AMTA Paper Archive
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A Modern, Indoor Far-Field Extrapolation Range
Prior literature in the subject area of far-field antenna measurements has demonstrated an extrapolation technique to isolate and correct the errors due to near-zone proximity effects as well as multi-path range reflections, thus allowing data to be collected at distances much less than the conventionally defined far-field criteria. This paper describes a modern, indoor, far-field antenna measurement range specifically designed to support this extrapolation technique. A multi-axis positioning system featuring a mobile horn tower capable of motion along the chamber Z-axis is emphasized. High-speed RF instrumentation and advanced software control support the full automation of the extrapolation method. This contemporary approach is demonstrated, and measurement examples are provided for an X-band slotted waveguide array. The resultant far-field gain calculations are also compared to similar data extracted using near-field scanning techniques.
Measurement Traceability in the CISPR 16-1-6 pattern measurements for CISPR 16-1-4 Site Validations
The publication of CISPR 16-1-6  in 2107 marked a significant change in the CISPR documents, for the first time the consideration of how to perform antenna pattern measurements in and determine the associated estimate of the uncertainty of those measurement. This is a look at that technique and presentation of how that helps and relates to measurement traceability.
Influence of the Phase Uncertainty in Spherical Wave Expansion in the Millimeter-Wave Range
Phase uncertainty in antenna measurements introduces significant errors to the amplitude of the transformed pattern in Spherical Wave Expansion (SWE). To get a better understanding of the impact of phase errors, the measured phase error of a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) is synthesized as a random phase error and subsequently added to the measured antenna patterns of three different antennas during the SWE. The resulting erroneous patterns are compared with the measured reference patterns and the error magnitude and probability distribution are studied. It is proven that the introduced errors to the transformed far-field patterns can be substantial. Furthermore, the relation between the antenna type and the error level and distribution is elaborated. The error level is different for the three antennas and the error level distribution is dependent on the mode spectra of the antennas.
Measurements of Non-Metallic Targets for the Austin RCS Benchmark Suite
A simulation-supported measurement campaign was conducted to collect monostatic radar cross section (RCS) data as part of a larger effort to establish the Austin RCS Benchmark Suite, a publicly available benchmark suite for quantifying the performance of RCS simulations. In order to demonstrate the impact of materials on RCS simulation and measurement, various mixed-material targets were built and measured. The results are reported for three targets: (i) Solid Resin Almond: an almond-shaped low-loss homogeneous target with the characteristic length of ~10-in. (ii) Open Tail-Coated Almond: the surface of the solid resin almond's tail portion was coated with a highly conductive silver, effectively forming a resin-filled open cavity with metallic walls. (iii) Closed Tail-Coated Almond: the resin almond was manufactured in two pieces, the tail piece was coated completely with silver coating (creating a closed metallic surface), and the two pieces were joined. The measured material properties of the resin are reported; the RCS measurement setup, data collection, and post processing are detailed; and the uncertainty in measured data is quantified with the help of simulations.
GSS (Gated-Short-Short) Calibration for Free-space Material Measurements in millimeter-Wave Frequency Band
Electrical properties of materials are requisite to design electromagnetic (EM) devices and systems. Free-space material measurement method, where the measurands are the free-space scattering parameters of MUT (Material Under Test) located at the middle of transmit (Tx)/receive (Rx) antennas, is suitable for non-destructively testing MUT without prior machining and physical contact in high frequencies. In this paper, GSS (Gated-Short-Short) calibration method using a planar offset short is proposed for calibrating a free-space material measurement system and the measurement result is shown in W-band (75-110 GHz).
Personal Near-field System
In 1987 the author built the world's first Personal Near-field antenna measurement System (PNS). This led to the formation of Nearfield Systems Inc. (NSI) a company that became a major manufacturer of commercial near-field antenna measurement systems. After leaving NSI in 2015 several new personal antenna measurement tools were built including a modern updated PNS. The new PNS consists of a portable XY scanner, a hand held microwave analyzer and a laptop computer running custom software. The PNS was then further generalized into a modular electromagnetic field imaging tool called "Radio Camera". The Radio Camera measures electromagnetic fields as a n-dimensional function of swept independent parameters. The multidimensional data sets are processed with geometric and spectral transformations and then visualized. This paper provides an overview of the new PNS and Radio Camera, discusses operational considerations, and compares it with the technology of the original 1987 PNS. Today it is practical for companies, schools and individuals to build low-cost personal antenna measurement systems that are fully capable of meeting modern industry measurement standards. These systems can be further enhanced to explore and visualize electromagnetic fields in new and interesting ways.
Reduced Aperture Flanged Rectangular Waveguide Probe for Measurement of Conductor Backed Uniaxial Materials
An algorithm is developed for the non-destructive extraction of constitutive parameters from uniaxial anisotropic materials backed by a conductive layer. A method of moments-based approach is used in conjunction with a previously-determined Green function. A dominant-mode analysis is done for rapid comparison of the derived forward model with that of commercially-available software. Finally, laboratory measurements are taken to compare this approach to that of a destructive, high-precision method.
A Review of the Changes and Additions to the Antenna Measurement Standard IEEE Std 149
The IEEE Standard 149, Standard Test Procedures for Antennas, has not been revised since 1979. Over the years the Standard was reaffirmed, that is, its validity was re-established by the IEEE APS Standards Committee, without any changes. Recently however, the IEEE Standards Association stopped the practice of reaffirming standards. This change in policy by the IEEE has been the "medicine" that this Standard needed. A working group was organized and a project authorization request (PAR) was approved by IEEE for the document to be updated. In this paper, the expected changes to the document are described and commented. The main change is to convert the Standard to a recommended practice document. Additionally, some new techniques to measure antennas, such as the use of reverberation chambers for efficiency measurements and more information on compact ranges, is discussed. Other topics inserted are more guidance on indoor ranges and an updated section on instrumentation. Most importantly, a discussion on uncertainty is included. The result will be a very useful document for those designing and evaluating antenna test facilities, and those performing the antenna measurements.
Proposed Changes and Updates on IEEE Std 1128 - Recommended Practice on Absorber Evaluation
The last published version of the IEEE Std 1128 is the 1998 edition. It is titled "Recommended Practice for RF Absorber Evaluation in the Range of 30 MHz to 5 GHz". Over the years, the document has been used widely for absorber evaluations in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) applications as well as in antenna and microwave measurement applications. Besides the obvious frequency range which needs to be expanded to satisfy today's applications, several areas are in need of an update. The proposed document will change the upper frequency limit to 40 GHz (with provisions in the document to potentially extend above 40 GHz based on test methods). Measurement uncertainties were not discussed in the IEEE Std. 1128-1998. In the new edition, measurement instrumentation and test methods are expected to be updated with guidance on estimating measurement uncertainties. In the proposed document, a section on absorber evaluations for high power applications is planned, and fire properties and test methods will be included.
Robotically Controlled Pattern Measurements of 60 GHz Phased Array Antenna
The characterization of antenna radiation patterns in the millimeter wave band are particularly challenging. This is due to the fact that a misalignment of just a few millimeters between the probe and the antenna can generate substantial measurement errors. This paper describes a strategy to reduce measurement errors by introducing a highly precise measurement system using a 6-axis small robotic arm to characterize the performance of a phased array antenna operating at 60 GHz. The position accuracy of the robotic arm itself is approximately 20 m and a maximum far field distance of approximately 380 mm can be achieved. The robot is programmed to perform a spherical trajectory around the array with stops every 0.5⁰ along the path to gather the measured gain. It operates continuously by communicating with a computer, which triggers the network analyzer at preprogrammed locations. The system is tested initially using two horn antennas as the antenna under test (AUT), and the results are presented.
On the Minimum Range Length for Performing Accurate Direct Far-Field Over-the-Air Measurements
Over-the-air (OTA) performance evaluation requires large investments in anechoic environments. The question of minimizing the test distance is hence critical, and even more in this time where millimeter-wave technologies are about to be largely deployed in 5G devices. A recent publication has identified that direct far-field measurements can be accurately carried out at a much shorter range length than the well-known Fraunhofer distance. This paper introduces a further validation of this reduced distance, by employing an innovative method to simulate spherical measurements with arbitrary DUT, test probes and range lengths. The studies carried out confirm the relevance of this shorter distance, not only for the evaluation of the peak equivalent istropic radiated power (EIRP) or sensitivity (EIS), but also for the total radiated power (TRP) or sensitivity (TIS). In addition, it is demonstrated that the usual assumption that the TRP or TIS measurement is almost independent from the range length is flawed. Two main reasons relating to the test antenna are established which create this dependence: (i) OTA test probes have a finite resolution, and (ii) the probe and instrumentation typically captures the magnitude of two components of the E-field, which are not straightforwardly related to the power density in the near-field.
Recent Changes to the IEEE std 1502 Recommended Practice for Radar Cross-Section Test Procedures
Radar scattering is typically represented as the RCS of the test object. The term RCS evolved from the basic metric for radar scattering: the ratio of the power scattered from an object in units of power per solid angle (steradians) normalized to the plane-wave illumination in units of power per unit area. The RCS is thus given in units of area (or effective cross-sectional area of the target, hence the name). Note that the RCS of the test object is a property of the test object alone; it is neither a function of the radar system nor the distance between the radar and the test object, if the object is in the far field. Because the RCS of a target can have large amplitude variation in frequency and angle, it is expressed in units of decibels with respect to a square meter and is abbreviated as dBsm (sometimes DBSM or dBm2). In terms of this definition, the RCS of a radar target is a scalar ratio of powers. If the effects of polarization and phase are included, the scattering can be expressed as a complex polarimetric scattering (CPS) matrix. The measurement of the RCS of a test object requires the test object to be illuminated by an electromagnetic plane wave and the resultant scattered signal to be observed in the far field. After calibration, this process yields the RCS of the test object in units of area, or the full scattering matrix as a set of complex scattering coefficients. This paper describes the planned upgrades to the old IEEE Std 1502™-2007 IEEE Recommended Practice for Radar Cross-Section Test Procedures . The new standard will reflect the recent improvements in numerical tools, measurement technology and uncertainty estimates in the past decade.
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