effect of using a probe with higher order azimuthal modes with standard probe corrected spherical transformation software. In the event the probe has higher order modes, errors will be present within the calculated antenna under test (AUT) spherical mode coefficients and the resulting asymptotic far-field parameters [1, 2, 3, 4] where the simulations were harnessed to examine these errors in detail. Within those studies, a computational electromagnetic simulation (CEM) was developed to calculate the output response for an arbitrary AUT/probe combination where the probe is placed at arbitrary locations on the measurement sphere ultimately allowing complete near-field acquisitions to be simulated. The planar transmission equation was used to calculate the probe response using the plane wave spectra for actual AUTs and probes derived from either planar or spherical measurements. The planar transmission formula was utilized as, unlike the spherical analogue, there is no limitation on the characteristics of the AUT or probe thereby enabling a powerful, entirely general, model to be constructed. This paper further extends this model to enable other measurement configurations and errors to be considered including probe positioning errors which can result in ideal first order probes exhibiting higher order azimuthal mode structures. The model will also be used to determine the accuracy of the Chu and Semplak near-zone gain correction  that is used in the calibration of pyramidal horns. The results of these additional simulations are presented and discussed. Keywords: near-field, antenna measurements, near-field probe, spherical alignment, spherical mode analysis. REFERENCES A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) 34th Annual Meeting & Symposium, Bellevue, Washington October 21-26, 2012. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Higher Order Mode Probes in Spherical Near-Field Measurements”, 7th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2013) 8-12 April 2013. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) 35th Annual Meeting & Symposium, Columbus, Ohio, October 6-11, 2013. A.C. Newell, S.F. Gregson, “Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Azimuthal Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction”, The 8th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2014) 6-11 April 2014. T.S. Chu, R.A. Semplak, “Gain of Electromagnetic Horns,’’ Bell Syst. Tech. Journal, pp. 527-537, March 1965
Advances in Instrumentation and Positioners for Millimeter-Wave Antenna Measurements
Applications using millimeter-wave antennas have taken off in recent years. Examples include wireless HDTV, automotive radar, imaging and space communications. NSI has delivered dozens of antenna measurement systems operating at mm-wave frequencies. These systems are capable of measuring a wide variety of antenna types, including antennas with waveguide inputs, coaxial inputs and wafer antennas that require a probing station. The NSI systems are all based on standard mm-wave modules from vendors such as OML, Rohde & Schwarz and Virginia Diodes. This paper will present considerations for implementation of these systems, including providing the correct RF and LO power levels, the impact of harmonics, and interoperability with coaxial solutions. It will also investigate mechanical aspects such as application of waveguide rotary joints, size and weight reduction, and scanner geometries for spherical near-field and far-field measurements. The paper will also compare the performance of the various mm-wave solutions. Radiation patterns acquired using some of these near-field test systems will be shared, along with some of the challenges encountered when performing mm-wave measurements in the near-field.
Source Reconstruction for Radome Diagnostics
Radome enclose antennas to protect them from environmental influences. Radomes are ideally electrically transparent, but in reality, radomes introduce transmission loss, pattern distortion, beam deflection, etc. Radome diagnostics are acquired in the design process, the delivery control, and in performance verification of repaired and newly developed radome. A measured near or far-field may indicate deviations, e.g., increased side-lobe levels or boresight errors, but the origin of the flaws are not revealed. In this presentation, source reconstruction from measured data is used for radome diagnostics. Source reconstruction is a useful tool in applications such as non-destructive diagnostics of antennas and radomes. The radome diagnostics is performed by visualizing the equivalent currents on the surface of the radome. Defects caused by metallic and dielectric patches are imaged from far-field data. The measured far-field is related to the equivalent surface current on the radome surface by using a surface integral representation together with the extinction theorem. The problem is solved by a body of revolution method of moment (MoM) code utilizing a singular value decomposition (SVD) for regularization. Phase shifts, an effective insertion phase delay (IPD), caused by patches of dielectric tape attached to the radome surface, are localized. Imaging results from three different far-field measurement series at 10 GHz are presented. Specifically, patches of various edge sizes (0.5?2.0 wavelengths), and with the smallest thickness corresponding to a phase shift of a couple of degrees are imaged. The IPD of one layer dielectric tape, 0.15 mm, is detected. The dielectric patches model deviations in the electrical thickness of the radome wall. The results from the measurements can be utilized to produce a trimming mask, which is a map of the surface with instructions how the surface should be altered to obtain the desired properties for the radome. Diagnosis of the IPD on the radome surface is also significant in the delivery control to guarantee manufacturing tolerances of radomes.
Nearfield RCS Measurements of Full ScaleTargets Using ISAR
Near field Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) are used in this study to obtain geometrically correct images and far field RCS. The methods and the developed algorithms required for the imaging and the RCS extraction are described and evaluated in terms of performance in this paper. Most of the RCS measurements on full scale objects that are performed at our measurement ranges are set up at distances shorter than those given by the far field criterion. The reasons for this are e.g., constraints in terms of budget, available equipment and ranges but also technical considerations such as maximizing the signal to noise in the measurements. The calibrated near-field data can often be used as recorded for diagnostic measurements. However, in many cases the far field RCS is also required. Data processing is then needed to transform the near field data to far field RCS in those cases. A straightforward way to image the RCS data recorded in the near field is to use the backprojection algorithm. The amplitudes and locations for the scatterers are then determined in a pixel by pixel imaging process. The most complicated part of the processing is due to the near field geometry of the measurement. This is the correction that is required to give the correct incidence angles in all parts of the imaged area. This correction has to be applied on a pixel by pixel basis taking care to weigh the samples correctly. The images obtained show the geometrically correct locations of the target scatterers with exceptions for some target features e.g., when there is multiple or resonance scattering. Separate features in the images can be gated and an inverse processing step can be performed to obtain the far field RCS of the full target or selected parts of the target, as a function of angle and frequency. Examples of images and far field RCS extracted from measurements on full scale targets using the ISAR processing techniques described in this paper will be given.
EIRP & SFD Measurement Methodology for Planar Near-Field Antenna Ranges
Equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) and Saturating flux density (SFD) are two system level parameters often sought during characterizing of spacecraft systems. The EIRP quantity is the power that an isotropic radiator will have to transmit to lead to the same power density that the AUT will effect at a specific angle of interest. A convenient measurement technique is to set up a standard gain antenna as receiver in the far-field of an AUT and to then determine EIRP by measuring the power at the port of the standard gain receiving antenna. Since the distance is known the EIRP can be calculated. SFD is the flux required to saturate the receiver of the antenna under test and is also usually determined on a far-field range. The philosophy of this measurement is to determine the saturation level of the receiver and this is typically achieved by gradually increasing the input power level of the transmitter. This process continues as long as the receiver response linearly tracks the increase in power of the transmitter and is terminated once the receiver is saturated. Thus, SFD can be interpreted as being the receive system parameter analogy of the transmit system parameter EIRP. There is a common misconception that these parameters cannot be measured on a near-field range and that they require far-field (or far-field equivalent, i.e. compact range) conditions for a valid measurement to be made. However, the principles for measuring both of these parameters in a planar near-field range (PNF) were presented in : An EIRP technique is presented in  equation 32 and this approach relies on a complex integration of the measured near-field power, the near-field probe gain and a single power measurement at a reference location. A SFD technique is presented in  equation 39. This technique also relies on a complex integration of the measured near-field power, the near-field probe gain and a single transmitting probe power measurement at a reference location. Although these descriptions are theoretically concise their execution is not obvious  and as a result, there still seems to be hesitation in making (and trusting) these measurements in industry. This paper intends to provide further insight into measuring these two parameters in a PNF range and offers test procedures outlining the steps involved in doing so. The principle goal is to offer further explanation to illuminate the underlying principles. The work presented here is not new, but is presented as a tutorial on this illusive subject.  Newell, Ward and McFarlane, “Gain and Power Parameter Measurements Using Planar Near-Field Techniques”, IEE APS Transactions, Vol 36, No. 6, June 1988.  Masters & Young, “Automated EIRP measurements on a near-field range”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association Conference, September 30 - October 3, 1996.
Effects of a Non-Ideal Plane Wave on Compact Range Measurements
Performance requirements for compact ranges are typically specified as metrics describing the quiet zone's electromagnetic-field quality. The typical metrics are amplitude taper and ripple, phase variation, and cross polarization. Acceptance testing of compact ranges involves phase probing of the quiet zone to confirm that these metrics are within their specified limits. It is expected that if the metrics are met, then measurements of an antenna placed within that quiet zone will have acceptably low uncertainty. However, a literature search on the relationship of these parameters to resultant errors in antenna measurement yields limited published documentation on the subject. Various methods for determining the uncertainty in antenna measurements have been previously developed and presented for far-field and near-field antenna measurements. An uncertainty analysis for a compact range would include, as one of its terms, the quality of the field illuminating on the antenna of interest. In a compact range, the illumination is non-ideal in amplitude, phase and polarization. Error sources such as reflector surface inaccuracies, chamber-induced stray signals, reflector and edge treatment geometry, and instrumentation RF leakage, perturb the illumination from ideal.
Investigations on Gain Measurement Accuracies at Limited Far-Field Conditions
Driven by the mobile data communications needs of market broadband antennas at the upper frequency bands are already state-of-the-art, e.g. at the Ka-Band. For the characterization of an antenna the antenna gain is one of the major test parameters. This measurement task is already challenging for standard applications at the Ka-Band. However, for the calibration of remote station antennas utilized in high precision test facilities, e.g. the compact range, even higher measurement accuracies are typically required in order to fulfil the overall system performance within the later test facility. Therefore the requirement for this investigation is to improve the measurement set-up and also the steps to get a failure budget which is better than ± 0.15 dB. Every antenna gain measurement technique is affected by required changes in the measurement setup, e.g. the Device under Test (DUT) or the remote station, respectively. This results for example in a variation of mismatch with resulting measurement errors. To determine and compensate the occurred mismatches, the scattering parameters of the involved components have to be measured and be evaluated with a corresponding correction formula. To quantify the effect for the gain measurement accuracy the remaining uncertainty of the mismatch correction values is examined. Another distortion is caused by multiple reflections between the antenna apertures. To reduce this error source, four additional measurements each with a decreased free space distance should be performed. In addition to the common methods, this paper explains in detail an advanced error correction method by using the singular value decomposition (SVD) and compares this to the standard mean value approach. Finally the restricted distance between both antennas within the applied anechoic far-field test chamber has to be analysed very critically and optionally corrected for the far-field gain at an infinite distance in case the measurement distance is fulfilling the minimum distance requirement, only. The paper will discuss all major error contributions addressed above, show correction approaches and verify these algorithms with exemplary gain measurements in comparison to the expected figures.
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