AMTA Paper Archive
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Polarization extraction of circularly polarized antennas
A technique is presented for obtaining the radiation patterns and the antenna gain of elliptically polarized antennas from two vector measurements of the far-field. The two measurements correspond to different polarizations which can be obtained by rotating one of the antennas around its boresight axis. The discussion emphasizes a particularly interesting case, for which accurate radiation patterns and gain of the antenna under test (AUT) can be obtained without prior knowledge of the polarization of the second antenna. The radiation pattern of a nearly circularly polarized (CP) antenna is conveniently represented by the CP co-polarized and cross-polarized components. The axial ratio and any other quantities commonly used to specify the antenna polarization can also be obtained since the pair of initial vector measurements completely characterize the polarization of the AUT. The technique is illustrated by measurements of a CP patch antenna.
Simulation of actual antenna and chamber under test
For an anechoic chamber design, one normally spec ifies the field quality throughout the quiet zone in terms of the ripple level requirement. The ripple in the quiet zone field is caused by the interfer ence of various stray signals with the desired plane wave. The stray signals in an anechoic chamber can come from absorber or other parts of cham ber. However, from a range performance point of view, it is more important to know the ef fects of stray signals on the measurement accu racy of an antenna radiation or target scattering pattern. Consequently, it is very critical to eval uate how the chamber stray signals will affect a given measurement. This paper addresses this is sue by simulating pattern measurements of a phase scanned array in a compact range and discuss the effects of various stray signals associated with the scattering from absorber walls and feed spillover.
Application of flexible scanning in advanced APC techniques
Present day accuracy requirements on high-performance antenna measurements are difficult to meet on any type of compact range. Numerical correction techniques can offer a good solution. An easy and effective method is the Advanced APC-technique. This method requires patterns to be measured on different locations in the test zone so that disturbances of the plane wave can be distinguished. In case of suitable distances, the "true" pattern can be derived from measured amplitude and phase data. Usually, scanning is performed in longitudinal direction. The advantage is that mutual coupling can be distinguished well, but the field ripple in this direction due to extraneous fields varies much slower than in transversal direction. Consequently, first sidelobes can be corrected more efficiently when transversal scanning is performed. Therefore, in this paper a new and flexible way of positioning is proposed depending on the location of extraneous field sources.
Qualified and high performance test results of the cylindrical outdoor near-field test range
One of the world's most sophisticated antenna test ranges is now fully operational. This was designed by the Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) and is operated by Siemens Plessey Systems (SPS). The presented paper will describe the pioneering design philosophy adopted to ensure the stringent performance features. Although this facility is located outside, it allows extremely high precision probing of cylindrical near field of large and very complex antenna systems, with turning diameters up to 16 meters and up to 20 GHz. Besides the RCS optimized 36 m large scanner tower the significant highlights of this facility consist of a comprehensive air-conditioning system for all accuracy dependent components, a permanent autoalignment system, which ensures high precision cylindrical measurements and an interleaved high speed data collection system, which delivers a maximum of data performance within a minimum time frame. Test results including a pattern comparison of the Ref erence Antenna between measurements in DASA facilities and the SPS Cylindrical Near-Field Test Facility show good range performance. The evaluation of the range performance data demonstrates the measurement integrity of the facility and proves to be qualified to characterize a wide range of antennas.
Study of DFT windows for radar imaging
New windows which allow the user to select the level of sidelobe suppression near the DFT resolution limit are reported. By a parametric study, we identify the truncated Lorentzian and Gaussian functions as better choices compared with the popular Hann windows.
Near-field measurement of a beam waveguide antenna
Both Near-field Antenna Measurement Technology and Beam Waveguide Antenna techology have been in existence for some time. This paper describes a measurement combining both of these technologies. During an internal study of beam waveguide implementation, a near-field antenna measurement was made of a development model. The model and techniques of measurement are described herein.
Analysis of amplitude dispersion in radar scattering using the MUSIC algorithm
At high frequencies, the scattered fields from a radar target can be modeled as a sum of contri butions from a finite number of scattering centers. We use a parametric model based on the Geometric Theory of Diffraction (GTD) to estimate the location and type of scattering centers present in a frequency domain data set. The parameters of the model are estimated using a modified MUSIC algorithm that incorporates the GTD model. A new spatial smoothing algorithm is also introduced.
3-D low frequency radar target imaging
The imaging of radar targets is typically accom plished by measuring the radar cross section (RCS) of the target as a function of frequency and az imuth angle. We measure a third dimension of the RCS by tilting the target and collecting data for conical cuts of the RCS pattern. This third dimension of data provides the ability to estimate the three-dimensional location of scattering centers on the target. Three algorithms are developed in order to process the three-dimensional RCS data.
RCS data measured under near-field conditions is corrected to the far-field. The algorithm uses the HUYGEN's principle approach. The processing technique is describes and validates using anechoic chamber data and simulations taken on flat plate target at a distance from the radar R << 2D2/A, where D is the target cross range extend and A the wavelength. Good agreement with the theoretically predicted far-field RCS patterns is obtained.
Design and testing of an adaptive array for analog cellular
This paper describes an adaptive array that was designed to improve the carrier-to-interference ratio (C/I) delivered to base station radios by 6 dB in U.S. 800 MHz analog cellular networks. The C/I performance of this kind of system is difficult to verify, because it cannot be characterized in terms of traditional antenna specifications such as beamwidth and directivity. This paper describes a simple C/I measurement strategy in which the antenna under test and a collocated reference antenna are placed into simultaneous operation in an actual cellular network. Relative C/I performance can then be deduced from a statistical analysis of the antenna outputs. This method is particularly well-suited to software radio based systems, because no special test equipment is required to gather the necessary data.
Techniques for the measurement of the impedance of wideband balanced antennas
In this paper, we present a new technique for measuring the input impedance of balanced antenna systems. The process uses standard two-port scattering parameters for balanced antennas, feeding each of the balanced input ports as the port of a two-port. The scattering-parameters will be related to the designed input impedance which may be obtained by post-processing the data. In addition, the scattering-parameters may be used to check for the assumed balance of the system. Both experimental and simulated results will be presented to validate the technique.
Interpretation of area target amplitude and dimensions in ISAR images
The amplitude of a point target observed in an ISAR image is equal to their free space RCS when effective sidelobe windowing is used. Likewise, its location in the image is identical to its actual location. The interpretation of observed amplitude and dimension of area targets is not as easy. The ISAR image of a rectangular flat plate formed by rotating it around its longer axis is significantly different from an ISAR image of the same plate rotated about its shorter axis. Both the amplitude and the size of the plate's image are different. In this paper, the theory of physical optics is reviewed in conjunction with the principles of ISAR processing to explain these differences.
Discrete implementation of an image-based algorithm for extrapolation of radar cross-section (RCS) from near-field measurements
ERIM is currently investigating several near-field to far-field transfonnations (NFFFfs) for predicting the far-field RCS of targets from monostatic near-field measurements. Each of the techniques uses approximate tions and/or supporting information to overcome the need for the bistatic near-field data which is required to rigorously transfonn a target's scattered field from the near zone to the far zone. Our focus has been on spheri cal near-field scanning, since this type of collection geometry is most compatible with existing RCS ranges. One particular NFFFT is based on the reflectivity approximation commonly used in ISAR imaging to model the target scattering. This image-based NFFFT is the most computationally efficient technique under con sideration, because, despite its theoretical underpinnings, it does not explicitly require image fonnation as part of its implementation. This paper presents an efficient discrete implementation of the image-based NFFFT, along with numerically-simulated examples of its perfonnance. The advantages and limitations of the technique will be discussed. A simplified version which applies to high aspect ratio (length-to-height) targets and requires only a single great circle (waterline) data in the near field is also summarized.
Interferometric techniques for discriminating multipath in ground to ground radar diagnostics with minimal constraints on collection geometry
Due to inherent cost, safety and logistical advan tages over dynamic measurements, Ground-to-Ground (G2G, aircraft and radar on tarmac) diagnostic radar measurements may be the preferred method of assessing aircraft RCS for signature maintenance. However, some challenging complications can occur when interpreting SAR imagery from these systems. For example, the effect of ground induced multi-path often results in the measurement of a significantly different image based RCS than would have been obtained by a comparable Ground-to-Air (G2A) or Air-to-Air (A2A) system. Although conventional 2-D SAR images are useful in determining the physical source (down-range/cross range) of scatterers, it is difficult at best to deduce whether an image pixel is a result of direct (desired) or ground induced multi-path (undesired) scattering. ERIM and MRC recently completed an experiment testing the utility of collecting and processing interfero metric (2-antenna) SAR radar data. This effort produced not only high resolution SAR imagery, but also a com panion data set, derived from interferometric phase, which helps to isolate the source (direct or multi-path) of all scattering within the SAR image. Additionally, the data set gives a measure of the physical height of direct scatterers on the target. This paper outlines the experiment performed on a RCS enhanced F-4 aircraft using a van mounted radar. Conventional high resolution imagery (down-range/ cross-range/intensity) will be shown along with down range/height/intensity and cross-range/height/intensity images. The paper will also describe the processing pro cedure and present analysis on the interferometric results. The unique motion compensation processing technique combining prominent point and motion mea surement instrumentation data, eliminates the need for a tightly controlled collection path (e.g. bulky rail sys tems). This allows data to be collected with the van driven somewhat arbitrarily around the target with side mounted antennas taking measurements at desired aspects.
Enhancement of efficiency and accuracy of near-field measurement
This paper examines the possibility of increasing the speed of Near-Field measurement of an Antenna, by reducing the number of measurement points and by determining the degree of truncation permissible while maintaining a prescribed degree of precision of the reconstructed far-field. The Near-Field of a planar radiating array is analysed in depth. A formulation and a procedure to correct the spectral domain of the field are established. It is shown that correction in the spectral domain can improve the accuracy of the Far-Field while using the same amount of Near-Field data. The technique has a good potential to be applied to Near Field data of large radiating Antennas leading to new information about the accuracy and speed of measurement achievable.
Influence of noise and calibration errors on HRR and ISAR
Several approaches are known for the identification of noncooperative air-borne targets with radar. Assuming that the tar get can be tracked during a certain flight path, observations from different aspect angles will be obtained. High-resolution radar (HRR) systems use these observations to create one-dimensional range profiles. With Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) the data from all observed aspect angles are combined to obtain two-dimensional images. In recent years, techniques for resolution enhancement have been developed for both techniques. The choice for one of the two approaches should depend on the applicability of the target representation for identification. ISAR is the most suitable for reproduction on a display and identification by human observers. In case of identification by a machine, for example an algorithm on a computer, the choice is not straight forward. In this paper an overview of the influence of several errors on the performance of HRR and ISAR will be given. The error sources that will be evaluated are: • uncertainty of the absolute distance of the target; • errors in the mutual alignment of observations; • additive noise. The errors are generated numerically and applied to data from simulations and low-noise measurements. The influence of the bandwidth and angular span on the quality of the target reconstruction will be regarded as well as the performance of some high-resolution techniques. Finally, conclusions are drawn concerning the applicability of ISAR and HRR.
Triband radome measurement system: installation and testing results, A
In an earlier paper ("System Engineering for a Radome Test System," John R. Jones, et al, AMTA, October 1994) the system level design of a compact range enhancement for the testing of the Triband Radome was presented. This paper will discuss the installation and testing of the radome measurement system in the compact range. The purpose of the radome measurement system is to determine (within close tolerances) boresight shift, transmission loss, antenna pattern changes and polarization effects caused by the radome. Unique features include novel coordinate transformation and correction by means of a laser autocollimator and data reduction algorithms. Also featured is the tracking subsystem which consists of a specially designed two-axis track pedestal, an autotrack controller, and three five-horn compact range feed arrays operating at X, K, and Q-bands. The performance of the triband radome measurement system in the compact range setting will be presented.
Pattern measurement of ultralow sidelobe level antennas
The development* of a real time electronic system to accurately measure the pattern of high gain, ultralow sidelobe level antennas in the presence of multipath scatterers is described. Antenna test ranges contain objects that scatter the signal from the transmitting antenna into the main beam of a receiving antenna under test (AUT), thereby creating a multipath channel. Large measurement errors of low sidelobes can result. The design and computer simulation of an Antimultipath System (AMPS) is complete. Fabrication of a feasibility demonstration model AMPS to operate with rotated AUTs to suppress indirect (scattered) components and permit accurate pattern measurements is almost done. Results to date show the likelihood of measuring sidelobe levels 60 dB below the main beam. * This project is sponsored in part by the Air Force Material Command under Rome Laboratory Contract Nos. F30602-92-C-0009, Fl9628-92-C-0130 and F 19628-93-C-02 l4.
Antenna measurements in the commercial world
Due to rapid growth in the RF commercial market, new thinking is required in antenna measurement techniques. Certain customers, such as those designing cellular base station antennas, have unique requirements. One example of this is accurate front to-back ratio measurements. This is a difficult measurement to make inside an anechoic chamber, particularly at the currently used commercial frequencies. This paper focuses on a technique for measuring front-to-back ratio, which involves averaging patterns collected at different test antenna positions in order to resolve the chamber back wall reflection from the antenna back lobe measurement.
Test-zone field quality in planar near-field measurements
This paper reports on the results of computer simulations of planar near-field scanning and its ability to achieve an high accuracy test-zone field over a wide range of pattern angles. An quality test-zone field was defined for this study to have less than 0.2 dB peak-to-peak amplitude variation and less than 1.5 peak-topeak phase variation. This investigation sought the minimum scan length, for a given critical angle, ec and separation, S. The minimum scan length determined from this investigation is given by: L = D + 2S(tan(0c)) + 20/cos(0c). This scan length is approximately 60),, larger, for a critical angle of 70 degrees, than previously accepted. It is suggested that the maximum practical value of Sc is between 60 and 70 degrees. The use of raised cosine amplitude and/or quadratic phase windows to the edges of the measurement plane is shown to provide test-zone field quality improvement and/or allow scan lengths approximately 10),, smaller.
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