AMTA Paper Archive


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A Simple High-Perfomance P-Band First-Order Dual-Port Probe for Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements based on the Shorted Annular Patch Antenna
M Brandt-Møller, M Fröhner, O Breinbjerg, October 2019
This paper presents a new type of P-band first-order dual-port probe for spherical near-field antenna measurements. The probe is based on the well-known shorted annular patch antenna but some extensions are introduced for the probe application. This probe is mechanically simple which facilitates its manufacturing and operation. In addition, it has high performance for impedance bandwidth, pattern, directivity, and gain.
3D Printed Magneto-Electric Phased Array Antenna for Various 5G New Radio Bands
Connor Laffey, Philip Nguyen, Ghanshyam Mishra, Satish K. Sharma, October 2019
A dual linear polarized 3D printed magneto-electric phased array antenna for various 5G New Radio (NR) frequency bands is proposed and its beam steering performance is investigated. The magneto-electric radiating element exhibits a well-defined stable pattern quality, low variation in the impedance over a wider bandwidth and high port to port isolation in a dual polarization configuration. The analog beamforming network (BFN) of the array is also designed. The fabricated board will be combined with the 3D printed array aperture for experimental verification of the scan performance.
Low-Cost Pressure/Temperature Measurements of Wideband Antennas
L Boskovic, M Ignatenko, D S Filipovic, November 2018
This paper discusses design and fabrication of a low cost, combined pressure / thermal test-bench engineered for environmental tests of UAV mounted antennas. Both test-beds are mainly made of commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) parts and in-house made frames. They occupy small space and do not require specific professional skills for operation or high maintenance cost. Measurement setup is designed to reliably reproduce temperature and pressure corresponding to altitudes from sea level to 6000 m (20000 ft) with dynamic load equivalent for 200 m/s (400 knots) of air speed. Experimental results of radome enclosed wideband antenna are presented.
Aircraft Radome Characterization via Multiphysics Simulation
Eamon Whalen, Gopinath Gampala, Katelyn Hunter, Sarthak Mishra, C J Reddy, November 2018
Altair Engineering Inc. Troy, MI USA- Figure 1. The electromagnetic, aerodynamic, and structural performance of a nose cone radome can be characterized by computational simulation, allowing for early design concept validation and reducing the dependence on physical testing. Abstract-Radomes protect antennas from structural damage due to wind, precipitation, and bird strikes. In aerospace applications, radomes often double as a nose cone and thus have a significant impact on the aerodynamics of the aircraft. While radomes should be designed not to affect the performance of the underlying antennas, they also must satisfy structural and aerodynamic requirements. In this paper, we demonstrate a multiphysics approach to analysis of airborne radomes not only for electromagnetic (EM) performance, but also for structural, aerodynamic, and bird strike performances, as depicted in figure 1. We consider a radome constructed using composite fiberglass plies and a foam core, and coated with an anti-static coating, paint, and primer. A slotted waveguide array is designed at X-band to represent a weather radar antenna. The transmission loss of the radome walls is analyzed using a planar Green's function approach. An asymptotic technique, Ray-Launching Geometric Optics (RL-GO), is used to accurately simulate the nose cone radome and compute transmission loss, boresight error, and sidelobe performance. In addition to EM analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis is used to predict pressures resulting from high air speeds, which are then mapped to an implicit structural solution to assess structural integrity using the Finite Element Method (FEM). We also demonstrate damage prediction due to a "bird strike" impact using an explicit structural FEM solver. The multiphysics simulation techniques demonstrated in this paper will allow for early design validation and reduce the number of measurement iterations required before a radome is certified for installation.
Parameter Extraction Algorithm for Conductor Backed, Bi-Layered Uniaxial Materials
Adam L Brooks, Michael J Havrilla, November 2018
An algorithm is developed for the extraction of constitutive parameters from bi-layered uniaxial anisotropic materials backed by a conductive layer. A method of moments-based approach is used in conjunction with a previously-determined Green function. Possible challenges related to measurement diversity are highlighted and a possible mitigation path is proposed.
Specular Reflectance and Antenna Property Measurements in 325-500 GHz Frequency Range
Jin-Seob Kang, Jeong-Hwan Kim, Yong Kwang, Kang, Dae Hwan Yoon, Sung Won Park, November 2018
Specular reflectance data of indoor interior materials is a prerequisite to analysis of the channel characteristics for new millimeter and submillimeter indoor wireless communications. Antenna property such as gain and radiation pattern is one of the key measurement quantities in electromagnetic wave metrology. This paper describes a specular reflectance and antenna property measurement system and shows measurement results of the specular reflectance of an Acetal plate and the antenna property of a 24 dB horn antenna in 325-500 GHz frequency range.
Equivalent Sources Based Near-Field Far-Field Transformation Above Dielectric Half Space
Thomas F Eibert, Raimund A M Mauermayer, November 2018
In order to support near-field measurements of automobile antennas in as realistic as possible environments, an equivalent sources based near-field far-field transformation approach for near-field measurements above a possibly lossy dielectric half-space is presented and evaluated. Different possibilities for considering the half-space influence are discussed, where an approach with an appropriate half-space Green's function is found to be most accurate, as expected. The formulation of the equivalent sources transformation approach with the half-space Green's function and a formulation with free-space Green's function together with equivalent sources representation of the half-space influence are discussed and a variety of results are presented in order to corroborate the feasibility of the various approaches.
Reflection-Based Inverse Scattering Image Reconstruction for Non-Destructive Testing
Jakob Helander, Johan Lundgren, Daniel Sjöberg, Christer Larsson, Torleif Martin, Mats Gustafsson, November 2018
Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a fundamental step in the production chain of aircraft structural components since it can save both money and time in product evaluation and troubleshooting. This paper presents a reflection-based imaging technique for electromagnetic (EM) testing of composite panels, with the device under test (DUT) being metal backed and both the transmitting and receiving components of the NDT system situated on the same side of the DUT. One of the key properties of the presented technique is the complete redundancy of a reference measurement, thereby making it feasible to retrieve a high quality image of the DUT with only a single measurement. Data for both a proof-of-concept DUT and an industrially manufactured composite panel is provided, and the retrieved images show the applicability of both the measurement technique and the imaging algorithms.
Spot-Probe Reflectometer Measurements of Geological Core Slab Samples
Jose Oliverio Alvarez, Development, John W Schultz, November 2018
Rock core specimens collected during surveys for oil drilling have, in a standard form, a 4" diameter. Cores are cut in half or in 1/3-2/3 sections to provide core slab. We developed a measurement procedure based on spot probe illumination to characterize geological and/or geochemical properties of core slab specimens via their complex permittivity for frequencies between 2.5 GHz and 20 GHz. Conventional reflectometer methods are based on illumination of a thin slab of air-or metal-backed material. However, in this case only the front surface is flat and the back surface is semicircular. A measurement method was developed based on time-domain gating to separate the back-surface reflection from that of the front. Material inversion is then based on the amplitude and phase of the reflection just from the front surface. This paper presents details of the calibration for this reflectometer measurement method, along with example measurements of core slab materials. Two different inversion methods are applied to these measured data. The first is a more conventional frequency-by-frequency method for inverting complex permittivity from the amplitude and phase of the reflection. The second method applies a physical model, the Debye relaxation model, to the data. This model-based approach minimizes the errors from edge diffraction from the small sample size.
A Novel S-band Two-Layer Dielectric Rod Antenna with High Gain and Very Low Cross-polarization
Alessio Mancini, Jorge L Salazar-Cerreño, November 2018
In this paper, the concept of a new S-band dual-polarized dielectric rod antenna is discussed. The antenna is composed of two concentric dielectric cylinders. The inner dielectric presents high dielectric constant, while the outer has a lower dielectric constant. Given this configuration, the resulting antenna provides high gain, narrow beamwidth, large bandwidth, and very low cross-polarization. In addition, the antenna is lower size in the transversal dimensions, and is predicted to be lighter than other antennas that provide equivalent performance, especially at low frequencies (S-band). An antenna with such an architecture can be 3D-printed, and therefore, the cost for the fabrication are considerable low. Numerical results of the antenna performance are presented and discussed.
Estimation of the Realistic Ground Effect in Free-Space Automotive Measurements
F Saccardi, F Mioc, A Giacomini, L J Foged, November 2018
Testing of automotive antennas are commonly performed in large Spherical Near Field (SNF) ranges [1-3] able to host the entire vehicle to test the effect of the antenna coupling with the structure [3]. The impact of a realistic ground, such as asphalts or soil, on the radiation performance of the vehicle mounted antennas is often a desired information. As long as the free-space response of the vehicle is available, such information can be obtained with fairly good accuracy considering post-processing techniques based on the Image Theory (IT). Automotive systems with absorber material on the floor [3] are thus ideal for estimating such effects because the free-space signature of the vehicle is directly measured and because the radiation pattern is usually available on more than just a hemisphere. In this paper an IT-based technique which allows for the estimation of a realistic ground is proposed and validated with simulations where the measurement setup of a typical multi-probe free-space automotive system is emulated. The impact of the truncation of the scanning area is analyzed in detail showing how advanced post-processing techniques [4-6] can be involved to mitigate the truncation errors and thus obtain a better estimation of the realistic ground effect.
Validation of Additive Manufacturing for Broadband Choked Horns at X/Ku Band by Extensive Antenna Measurements
A Giacomini, R Morbidini, V Schirosi, F Saccardi, L J Foged, B Jun Gerg, D Melachrinos, M Boumans, November 2018
Additive manufacturing has become a popular alternative to traditional CAM techniques, as it has reached a suitable maturity and accuracy for microwave applications. The main advantage of the additive technologies is that the manufacturing can be performed directly from the 3D CAD model, available from the numerical simulation of the antenna, without significant modifications. This is a highly desirable feature, in particular for time and cost critical applications such as prototyping and manufacturing of small quantities of antennas. Different 3D-printing/additive manufacturing technologies are available in industry today. The purpose of the paper is an investigation on the accuracy and repeatability of the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) manufacturing technique applied to the construction of a batch of 15 broad band fully metallic chocked horns, operating at X/Ku band, manufactured in parallel. Manufacturing accuracy and repeatability has been evaluated using RF parameters as performance indicators comparing measured data and high accuracy simulations. The radiation patterns have been correlated to the numerical reference using the Equivalent Noise Level, while manufacturing repeatability is quantified on input matching by defining an interference level. These indicators have also been compared to state-of-the-art values commonly found for traditional manufacturing.
Reference Chip Antenna for 5G Measurement Facilities at mm-Wave
A Giacomini, F Scattone, L J Foged, E Szpindor, W Zhang, P O Iversen, Jean-Marc Baracco, November 2018
In this paper, we present a chip antenna in the 27GHz band, targeting 5G measurements. This antenna can be used as reference in mm-wave measurement systems, such as the MVG µ-Lab, feeding the antenna under test through a micro-probe station. The reference antenna is employed to calibrate in gain through the substitution method. The antenna shown in this paper is an array of four patches, fed through a strip-line beam forming network. A transition strip-line to coplanar waveguide allows the antenna be fed by the micro-probe.
Top-fed P-band Dual Circular Polarization Patch Antenna Design
Erda Wen, Chi-Chih Chen, November 2018
This paper discusses about the design, fabrication and testing of a compact P-band (370 MHz) dual circular polarization (CP) patch antenna. The antenna is intended for reflectometry applications by measuring both direct and ground reflected 370 MHz signals transmitted from a satellite or airborne source. This design adopts quadrature-phase hybrid feeding network for achieving excellent polarization purity and supporting simultaneously LHCP and RHCP measurements. Another novel design aspect is placing the feeding network on top of the patch so that the antenna can be mounted directly on a ground plane. Therefore, the resonant modes inside the patch is excited from the top instead of from ground plane as in conventional designs. High dielectric material (ECCOSTOCK®HiK) with a dielectric constant of 9 and loss tangent of 0.002 was used as the substrate to reduce the antenna size. The final antenna has a dimension of 5.9" x 5.9" x 1.3" (excluding ground plane) and weight of 1620 gram. The measured performance on a 1-foot diameter circular ground plane showed 4.5 dBic gain and 23 dB co-polarization to cross-polarization isolation at the center frequency for both LHCP and RHCP. The 1-dB gain bandwidth is approximately 3.7%.
Effective Polarization Filtering Techniques for Ground Penetrating Radar Applications
Sebastian G Wirth, Ivor L Morrow, November 2018
The effect of different decomposition techniques on the imaging and detection accuracy for polarimet-ric surface penetrating data is studied. We derive the general expressions for coherent polarimetric decomposition using the Stokes parameters and model based polarimetric decomposition using the Yamaguchi technique. These techniques are applied to multi-frequency (0.4-4.8GHz) full polarimetric near-field radar measurements of scattering from surface laid calibration objects and shallow buried landmine types and show in detail how the decomposition results provide effective surface and sub-surface clutter reduction and guide the interpretation of scattering from subsurface objects. Data processing methods assume cross-polar symmetry and a novel bistatic calibration procedure was developed to enforce this condition. The Yamaguchi polarimetric decomposition provides significant clutter reduction and image contrast with some loss in signal power; while Stokes parameters also provide imagery localising targets, complementary information on the scattering mechanism is also obtained. Finally a third novel polarimetric filter was formulated based on differential interferometric polarimetric decomposition. The three combined techniques contribute to a significant improvement of subsurface radar performance and detection image contrast.
Enhanced PNF Probe Positioning in a Thermally-Uncontrolled Environment using Stable AUT Monuments
John H Wynne, Farzin Motamed, George E Mcadams, November 2018
The need for thermal stability in a test chamber is a well-established requirement to maintain the accuracy and repeatability sought for high frequency planar near-field (PNF) scanner measurements. When whole chamber thermal control is impractical or unreliable, there are few established methods for maintaining necessary precision over a wide temperature range. Often the antenna under test (AUT) itself will require a closed-loop thermal control system for maintaining stable performance due to combined effects from transmission heat dissipation and the environment. In this paper, we propose a new approach for near-field system design that leverages this AUT stability, while relaxing the requirement of strict whole chamber thermal control. Fixed reference monuments strategically placed around the AUT aperture perimeter, when measured periodically with a sensing probe on the scanner, allow for the modeling and correction of the scanner positioning errors. This process takes advantage of the assumed stability of the reference monuments and attributes all apparent monument position changes to distortions in the scanner structure. When this monument measurement process is coupled with a scanner structure that can tolerate wide thermal variations, using expansion joints and kinematic connections, a robust structural error correction model can be generated using a bilinear mapping function. Application of such a structure correction technique can achieve probe positioning performance similar to scanners that require tightly controlled environments. Preliminary results as well as a discussion on potential design variations are presented.
Resurfacing the NASA Langley Experimental Test Range Reflector
Ron Schulze, Matthew Bray, Nathanael Flores-Palomera, Chris Vandelinder, Richard Boucher, George Szatkowski, Larry Ticatach, Angelo Cavone, Matthew Ayers, Michael Draszt, John Rooks, , , ,, November 2018
An ambitious resurfacing campaign was launched in late 2017 to correct for large reflector surface distortions present at the NASA LaRC Experiment Test Range (ETR) in support of performing Europa Clipper flight High Gain Antenna (HGA) measurements at X-and Ka-band frequencies. The effort was successful as the worst case peak-to-peak amplitude ripple was reduced from 4.0-dB to 1.5-dB across the 4.1-meter quiet zone.
A Novel GO-PSO Algorithm for Designing 3D- Printed Optimized Pixelized Inhomogenous and Shaped-Profiled Lens Antennas
Jordan Budhu, Yahya Rahmat-Samii, November 2018
In this paper, a novel algorithm for designing 3D-printed shaped inhomogeneous dielectric lens antennas is provided. The synthesis approach is based on a novel combination of Geometrical Optics (GO) and the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) method. The GO method can trace rays through inhomogeneous media and calculate the amplitude, phase, and polarization of the electric field. The algorithm is used to design an inhomogeneous lens antenna to produce an electronically scanned revolving conical beam to replace a mechanically scanned parabolic reflector antenna for spaceborne weather radar satellite antenna applications. Two breadboard model on-axis fed lens designs are presented and measured results given to validate the approach. A representative optimum off-axis design is presented which produces the revolving conically scanned beam. Imposition of a Body-of-Revolution restriction allows the optimization to be performed at a single offset feed location. The complex inhomogeneous engineered materials that results from optimization are printed using new 3D printers.
A New Dielectric Analyzer for Rapid Measurement of Microwave Substrates up to 6 GHz
John W Schultz, November 2018
This paper presents a new measurement method based on the parallel plate capacitor concept, which determines complex permittivity of dielectric sheets and films with thicknesses up to about 3.5 mm. Unlike the conventional devices, this new method uses a greatly simplified calibration procedure and is capable of measuring at frequencies from 10 MHz to 2 GHz, and in some cases up to 6 GHz. It solves the parasitic impedance limitations in conventional capacitor methods by explicitly modeling the fixture with a full-wave computational electromagnetic code. Specifically, a finite difference time domain (FDTD) code was used to not only design the fixture, but to create a database-based inversion algorithm. The inversion algorithm converts measured fixture reflection (S11) into dielectric properties of the specimen under test. This paper provides details of the fixture design and inversion method. Finally, example measurements are shown to demonstrate the utility of the method on typical microwave substrates.
Highly accurate fully-polarimetric radar cross section facility for mono- and bistatic measurements at W-band frequencies
Andreas Olk, Kais-Ben Khadhra, Thiemo Spielmann, October 2017
New requirements in the field of autonomous driving and large bandwidth telecommunication are currently driving the research in millimeter-wave technologies, which resulted in many novel applications such as automotive radar sensing, vital signs monitoring and security scanners. Experimental data on scattering phenomena is however only scarcely available in this frequency domain. In this work, a new mono- and bistatic radar cross section (RCS) measurement facility is detailed, addressing in particular angular dependent reflection and transmission characterization of special RF material, e.g. radome or absorbing material and complex functional material (frequency selective surfaces, metamaterials), RCS measurements for the system design of novel radar devices and functions or for the benchmark of novel computational electromagnetics methods. This versatile measurement system is fully polarimetric and operates at W-band frequencies (75 to 110 GHz) in an anechoic chamber. Moreover, the mechanical assembly is capable of 360° target rotation and a large variation of the bistatic angle (25° to 335°). The system uses two identical horn lens antennas with an opening angle of 3° placed at a distance of 1 m from the target. The static transceiver is fed through an orthomode transducer (OMT) combining horizontal and vertical polarized waves from standard VNA frequency extenders. A compact and lightweight receiving unit rotating around the target was built from an equal OMT and a pair of frequency down-converters connected to low noise amplifiers increasing the dynamic range. The cross-polarization isolation of the OMTs is better than 23 dB and the signal to noise ratio in the anechoic chamber is 60 dB. In this paper, the facility including the mm-wave system is deeply studied along with exemplary measurements such as the permittivity determination of a thin polyester film through Brewster angle determination. A polarimetric calibration is adapted, relying on canonical targets complemented by a novel highly cross-polarizing wire mesh fabricated in screen printing with highly conductive inks. Using a double slit experiment, the accuracy of the mechanical positioning system was determined to be better than 0.1°. The presented RCS measurements are in good agreement with analytical and numerical simulation.

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