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A Technique for Materials Characterization from Backscatter Measurements
Chris Coleman,Derik Love, Ivan LaHaie, Michael Blischke, November 2007
Method of moments (MoM) codes have become have become increasingly capable and accurate for predicting the radiation and scattering from structures with dimensions up to several tens of wavelengths. In particular, for simple structures like canonical shapes or antenna / RCS test fixtures, especially those with material treatments, the primary source of disagreement between measurements and predictions is often due to differences between the “as-designed” and “as-built” material parameters rather than to the underlying MoM code itself. This paper describes an algorithm that uses a MoM model combined with backscatter measurements to estimate the “as-built” materials parameters for the case where the treatments can be modeled using an equivalent boundary condition. The algorithm is a variant of the network model technique described in [1]-[3]. The paper presents a brief formulation of the network model materials characterization algorithm, along with numerical simulations of its performance for a simple canonical RCS shape using the CARLOS-3D™ MoM code [4]. The convergence properties of the algorithm are also discussed.
Raul Miravet (ATK Missile Systems),Gabriel A. Sanchez (Advanced ElectroMagnetics, Inc.), Dave Steinberger (Precision Fabrications), Teh-Hong Lee (The Ohio State University), November 2008
Hardware-In-The-Loop chambers provide the chamber designer with many difficult obstacles to overcome in order to establish a high performance environment for the measurement of missile seeker systems. One of the most difficult challenges is to overcome the low performance of absorbing materials at low grazing angles. To solve this problem Tapered R-Card Fences have been used in conjunction with Chebyshev absorbers. Last year we reported on the ATK chamber built in Woodland Hills which showed preliminary test results well within the system requirements. This paper will make a direct comparison of chamber performance with and without Tapered R-Card Fences. The establishment of a sister chamber built in the ATK Alliant Techsystems Inc. ABL facility has provided us with the unique opportunity to test the chamber prior to the installation of the R-Cards and then to test it again with the installation of the R-Cards. This unique opportunity has allowed us a direct comparison of an advanced chamber deign with Chebyshev absorbers as would be utilized in a conventional chamber and the performance increase directly attributable to the introduction of the Tapered R-Cards in the anechoic chamber. The chamber evaluation is carried out utilizing The Ohio State developed TDOA measurement method utilizing their proprietary measurement and analysis software.
Assessment of a Candidate Metallic Waveguide Standard, Based on S-parameter Uncertainty Due to Dimensional Manufacturing Errors.
Kevin Lambert (QinetiQ North America),Carol Kory (QinetiQ North America), Gregory Wilson (BerrieHill Research Corporation), Thao Dinh (BerrieHill Research Corporation), November 2008
An effort to ascertain the accuracy of the rectangular waveguide measurement technique for permittivity and permeability characterization of materials, has led to the development and application of a waveguide notch filter as a scattering parameter (S-parameter) reference standard. The S-parameters of this reference can be determined accurately using simulations that implement a full wave model of the waveguide measurement technique. The notch frequency response characteristic allows testing over the dynamic range of the measurement system. When fabricated in metal, the filter provides a predictable frequency response, has mechanical and temporal stability, and is reproducible using standard machining techniques. However, manufacturing errors introduce uncertainty in the measured S-parameters. Determining the sensitivity of S-parameter uncertainty as a function of manufacturing errors is important in assessing the appropriateness of the notch filter as a metallic standard for use throughout the material measurements community. This paper presents the characteristics of the filter, showing both calculated and measured S-parameter values, and provides an analysis that demonstrates the relationship between dimensional manufacturing tolerances and the resulting S-parameter uncertainty.
Computational Analysis of a Permeameter Materials Measurement Fixture
J.W. Schultz (Georgia Tech Research Institute), November 2008
High frequency (up through X-band) magnetic materials are gaining in importance across a wide range of applications such as microwave components, electromagnetic shielding, and antenna substrates. Development of new magnetic materials and alloys requires convenient and accurate measurement methods with well-understood uncertainties. For this reason, a finite difference time domain (FDTD) model was developed of a shorted microstrip (single coil) permeameter, appropriate for measuring small samples or thin films. Simulating the response to various magnetic materials, this model was used to analyze the prevailing semi-empirical inversion methods and a new, more accurate inversion method was developed to correct deficiencies in existing techniques.
Effect of Moisture for Backscatter Communication
Matti Nikkari (Tampere University of Technology),Atef Elsherbeni (The University of Mississippi), Fan Yang (The University of Mississippi), Leena Ukkonen (Tampere University of Technology), Carmine Piersanti (Tampere University of Technology), Lauri Sydänheimo (Tampere University of Technology), November 2008
This paper describes how Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) utilizes typically backscattering communication between reader unit and transponder. In passive UHF RFID system the transmitted electromagnetic wave must propagate two times thru the medium. The level of moisture changes electromagnetic properties of medium and the electromagnetic properties of medium have effects on quality of backscattered signal [1]. The well-known fact is that the demand for item level RFID tag will face challenge of different packing materials. However, environment where some parameter such as humidity and temperature changes a lot, will be a great operational challenge for future RFID systems as well. In this paper we have used one application and present measured result how different moisture levels effects for passive UHF RFID operational main parameters such as threshold power level and level of backscattered signal.
Mark Winebrand (ORBIT/FR Inc.), John Aubin (ORBIT/FR Inc.), November 2008
Advantages of Far-Field (FF) anechoic chambers utilized for antenna measurements, as compared to conventional outdoor ranges, such as security, interference-free radiation, and immunity to weather conditions allowing broadband antenna measurements on a 24/7 basis, are well known. The dimensions of an anechoic chamber are primarily determined by the lowest operating frequency and are, therefore, significantly increased if operation is required down to VHF and UHF frequency bands. As a result, the advantages of indoor chambers are often disputed when considering low frequency applications. The main counter-argument is the real estate required for chamber construction. In addition, such chambers require the use of high performance absorbing materials, and consequently, chamber certification is always a challenging task. Therefore, rigorous and accurate 3D EM analysis of the chamber is an important procedure to increase confidence, reduce the risk associated with achieving the required test zone performance, and to make the design more efficient. Thus, an accurate simulation of the chamber is even more important these days due to a dramatically growing number of antenna manufacturers supplying products at VHF and UHF bands. Such analysis is a standard procedure at ORBIT/FR, and is described below for the example of a chamber with dimensions of 6m (W) x 6m (H) x 10m (L), operating down to 150 MHz.
Vince Rodriguez,Garth d'Abreu, Kefeng Liu, November 2009
The rise in the number of active antennas used in radar applications calls for changes to the common absorber treatment used in chambers. The electronic circuits that are imbedded into these scanning arrays are non-linear in nature so they must be tested at the correct power outputs to get the correct pattern behavior. The combination of higher power and narrow beams means that areas of the anechoic treatment in a chamber can be subjected to high power densities. High power absorber has been used in the industry for many years. The substrate used in these absorbers makes the material very expensive. While in the past it was common to use this material only in regions where the main beam was going to be illuminating the absorber treatment the new electronically scanned arrays will have main beams that can illuminate several areas of the chamber. In cases where Near Field systems are used the absorber material will be in a radiation region where the main beam has not been formed, but the Absorber is closer to an array that is radiating high power so a large area of higher power absorber is needed to treat the chamber. In the present paper the authors present a medium power absorber 3kW per square meter (versus 775w per square meter) using the same material used in common RF absorber. Mechanical changes to the absorber are performed to increase the thermal dissipation of the EM energy absorbed. A series of measurement of the absorber is performed with a without additional air flow for cooling. The result is an absorber that can handle higher power densities without the need for exotic substrates.
Back Wall Design Trade – Offs in High Performance VHF/UHF Chambers
John Aubin,Mark Winebrand, November 2009
The back wall is an important element in a high performance tapered or compact range anechoic chamber operating at VHF/UHF frequencies, as by design it is intended to absorb the non-intercepted portion of the incident plane wave containing the majority of the power transmitted by the chamber illuminator. Back wall reflections may interfere with the direct illumination signal and thus influence the test zone performance. Consequently, in order to ensure that the overall test zone reflectivity specification is met, the reflectivity produced by the back wall should be better than the reflectivity specified for the test zone. The conventional approach used to achieve good reflectivity is to apply high performance, high quality absorbing materials to the back wall. Further improvement of up to 10 dB can be achieved if a Chebyshev absorber layout is implemented [1, 2]. This layout consists of high performance absorbing pyramids of different heights, and assumes that the performance does not depend on a metallic backing plate. This approach is expensive, and presents technical challenges due to the complexity involved in the design and manufacturing of the absorbing material. In addition, installation and maintenance is an issue for such large absorbers. In this paper an alternative approach is presented which is based on an implementation of a shaped back wall as, for example, suggested in [3-5], and use of lighter, lower grade absorbing materials whose performance essentially depends on reflections from the metallic backing wall. This type of design can be optimized at the lowest operating frequency, if the back wall and absorber front face reflections cancel each other. Different back wall shapes are considered for a tapered chamber configuration, and the test zone reflectivity produced by a flat, inverted “open book” and a pyramidal back wall are evaluated and compared at VHF frequencies using a 3D EM transient solver [6].
Determination of Complex Permittivity of Molded Interconnect Device Materials at Microwave Frequencies
Christian Orlob,Daniel Kornek, Ilona Rolfes, November 2009
The laser based Molded Interconnect Device technology offers the potential of designing electrical and mechanical components on three-dimensional surfaces to increase func­tionality,level ofintegration and to reduce costs.To utilize this technology especiallyfor thedesign ofRFdevices, the electro­magnetic parameters of the substrate materials as the complex permeability and permittivity have to be known precisely, as these quantities strongly in.uence the device performance. This paper therefore presents a broadband characterization of the dielectric properties of two Molded Interconnect Device materials. Based on this parameter characterization, two sim­ple antennas are designed and their simulated and measured input re.ection coef.cients are compared.
Noise Radar Correlation Patterns of Human and Non-Human Objects at Various Look Angles
Ashley Schmitt,Andrew Terzuoli, Peter Collins, Steven Rogers, November 2009
In a search and rescue effort following a natural disaster, rubble and debris within the search environment can obscure human victims. A digital noise radar operating at UHF can penetrate the types of materials typically found in these situations with relatively little loss. This paper compares and contrasts measured correlation values of human and non-human objects taken from a digital noise radar. A noise radar works by cross correlating the received signal with a replica of the transmit signal. A high correlation indicates range to the target. Measured results with the noise radar show that patterns of peaks and valleys exist near the range of the targeted object. This paper looks at the correlation patterns generated by two different sized hollow metal tubes and a human at various look angles. The results show that the correlation patterns of the tubes are similar, but the correlation patterns of the human differ. Full characterization of human and non-human noise radar correlation patterns could confirm the presence of a human victim and information about his location within the rubble.
Measurement of Complex Permittivity Using Artificial Neural Networks
Azhar Hasan,Andrew Peterson, November 2010
In this paper, a Neural Network based methodology is presented to measure the com­plex permittivity of materials using monopole probes. A multilayered Arti.cial Neural Net­work, using the Levenberg Marquardt back propagation algorithm is used to back solve the complex permittivity of the medium. The pro­posed network can be trained using an analyt­ical model, numerical model, or measurement data spread over the complete range of param­eters of interest. The input training data for the non linear inverse problem of reconstruct­ing the complex permittivity comprises the com­plex re.ection coef.cient of the monopole probe. For the results presented in this paper, the net­work is trained using the analytical model for impedances of monopole antennas in a half space by Gooch et al. [1]. In addition to computational ef.ciency, the proposed approach gives 99% ac­curate results in the frequency range of 2.5­5 GHz, with the values of permittivity varying across a range of 3-10 for the real part, and 0 -0.5 for the imaginary part. The accuracy and the effective range of real and imaginary components of the complex permittivity that can be reconstructed using this approach, depends upon the accuracy and robustness of the model / system used to generate the training data. The analytical model used in this paper has a limited range for the values of loss tangent that it can model accurately. However, the performance of the back solving algorithm remains independent from any speci.c model, and the scheme can be successfully applied using any reliable ana­lytical or numerical model, or re.ection coef.­cient training data generated through a series of measurements. The methodology is likely to be employed for experimental measurements of complex permittivity of dissipative media.
A Comparison of Methods for Measuring Dielectric Properties of Thin-Film Materials
Joshua Wilson,Brian Rybicki, Kendra Kumley, Mohamed Abouzahra, November 2010
RF measurement of the dielectric properties of very thin films (less than 1/100 wavelength thick) presents a challenge using traditional techniques. Many techniques, such as conventional transmission line-type measurements, are not sensitive enough to measure a single thin sheet of material. Moreover, in the case of waveguide, the method of mechanically fastening the material in place properly is challenging. In this paper, we explore several different strategies for measuring thin films and compare the merits of each. In particular, coaxial line measurements with stacked layers, waveguide measurements, and cavity measurements are discussed. The methods will be compared in terms of their accuracy and sensitivity. Measurements are carried out using the various methods on several low-loss thin-film materials. The measurements are then compared and validated using known reference materials.
Optimization Criterion and Optimal Loading of High Performance Absorbing Materials at VHF/UHF Frequency Bands Optimization Criterion and Optimal Loading of High Performance Absorbing Materials at VHF/UHF Frequency Bands
Mark Winebrand,John Aubin, Per Iverson, November 2010
This paper describes the principles of operation of high performance absorbing materials and the criterion for its performance optimization at UHF/VHF frequency bands. The optimization criterion is intended to determine the optimum carbon loading of the foam based absorber components, thus delivering optimal reflectivity of the full absorbing assembly (foam based absorber components on a metallic backing plate) at the lowest possible operating frequency. The optimization is based on equalization of reflections in the time-domain from the front face surface of the absorbing component and from the backing metallic plate. Validity is confirmed by measurements of the reflectivity of pyramidal absorbing components of varying heights, (3’, 5’, 6’ and 8’) in a 40’ long coaxial line terminated in a metallic back wall. In addition, it is shown that the “aging” process of the absorbing components can be characterized by the change of the effective reflectivity in the time-domain of the components as a function of aging time. It is possible to determine whether the absorber performance is stabilized and the “aging“ process is complete, and whether the loading of the absorber carbon mix is optimum, or is otherwise under-loaded or over-loaded. In particular, it is possible to determine prior to the time when the “aging” process is stabilized whether the loading is excessive.
Antenna Miniaturization Using Artificial Transmission Line Concept
Chi-Chih Chen, November 2010
Antenna miniaturization will continue to be a key issue in wireless communications, navigation, sensors, and RFIDs. For instance, each cellular tower is often populated with many antennas to cover different angular sectors and different frequency bands. Each modern notebook computer is likely embedded with multiple antennas to provide service in WWAN (824 MHz to 2170 MHz) and WLAN (2.4 GHz and 5.5 GHz), Bluetooth, etc. Also automobiles, vessels, and aircrafts will require more antennas to compete for very limited real estate. This dire situation is changing antenna designer worldwide with a goal to develop a new generation of physically small antennas that multi-bands or wideband. This paper presents several generic miniaturize antenna design examples that applies the concept of artificial transmission line concept for artificially control phase velocity and impedance. This miniaturization approach can be applied to reduce the size of both narrowband and wideband antennas using minimal amount of materials. Thus improves antenna’s efficiency, and reduces its cost and weight.
Large Size, Light Weight, Broadband RF Lens for Far-Field Antenna Measurement
L. Matytsine,P. Lagoiski, S. Matitsine, November 2011
Large size, light weight, broadband convex RF lens was developed to meet far-field requirements for antenna measurements. The Lens was fabricated from low loss, low density meta-materials and has diameter of D=2 m, focusing distance 2.4m and weight of just 50 kg with operational frequency 0.8 to 6 GHz. The lens is able to produce a plane-wave zone with an approximate size of 0.7D, allowing a 2m diameter lens to test antennas up to 1.4m in relatively small anechoic chamber. Another possible application of large size, lightweight RF lens is RCS measurements that include bi-static measurements. Results of quiet zone measurements for different frequencies are presented.
Broadband Free Space Material Measurement System
R. Huang,L. Liu, L. Kong, S. Matitsine, R. Kumaran, R. Balakrishnan, November 2011
This paper introduces a broadband free space material measurement system in Temasek Laboratories at National University of Singapore (TL@NUS). The system is designed by TL@NUS and ST Aerospace for measuring permittivity, permeability, reflection and transmission properties of electromagnetic materials and structures from 1 to 40 GHz. The measurement system includes a pair of double convex spot-focusing lenses, horn antennas, a network analyzer and two arms that can be moved along a circular arc. The two arcs of the arms allow measurement to be done with different incident angles. Each of the double convex lenses is made from two plano-convex dielectric lenses of 77 cm in diameter. The plano-convex lenses can collimate the field from the source horn into uniform plane wave thus also allowing both mono-static and bi-static electromagnetic scattering measurement to be done in very limited space. The system is housed in an anechoic chamber of dimension 6.7 m (D) × 6.6 m (W) × 3.8 m (H) to reduce unwanted reflections and interference signals from the surroundings. Typical measurement results are presented in this paper for dielectric materials, magnetic materials, frequency selective surfaces, and metamaterials.
Principles of Operation of Optimized Absorbing Materials at VHF/UHF Frequency Bands
M. Winebrand,J. Aubin, P. Iverson, November 2011
In the paper [1] the principles of operation of high performance absorbing materials were described and the criterion for absorber performance optimization at UHF/VHF frequency bands was proposed and confirmed experimentally on a number of absorber components optimized for operation at low frequencies such as the VHF/UHF bands. C:\Publishing 2011\AMTA 2011\Papers\Absorbing Material Performance\freq dom 18 24 36 60.jpg The experimentally verified optimization criterion is intended to determine the optimum carbon loading of the absorber components, thus delivering optimal reflectivity of the full absorbing assembly (absorber components on a metallic backing plate) at the lowest possible operating frequency. The optimization is based on equalization of reflections in the time-domain from the front face surface of the absorbing component and from the backing metallic plate. Validity of the criteria was confirmed by measurements of the reflectivity of pyramidal absorbing components of various heights, (3’, 5’, 6’ and 8’ [3]) in a 40’ long coaxial line terminated in a metallic back wall [2,4]. In this paper, more details are highlighted explaining how the criterion is delivering the best absorber reflectivity at low frequencies. This is accomplished by implementing time gating post-processing to isolate two primary concurrent peaks corresponding to the reflections from the front surface and metallic backing substrate. It is shown that the improved reflectivity is achieved by a self-cancellation of the two signals delivering the “null” in the frequency domain, which, in turn determines the lowest operating frequency attributed to an absorber of a given height. It is shown that the “null” property of the reflectivity pattern, as well as the properties of the peaks in between “nulls”, can be scaled and, therefore, predicted based on the height of the absorber almost everywhere in the UHF band. Thus, it is possible to optimally choose the grade of the absorber necessary to meet or exceed given reflectivity specifications, or to manufacture the appropriate absorber grade which can deliver the optimum reflectivity at the specified frequency.
Implementation and Analysis of an Improved Accuracy Microwave Measurement Method for Low Loss Dielectric Materials
M. Scott,J. Schultz, D. Reid, S. Blalock, B. Cieszynski, November 2011
A free space transmission line measurement method for dielectric constant and loss tangent determination in low-loss dielectric materials has been analyzed and implemented. This method utilizes dielectric materials with thicknesses greater than half the wavelength in the material to obtain greater sensitivity for determining intrinsic dielectric properties. An analysis of the process sensitivities and experimental measurements has been utilized to estimate the accuracy and lower limits of the dielectric property extractions from the reflection loss magnitude.
Bandwidth Enhancement for  U-Slot Stacked Patch Antenna by Using Appropriate Dielectric Materials
B. Türetken,K. Sürmeli, E. Ba?aran, November 2011
In this paper, a coaxially fed broadband U-slot stacked rectangular microstrip patch antenna in corporating a high and low dielectric material combination is presented. The antenna essentially consists of two commercially available microwave substrates (Rogers TMM3 and Rohacell HF71 foam). Dielectric constants of materials are 3.27 and 1.07 respectively. Foam material doesn’t include copper surface thus a third dielectric substrate with thickness of 0.254 mm and dielectric constant of 2.2 is added over the foam material to ease of fabrication. The antenna return loss bandwidth is about 52.94%, centered about 3.4 GHz. The effect of the parameters, such as u slot length and width, on the antenna performance are determined, experimentally verified and discussed.
Square Patch Antenna Design from Equivalent Circuit Models for MIMO Antenna Communications Application
Paul Oleski,US Air Force Research Laboratory, November 2012
Although the square patch antenna is a well known printed circuit antenna, there are gaps in the publications that prevented accurate design for practical dual polarization patch antennas. This paper describes (without gaps) the steps that allow rapid design of the dual polarized square patch antenna with typical commercial RF materials. Given a patch laminate material, the design process proceeds by using the Matlab program which is given in Appendix A. Typical values for a 5 GHz patch antenna are given. Dual polarization square patch antennas were constructed. Measurements show the two ports are well isolated, and they provide polarization diversity which is useful in our MIMO array development program. The scattering matrix of the two port antenna was measured with an Agilent PNA network analyzer. The antenna patterns were measured in our anechoic chamber and on our far field range. The pattern widths provide hemi­spherical coverage. The results which are given imply good efficiency for the antenna ports. When combined with the other patch elements in the MIMO array, robust communications are achieved for all look angles.

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