AMTA Paper Archive
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Modern facility for test and evaluation of full scale aircraft antenna systems, A
A modern outdoor test facility has been designed for comprehensive evaluation of antenna systems on full scale aircraft. The aircraft are mounted to a positioner/tower assembly in an underground handling facility, and are raised to a height of 25 meters by a hydraulically activated lift. A source site 1000 meters downrange provides illumination of a 7 meter radius test zone over a 0.1-18 GHz band. All source site functionality is remotely controlled from the operations center located near the aircraft support tower. The range is designed to provide the capability not only for conventional automated antenna pattern measurements, but also for the support of ECCM testing. This is accomplished by activating both fixed and mobile jamming transmitters available to illuminate the test zone using either CW or modulated waveforms. The FR Model 959 Automated Antenna Measurement Workstation is being enhanced to allow for control of the jammer sites as well as the primary range sited. The system design and operation is described.
New extrapolation/spherical/cylindrical measurement facility at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, A
A new multi-purpose antenna measurement facility was put into operation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1993. This facility is currently used to perform gain, pattern, and polarization measurements on probes and standard gain horns. The facility can also provide spherical and cylindrical near-field measurements. The frequency range is typically from 1 to 75 GHz. The paper discusses the capabilities of this new facility in detail. The facility has 10 m long horizontal rails for gain measurements using the NIST developed extrapolation technique. This length was chosen so that gain calibrations at 1 GHz could be performed on antennas with apertures as large as 1 meter. This facility also has a precision phi-over-theta rotator setup used to perform spherical near-field, probe pattern and polarization measurements. This setup uses a pair of 4 m long horizontal rails for positioning antennas over the center of rotation of the theta rotator. This allows antennas up to 2 m in length to be accommodated for probe pattern measurements. A set of 6 meter long vertical rails that are part of the source tower gives the facility that added capability of performing cylindrical near-field measurements. Spherical and cylindrical near-field measurements can be performed on antennas up to 3.5 m in diameter.
Antenna pattern measurement errors evaluation at the INTA compensated compact range
The plane wave quality of a compact range (CR) is usually specified in terms of the crosspolar level and the magnitude and phase ripple in the test zone. The way these deviations from the ideal plane wave affect the measurement of different antenna types can be treated by the application of the reciprocity principle between the transmitting and receiving antenna in a measurement set-up. By the application of the sampling theorem, it is found that the measured antenna pattern can be expressed as a summation of the plane wave spectrum components of the field at the test zone weighted by the true radiation pattern of the antenna under test (AUT) evaluated at the CR plane wave directions in the rotated coordinate system of the AUT. The inverse procedure can be used to extract the CR plane wave information (and therefore the CR field at the test zone by means of the Fourier series) from the measurement of a standard antenna with a known radiation pattern.
Novel APC-methods for accurate pattern determination
Antenna pattern measurements are dominantly influenced by the presence of extraneous fields in the test zone. A fast and simple way to recognize problems in pattern measurements provides the Antenna Pattern Comparison-technique (APC). This method usually consists of recording azimuthal patterns on different positions across the test zone. Differences in the amplitude data give a rough indication for the magnitude of the interfering signal. The "Novel APC-method" (NAPC) employs both amplitude- and phase-data so that it becomes possible to separate the direct and the extraneous signals from each other. It will be shown that this method is eminently suited to correct radiation patterns of high-gain and low-sidelobe antennas. For verification purposes corrected patterns are compared with time-dated ones and the resemblance is excellent. It is concluded that the NAPC-method is promising and powerful technique for accurate antenna pattern determination, mainly because it can be easily implemented for most applications.
Hughes Aircraft Company RCS/antenna measurement chamber characterization
The Hughes Aircraft Company Compact Range facility for antenna and RCS measurements, scheduled for completion in 1993, is described. The facility features two compact ranges. Chamber 1 was designed for a 4 to 6 foot quiet zone, and Chamber 2 was designed for a 10 to 14 foot quiet zone. Each chamber is TEMPEST shielded with 1/4 inch welded steel panels to meet NSA standard 65-6 for RF isolation greater than 100 dB up to 100 GHz, with personnel access through double inter locked Huntley RFI/EMI sliding pneumatic doors certified to maintain 100 dB isolation. While Chamber 1 is designed to operate in the frequency range from 2 to 100 GHz, Chamber 2 is designed for the 1 to 100 GHz region. Both RCS measurements and antenna field patterns/gain measurements can be made in each chamber. The reflectors used are the March Microwave Dual Parabolic Cylindrical Reflector System with the sub-reflector mounted on the ceiling to permit horizontal target cuts to be measured in the symmetrical plane of the reflector system.
Cross-polarized pattern measurement on point-source compact ranges
Earlier measurement results are reviewed to understand the result that cross -polarized patterns agree well when compared between a point-source compact range and spherical near-field scanning. By taking account of the symmetry of the aperture distribution, one can see how the cross-polarized pattern can be affected only moderately by the classic polarization feature of an offset reflector geometry.
Probe compensation characterization and error analysis in cylindrical near-field scanning
A novel computer simulation methodology to properly characterize the role of probe directivity/pattern compensation in cylindrical near field scanning geometry is presented. The methodology is applied to a linear test array antenna and the JPIJNASA scatterometer (NSCA1) radar antenna. In addition, error analysis techniques of computer simulation and measured have been developed to determine the achievable accuracy in pattern measurements of the NSCAT antenna in cylindrical near field.
20 GHz active phased array characterization
The radiation characteristics for an active phased array receive antenna operating at K Band were measured at the Ipswich Research Facility. On-pole and cross-pole radiation patterns were measured for several scan angles. In this paper we'll discuss the general design of the antenna and the instrumentation ensemble used to perform the far field and near field characterization of this antenna. Measurements taken on a 2600 foot far field range vs. a near field planer scanner are compared.
Joint STARS phased array antenna measurements at IF
Norden Inc. has developed and instrumented its JSTARS 1000' Outdoor Antenna Range with a multi-port antenna measurement system designed to acquire antenna data (patterns and other related signals) at the antenna's respective radar system's intermediate frequency (IF). The measurement system utilizes the JSTARS RF microwave receivers attached to the multiple channels of the JSTARS antenna. These receivers obtain the RF signal from these multiple channels and provide the IF signals to the measurement system.
High speed multi-frequency antenna measurements in the MDTI radar measurement center
This paper demonstrates a high speed antenna measurement capability recently developed in the MDTI Radar Measurement Center. Originally constructed as a Radar Cross Section facility, the RMC has added the capability to measure antenna patterns on apertures up to 40-feet in length in the far field. Data will be presented to demonstrate system performance through the use of modern output formats, such as global plots and videotape presentations.
Database program for organization, presentation and distribution of measured antenna and RCS pattern data, A
Details of a public domain Microsoft Windows-based database program to organize and distribute measured antenna pattern and RCS data are described. Tools for editing, viewing and plotting data are also included.
Design aspects of cylindrical near-field measurement system
This paper presents the various aspects involved in the design, development and establishment of Cylindrical Near-Field Measurement(cnfm) facility. A brief description of the hardware and the method of data acquisition are outlined. The capabilities of the CNFM system are brought into focus. The effects of alignment errors are presented. The patterns of various test antennas are presented over different frequency bands.
A Dual-frequency millimeter-wave radiometer antenna for airborne remote sensing of atmosphere and ocean, A
Accurate multiwavelength radiometric remote sensing of the ocean and the atmosphere from an aircraft requires antennas with the same beamwidth at the various frequencies of operation. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designed an offset antenna with a pressure-compensating corrugated feed horn to meet this criterion. A specially designed fairing was incorporated into the antenna to optimize the aerodynamics and minimize the liquid buildup on the antenna surfaces. The antenna has two positions: the zenith (up) position and the nadir (down) position. The planar near-field facility at the National Institute of Standards and Technology was used to determine the far-field pattern of the antenna. The results show that the antenna beamwidths at 23.87 and 31.65 GHz are nearly the same as expected from the design criterion. This antenna was recently used in an ocean remote-sending experiment and performed according to expectations.
Annular slot windshield antenna
This paper will describe a new type of automotive AM/FM conformal antenna. The slot formed between the body of the automobile and a metal solar heat reduction film imbedded in the front windshield of the automobile is used to form an annular slot. Such partially conducting (4 to 12 ohms per square) metal films represent an opportunity to incorporate an antenna in the overall design at only marginal costs. The characteristic impedance and gain patterns will be described and techniques for improving the impedance match will be shown. A mobile measurement system will be described along with an on-road system to characterize the performance of a number of difference vehicle antenna systems in urban and suburban environments. The application of this system to the measurement of calibrated fain patters will be demonstrated.
Analysis of wedge radar cross section
The need for practical solutions to radar scattering in high-frequency regime have led to the development of a number of approximation methods. The high-frequency asymptotic methods use approximations based on physical optics (PO), geometrical theory of diffraction (GTD) or physical theory of diffraction (PTD) and their variations. Radar scattering from electrically large conducting surface includes traveling surface wave contributions which are not accounted by the high-frequency asymptotic methods. A hybrid method integrating GTD and traveling wave theory (TW) is used for verification and to illustrate important scattering mechanisms that influence radar cross section (RCS) of a wedge. Analysis of the wedge RCS signature identifies significant contributions of the traveling surface waves to the total RCS. Both measured and predicted RCS of the wedge are considered. Using hybrid GTD-TW method very good agreement between the predicted and measured RCS patterns is observed for all angles.
Efficient antenna testing using current antenna test systems
Accurate, fast, and cost effective antenna test equipment is necessary to meet many programs measurement requirements and schedule and budget constraints. Testing time may be significantly reduced y measuring multiple channels of data simultaneously. Further time savings are realized via the electronic storage of data, which allows easy pattern overlays and changes in the page setup parameters. Electronic storage of data also allows the user to accurately ascertain test parameters. Test data for a dual band, multi-channel antenna measured wit the Scientific Atlanta 1590 Pattern Recorder and multi-channel 1795 Microwave Receiver is presented. This antenna has transmit and receive ports, multiple polarization capability, data and tracking channel outputs and multiple frequency bands. The substantial savings in testing costs are estimated.
UCLA compact range: design and characterization, The
The design, alignment and characterization of a compact range facility at the University of California at Los Angeles is summarized. The range is intended to operate from X-Band to 60 GHz, and to accommodate test items up to 3 feet in diameter. The compact range reflector is a circular aperture offset paraboloid which is devoid of edge treatment. Reduction of reflector edge diffraction effects is achieved using an array feed for narrowband test applications, or a horn feed for broadband test requirements. The array feed requires only one relative amplitude excitation coefficient and no phase shifters, so that a simple and cost-effective implementation using a radial transmission line beam-forming network is possible The array pattern displays a deep null at the reflector rim for diffraction reduction, and a flat-topped beam which results in minimum quiet zone field amplitude taper and high reflector aperture efficiently. Structures for support and alignment of the range reflector and feed are discussed, and alignment procedures are summarized. Range performance at X-Band using an array feed is determined using transverse and longitudinal pattern comparison methods.
Demonstration of test zone field compensation in an anechoic chamber far-field range
Test zone field (TZF) compensation increases antenna pattern measurement accuracy by compensating for non-plane wave TZFs. The TZF is measured over a spherical surface encompassing the test zone using a low gain probe. The measured TZF is used in the compensation of subsequent pattern measurements. TZF compensation is demonstrated using measurements taken in an anechoic chamber, far-field range. Extraneous fields produced by reflection and scattering of the range antenna field in the chamber causes the TZF to be non-planar. The effect of these extraneous fields on pattern measurements is shown. Measured TZFs are also shown. TZF compensation results for pattern measurements using a high-gain, X-band slotted waveguide array are presented.
Surface adjustment of modular mesh antenna using near field measurements
The advantages of mesh antennas include good storability and low mass for large on-board antennas over 10M in diameter. Their weak point is that surface adjustment is necessary to attain high accurate surface. Surface adjustment traditionally involves the repeated measurement of surface node position with a theodolite system and subsequent cable adjustment. These steps take much time. This paper describes a surface adjustment scheme that uses near field measurement for a modular mesh antenna composed of mesh, cable network and supporting structure. The node positions of the antenna are obtained by back projection of the far field pattern generated from the near field pattern. The cable network has low sensitivity to changes in local node position. The results of tests show that the surface accuracy needed to achieve the required RF performance can be obtained quickly without theodolite systems.
Vertical antenna array applications on a ground-bounce instrumentation radar range
A vertical array of antennas is used to beamform the farfield used in the measurement of Radar Cross Section (RCS) on a ground-bounce radar range. By properly weighting (attenuating) and phasing (through line length adjustments) each antenna, a desired far-field pattern can be obtained. This paper discusses some benefits of the technique and outlines a basic mathematical approach. Implementation is considered, and wide band ramifications of a practical design are discussed. At RATSCAT, this basic understanding was used to examine a simple two element array. This paper preceded that study and was originally written just for that purpose.
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