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Materials
Analysis and optimization of anechoic chambers equipped with ferrite and hybrid absorbers using FIT-FD
J. Haala,W. Wiesbeck, November 1997
The new EMC-standards in Europe have strengthened the requirements for test facilities. In this paper examinations are concentrated on anechoic chambers, which are mostly used for measuring radio­noise emissions. To become accredited a chamber have to own excellent performance, which is only possible by excellent absorbers and a careful choice of the measurement axis. A program for the evaluation of anechoic chambers has been developed and recently extended to permeable materials. This allows the calculation of chambers equipped with ferrite tiles or even a combination of ferrite and foam absorbers. Furthermore the numerical code is a very helpful tool during the planning phase of a chamber and offers the possibility to find the best way to improve the performance of older chambers. To estimate the performance the results are compared to the field distribution in an ideal Open Area Test Site (OATS).
W-band free space permittivity measurement system for candidate radome materials
D.T. Fralick,R. Cravey, November 1997
This paper presents a measurement system used for W-band complex permittivity measurements performed in NASA Langley Research Center's Electromagnetics Research Branch. The system was used to characterize candidate radome materials for the passive millimeter wave (PMMW) camera experiment. The PMMW camera is a new technology sensor, with goals of all-weather landings of civilian and military aircraft. The sensor was developed by TRW as part of a cooperative agreement for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the dual-use technology program. NASA Langley manages the program on behalf of DARPA and also supports the technology development and flight test operations. Other members of the consortium include McDonnell­ Douglas, Honeywell, and Composite Optics, Inc. The experiment is scheduled to be flight tested on the Air Force's "Speckled Trout" aircraft in late 1997. This paper details the design, set-up, calibration and operation of a free space measurement system developed and used to characterize the candidate radome materials for this program.
Design and Applications of Smart Microwave Absorbing and Reflecting Materials
K.L. Ford,B. Chambers, November 1999
This paper examines candidate configurations for a smart radar absorber or reflector which is capable of self-tuning and perform while scan operation. The discussion is supported by both modelled and measurement data.
Dual Mode RF/IR Beam Combiner
A. Torres, November 1999
The purpose for this advanced development program was to advance the flatness level on an RF/IR Beam combiner. The developed beam combiner minimized transmission losses for RF signals between 1 GHz and 40 GHz and maximized total transmission for RF signals between 8 GHz and 18 GHz. The combiner maximized IR reflectance for IR radiation (2µm to 13 tm). Two 12 inch units were delivered to NAWC-WPNS for evaluation. The combiners produced an average transmission losses in the range of 0.4 dB between 1 and 33 GHz and 0.8 dB between 33 GHz and 40 GHz. Reflectivity in the Infrared was measured at 87% with the use of a 3.39 µm laser source. The combiners were manufactured on PolyOxyMethyle (POM); they are highly crystalline structures, very flat (mold driven), with unique acetal resins structures. POMs are a variant of thermo­ plastics, are made by free radical polymerization initiated by a peroxide or azo catalyst, or by redox polymerization. Four basic polymerization processes may be used to produce good RF transmission acrylic resins. Using POM as the host material, a Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) using a low pass configuration, was Gold sputtered on the host material surface. The results produced a mirror like surface, highly visible and IR reflective, and very transmissive in the RF domain. These combiners are to be used for the anechoic chamber testing of dual mode missile seeker systems. The missile systems required in an anechoic chamber measurements, far field illumination from both IR signals and RF signals. The dual mode beam combiner allows spatially coherent signals to illuminate the missile seeker under test. Results of these development, seems to indicate that larger combiners can be fabricated on optically flat materials (e.g. fused silica) with flatness of 12 µm. This will allow the next generation seeker heads, operating with large focal plane arrays, to be stimulated in an anechoic chamber environment.
MMW Instrumentation Systems for RCS Measurements & Applications
W.C. Parnell, November 1999
A variety of unique instrumentation radars have been developed by the RF & MMW Systems Division at Eglin Air Force Base in order to support both static and dynam ic Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements for Smart Weapons Applications. These systems include an airborne multispectral instrumentation suite that was used to collect target signatures in various terrain and environmental conditions (95 GHz Radar Mapping System - 95RMS), a look-down tower based radar designed to perform RCS measurements on ground vehicles (MMW Instrumentation, High Resolution Imaging Radar System MIHRIRS), two high power (35 & 95 GHz) systems capable of mapping/measuring both attenuation and backscatter properties of Obscurants and Chaff (MMW Radar Obscurant Characterization System MROCS: 1&2), and a Materials Measurement System (MMS) which provides complex free space, bistatic attenuation and reflectivity data on Radar Absorbing Materials (RAM), paints, nets and specialized coatings/materials. This paper will describe the instrumentation systems, calibration procedures and measurement techniques used for data collection as well as several applications which support modelina and simulation activities in the Smart Weapon community.
Alcatel Space Industries PIM Test Facility for Reflectors
D. Allenic,B. Buralli, S. Pujol, November 1999
The increase of output power for telecommunication satellites give constraints on design and manufacturing of antenna reflectors. Any non-linearity, such as a junction between two conductive materials, is a potential generator of inter-modulation products (PIM's). ALCATEL SPACE INDUSTRIES implemented a PIM test bench for reflectors. The objective is to validate, as early as possible in the satellite program, the reflector design, with regards PIM specification. The test principle consists in two separate transmit channels, each one having a single carrier at a well selected frequency. This configuration avoids the generation of PIM's by the bench itself. A basic conditions relevant to the output power for the test is that the flight conditions must be covered, in terms of Power Flux Density (PFD), on the reflector surface. The post-processing of the test results is based on a model whose parameters allow the following correlation : - variation of a given PIM order versus transmit power - variation between two consecutive PIM odd orders for a given transmit power. The model allows to correlate the reflector performance in terms of PIM to the flight conditions and to the customer's specification.
Safety issues regardiing anechoic chambers and RF absorbing material
John Piri, November 1999
For many years the Navy has been using Anechoic Chambers and RF absorbing material. Recent events have brought into question the safety of RF absorbing material and the chambers which are covered with this material. Little, if any, information has been presented in the past to provide a solid picture of the actual danger that exists in these environments. A series of tests and inspections were conducted by the Navy on RF anechoic chambers and the materials inside. The materials were tested for fire susceptibility and chemically analyzed for salt compounds. Salt compounds have been used to make materials fire-safe. Results will be presented which show the susceptibility of various materials to fire from flames, electrical current and heat. A series of recommendations will be presented for using these materials in chambers to maintain safe working conditions.
RCS Measurement in an Anechoic Chamber in the U/VHF Band: Comparison with Experimental 1:10 Scale Simulation
G. Maze-Merceur,P. Bonnemasson, S. Morvan, November 2000
CAMELIA is a large RCS measurement facility (45m.12m. 13m in dimensions) whose compact range is optimized in the SHF band (1-18 GHz). Exploiting it at lower frequencies requires the modification of the absorbers and the use of huge broad band horns as RF sources (since the compact range is now not well adapted). To help understanding the radioelectric behavior of the large scale facility, we have developed a 1:10 small scale model as well as 1:10 scale horns, that are operated in the SHF band. It enables the experimental simulation of RCS measurements in the V/UHF band. Thus, all dimensions and frequencies are homothetic, only electromagnetic properties of materials are not. RCS measurements of several canonical targets have been performed in both facilities and compared. Due to non directive transmitting/receiving antenna, coupling between the targets and the wans has been exhibited. A simple ray tracing model, taking into account the measured reflection coefficient of the walls and the bistactic RCS of the target, shows good agreement with the measurements.
Near-Field V/UHF Antenna-Array Based RCS Measreument Technique, A
S. Morvan,P. Naud, S. Vermersch, Y. Chevalier, November 2000
Radar Cross Section measurements require the target to be in the far field of the illuminating and receiving antennas. Such requirements are met in a compact range in the SHF band, but problems arise when trying to measure at lower frequencies. Typically, below 500 MHz, compact ranges are no more efficient, and one should only rely upon direct illumination. In this case, the wavefront is spherical and the field in the quiet zone is not homogeneous. Furthermore, unwanted reflections from the walls are strong due to the poor efficiency of absorbing materials at these frequencies, so the measurement that can be made have no longer something to see with RCS, especially with large targets. We first propose a specific array antenna to minimize errors caused by wall reflections in the V-UHF band for small and medium size targets. Then an original method based upon the same array technology is proposed that allows to precisely measure the RCS of large targets. The basic idea is to generate an electromagnetic field such that the response of the target illuminated with this field is the actual RCS of the target. This is achieved by combining data collected when selecting successively each element of the array as a transmitter, and successively each other element of the array as a receiver. Simulations with a MoM code and measurements proving the validity of the method are presented.
Small, Broadband, Dual-Polarized, Phased Array Aperture Implemented Using Flare Notch Elements, A
A. Torres,A. MacFarland, P. Beyerle, W. Mohuchy, November 2000
The purpose for this advanced development program was to design, fabricate and test a physically small, broadband, dual-polarized, phased array antenna aperture using Flare Notch elements. The array was designed to operate in the 4 to 18 GHz frequency spectrum, having a VSWR of less than 2:1 and capable of handling 10 watts per element. The array was configured with polarization diversity, essentially, dual cross elements are used which are excited in phase or out of phase depending on the application. One of the significant accomplishments of this research effort was the elimination of grating lobes and the reduction of the size of the elements. Another significant accomplishment is the feeding of dual flare notch elements with a broadband microstrip match network. The antenna elements were implemented using Rogers 4003 materials. Fabrication of the elements and assembly of the elements is being done in a configuration of two rows by twelve elements of which only eight elements are normally excited. The remaining elements are used as parasitics to support the desired radiation pattern. The research work is being done in support of the next generation of solid state broadband radiation systems presently under development for ECM applications.
Compact RCS Imaging System
S.E. Gordon (Sensor Concepts Inc.),J.H. Ashton (Sensor Concepts Inc.), November 2001
The implementation of low observable (LO) materials and the fielding of aircraft with controlled signatures creates a new degree of difficulty for maintaining, executing prompt accurate inspections and achieving meaningful evaluations. To address this problem, Sensor Concepts, Inc (SCI) has prototyped a new radar system, (the SCI-Xe) to provide a test bed for a lighter, smaller RCS measurement and imaging system. The hardware consists of a suitcase containing RF hardware, computer and display and a hand-held or rail-mounted unit containing two X/Ku band antennas. In the rail-mounted application, imaging is followed by registration and image differencing, which allows an operator reproduce a baseline measurement geometry and evaluate RCS changes. The hand-held application forms a synthetic aperture by moving the antennas by hand. This can be used to quickly investigate an object under test.
Characteristics of Phase-Switched Screens at Oblique Incidence
P.N. Kaleeba (The University of Sheffield),A. Tennant (The University of Sheffield), J.P. Ide (QuinetiQ Ltd.), November 2001
Conventional planar microwave absorbing materials may be divided into two main types: those that employ one or more thin resistive sheets separated by dielectric spacers, such as the Salisbury screen, and those comprised of one or more lossy layers such as the Dallenbach absorber. Both types operate by absorbing incident electromagnetic energy and converting it into heat. However, an alternative approach based on the concept of phase modulation has recently been proposed [1-3], in which electromagnetic energy scattered from an object is phase modulated to produce a reflected field with a low time-averaged energy spectral density. This new type of ‘absorber’, called the phase-switched screen (PSS), consists of one or more active layers whose impedance properties are controlled electronically. Previously published work in the area has concentrated on the scattering properties of PSS at normal incidence, and has shown that single layer screens exhibit similar characteristics to those of a Salisbury screen. More interestingly however, multi-layer PSS can be configured to provide an active scatterer with dynamic reflectivity null tuning properties [4]. In this contribution we extend the analysis to consider the characteristics of PSS at oblique incidence and present results to compare the performance of active PSS to those of conventional passive designs.
The History of NBS/NIST in Boulder, Part 3 - Everything Else
R.A. Kamper (National Institute of Standards and Technology), November 2001
Although the original reason for creating the Boulder Laboratories of NBS (later known as NIST) was to accommodate the radio program, as described by Dennis Friday and Allen Newell at this conference, the first major program in Boulder was in Cryogenics, which was created in response to a perceived emergency in national security and went on to provide basic cryogenic data to serve the national space program. It was also the origin of programs continuing to the present in the reliability of materials, the thermophysical properties of fluids, and cryoelectronics. The early work at NBS on radio propagation led to the development of new tools for meteorology and became an essential part of the newly formed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics was formed in collaboration with the University of Colorado and quickly exceeded the field of activity suggested by its name. The Time and Frequency program created a series of radical innovations in frequency standards and the dissemination of time, including a new definition of the meter and an experimental frequency standard based on a single mercury ion.
A Comparison of Material Measurements Using a Standard A.S.T.M. Measurement Cell and a Stripline Field Applicator
Ben Wilmhoff (Michigan State University),L. Kempel (Michigan State University), D. Nyquist (Michigan State University), E. Rothwell (Michigan State University), K. Howard (The Dow Chemical Company), November 2001
Current methods of measuring the electromagnetic properties of materials (i.e., RF shielding effectiveness) include an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standard test cell and a stripline field applicator, among others. This paper outlines the basic theory of operation of each measurement setup, and compares measured data of similar samples from each setup.
Advantages of Silicon Carbide (SiC) RF Transistors for Driving Antenna Impedances
A. Torres (Xetron Corporation), November 2001
This paper presents the advantages of the next generation of RF Transistors and Amplifier units based on Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) materials. The use of these devices, having higher output and input impedances, allow easier matching to antenna impedances without compromises in power levels. These devices are basically wide bandgap semiconductors having superior properties to other competing technologies such as Silicon (Si) or Gallium Arsenide (GaAs). Implementation of SiC RF transistors will provide higher temperature operation than Si, higher breakdown voltages and extremely good ft operation. A typical SiC unit with a 0.7 ìm configuration will have an ft of 10 GHz.; similarly, a 0.4 ìm configuration will have an ft of greater than 20 GHz. Typical power density is up to 4.5 watts per mm. of transistor structure. In general, SiC Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MESFET) will have up to 10 times higher impedances than a Silicon LDMOSFET (input and output). The devices are also very low noise, which allows the use of SiC as high dynamic range Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs). The paper presents measured data on both SiC Power Amplifiers units and LNAs operating in the frequency domain between 30 to 2800 MHz.
A Quasi-Optical Microwave Focused Beam System for Materials Measurement
L.D. Hill (BAE SYSTEMS), November 2001
A fundamental part of the work of the BAE SYSTEMS Advanced Technology Centres Materials Group at Towcester (UK) is the microwave characterisation of the electromagnetic parameters of lossy materials. This paper describes a Quasi-optical microwave system for the free space measurement of material parameters in the frequency range 5 GHz to 18 GHz. The system employs two spherical reflectors which are illuminated from the side by gausian beam forming antennas. This produces a well defined parallel beam between the reflectors. The 5 GHz ro 18 GHz frequency range is covered in three bands with three pairs of corrugated feed antennas. An advantage of this system is that the beamwaist diameter (or illumination area) is essentially the same for each of the three frequency bands The measurements are taken using a vector network analyser under computer control. The parallel beam enables a “Through,Reflect,Line” calibration technique to be used. After calibration the sample under test is placed in the beam (mid way between the reflectors) and the four microwave ‘S’ parameters are recorded automatically in complex form. The permittivity, permeabilty or lumped admittance (if the sample is very thin <ë/50) for the material are then determined from the ‘S’ parameters. The operation and performance of the system is discussed and some material parameter measurement results are given.
Critical Technologies for Performing RCS Target Measurements Using a String Support System
A. Buterbaugh (Mission Research Corporation),C. Mentzer (Mission Research Corporation), November 2002
Target support pylons and foam columns have been in use since the late 1970’s to provide target support for RCS measurements. Pylons currently limit our low frequency measurement capability due to the moderately high scattering from the pylon edges. Additionally both foam column and pylon support structures interact with the target scattering which can limit our ability to completely subtract the target support scattering from the target signature data. Target suspension using a string support system has the potential to eliminate these limitations. MRC has recently completed a string support technology demonstration program to identify the critical components for implementing an indoor string support system for RCS measurements. Critical components identified and demonstrated under this program included a survey of string materials for RCS measurements, development of low coefficient of friction swivel bearings, structural target to string interfaces, and three different techniques for providing target rotation. This presentation will highlight the results from the demonstration program showing viability of string support systems to provide an enhanced RCS measurement capability for indoor RCS measurement ranges
Spherical Pattern Measurement Techniques for Low Directivity Antennas
M.D. Foegelle (ETS-Lindgren), November 2002
Requirements for pattern measurement of antennas with low directivity continue to increase. The wireless communications industry is a significant driving force behind this change, but other fields such as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) have an emerging need of low directivity antennas that work well to microwave frequency ranges. Traditional microwave techniques used for highly directional antennas are not suitable for testing more broad-beamed or omnidirectional antennas. Spherical pattern measurement systems using dielectric support materials with low permittivity are required to obtain acceptable results. This paper will review several different spherical pattern measurement techniques proffered by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) for testing cellular handsets. It will present a benefit analysis of each method and provide useful information for both the novice and experienced antenna user. It can be shown that with appropriate care, several different techniques can generate the same resulting data, but each method has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Spherical surface plots of measured data will be provided to illustrate some of the pitfalls related to this type of pattern measurement, and results from a certified test site will be presented.
Broadband Dual Polarized Material Test System
L.H. Hemming (The Boeing Company), November 2002
The S parameter measurement of large sheet materials has been limited to microwave frequencies due to a lack of test apparatus that could properly illuminate the materials with a uniform electromagnetic wave in a confined space at lower frequencies. Boeing Mesa has developed a unique test system that overcomes this limitation. The current design will perform S11 and S12 measurements from 0.125 to 40 GHz in five bands. Sample sizes up to 4 ft. wide, 8+ ft. long, and 12 inches thick, can be tested in sections by sliding the sample into the test fixture. Apertures up to 46 inches square can be provided in the aperture plate. The angle of incidence can be adjusted from 0 degrees to 45 degrees.
The AFRL RF Materials Measurement Laboratory
G.R. Simpson (Air Force Research Laboratory), November 2003
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Materials Measurement Laboratory (MML) is a state of the art facility for the characterization of the electromagnetic properties of materials at radio frequencies. The two-fold mission of the MML is to provide material characterization services to AFRL and to conduct R&D to develop or improve RF material characterization technology. The goal of the MML is to perform—or develop the ability to perform—material property measurements to the highest degree of accuracy possible with state of the art test equipment. Characterization measurements range from determination of RF reflection or transmission loss to the extraction of the dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability of material samples. The MML has the ability to characterize material samples from below 100 MHz to above 18 GHz over material test sample temperatures ranging from – 150oC to greater than 1000oC. While maintaining capabilities using ‘standard’ material measurement techniques (circular coax and rectangular waveguide), the MML’s most highly utilized system is based on the GTRI focused arch apparatus. The MML also employs resonant cavity fixtures, open-ended coax probes and impedance meters to provide a capability to evaluate material samples of a wide variety of shapes and sizes.


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