AMTA Paper Archive
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Validation of a 40' by 22' Nearfield Range at Hughes Space & Communications Company
Hughes Space & Communications Group uses near field measurement systems for satellite antenna qualification tests on many of its commercial satellites. Hughes contracted with Nearfield Systems Inc. for delivery of several large horizontal planar near-field scanners for these tests. A 40' x 22' system was commissioned in early 1997 and has since been used for numerous commercial satellite tests. Prior to satellite antenna range testing, this range was characterized for gain measurements, co-polarized and cross-polarized pattern measurements, and measurement repeatability at C-band frequencies. This paper will highlight some of the findings from the characterization effort for this particular test facility.
Evaluation Method of Radiation Patterns Caused by Residual Reflection Using the Distance Changing Technique, An
This paper presents a new method of separating and evaluating the effects of each residual reflection caused by antenna measurement environment by distance changing technique. The effects represent radiation patterns caused by residual reflections (hereafter, error patterns). The key processes of this new method are to suppress sidelobes of a Fourier spectrum applying a window as a function of the distance with the purpose of obtaining an accurate spectrum of reflections and to separate error patterns each other using a gating technique at each angle. Using this method applying the above two processes, we can evaluate the error pattern for each reflection source with accuracy. The validity of this method is confirmed by a computer simulation. This method is especially useful to detect the position of each reflection source in a case of evaluation for antenna test range.
Broadband Antenna Reflection Range Using Genetic Algorithms to Determine Element Weighting, A
Properly designed elevated antenna ranges, that are to be used on aircraft sized structures, at VHF and UHF frequencies, are prohibitively large. Conventional ground reflection ranges can measure only one frequency at a time because the source antenna height must be set for each frequency. This paper describes a broadband antenna ground reflection range that has been designed for the purpose of making antenna pattern measurements at arbitrary frequencies between 30 MHz and 400 MHz on aircraft sized vehicles. This design uses multiple transmit antenna elements with the complex weighted excitation determined by the use of genetic algorithms.
Measurement and Analysis of a Microstrip Patch Array Antenna
This paper is concerned with the measurement and analysis of a circularly polarized, flat plate patch array receiving antenna at 12.5 GHz. Input impedance and far field pattern measurements of the antenna over the frequency band from 10 to 15 GHz were performed. The small Compact Range (CR) facility of the Ohio State University Electro Science Laboratory OSU/ESL was used to measure the gain pattern. Gain pattern measurement of the antenna was done by using the gain comparison method. A broadband (2-18 GHz), constant phase pyramidal horn antenna was used as a reference. The data were analyzed to determine the radiation efficiency of the antenna.
Demonstration of Plane Wave, Pattern Subtraction, Range Compensation
Ths paper demonstrates the plane wave, pattern subtraction method for performing range compensation of full-sphere antenna patterns measured on a fixed line-of-sight far-field range. The range field is measured on the surface of a sphere and a plane wave model of the range field illuminating the antenna under test (AUT) is determined. The range compensation algorithm uses information contained in both the plane wave model and the AUT pattern measurement to estimate the error pattern that is added to the measured AUT pattern by an extraneous source. This estimated error pattern is subtracted from the antenna pattern measurement to obtain a compensated pattern. The compensated pattern and estimated error pattern are improved iteratively. This paper demonstrates the technique using measured data. The AUT is measured in a far-field anechoic chamber that contains a secondary horn antenna located 20 degrees off-axis from the range antenna, which is used as an extraneous source. The AUT is a 474 element planar array operating at a frequency of 9.33 GHz.
Alignment Concept for Spacecraft Antennas in State of the Art Test Facilities
During the design of spacecraft antennas a well defined geometrical configuration of antenna components is supposed. Also the requirements for the accuracy of the antenna integration normally will be given. The antenna alignment processes have to ensure, that the designed configuration with the required accuracy can be met. Additionally the antenna pointing has to be determined with respect to the RF measurement facility. In this paper the concepts are treated, how to determine the actual and the designed orientation and location of the components of the space antennas during subsystem and system level integration and tests. This includes also the definition of needed references for the antenna components, the creation and application of coordinates or orientation matrices at manufacturing or integration level, the used coordinate systems and the attainable accuracy for different methods. For the evaluation of the RF pattern performance, the correlation between the spacecraft coordinate system and the facility coordinate system has to be known. Basic principles of this pointing alignment and an error analysis of the measurement accuracy will be explained. The presented concepts are based on the experience at DSS' test facilities with various antenna types and agreed with different antenna manufacturers and customers.
Diagnostic Tools for Multifeed Array Antennas
Diagnostic tools for the determination of the excitation coefficients of a multifeed antenna based on pattern measurements are extremely useful during a spacecraft antenna design. Due to the complexity of state of the art multifeed antennas, it is not straight forward to trace back to the location of possible error sources, if deficiencies or non-compliance's are detected during an antenna measurement campaign. Therefore a method was developed and tested at DSS which directly determines all effective excitation coefficients from pattern measurements. The method approximates the measured composite array pattern a set of computed element beam pattern, weighted by a set of unknown excitation coefficients. The resulting equation system is solved using the Method of Moments (MoM). The tool was extensively tested at DSS. The accuracy obtained for the calculations of the coefficients was in the 2% range beeing compareable to the accuracy of Beam Forming Network (BFN} measurements using a network analyser. In this paper the theoretical background of the method as well as some application cases will be described.
Validation Measurements for On Board Antennae Radiation Patterns Prediction Software
The effect of the platform in the radiation pattern of antennae on board satellites, aircraft or ships has to be taken into account in order to know the actual performance of antenna systems. To have an evaluation of this effect, software prediction codes are developed, providing a fast, cost efficient and comfortable solution compared to the usual measurement campaigns. Nevertheless, these codes have to be validated. Specific tests have been done in order to validate the prediction code FASANT, developed by the Universidad de Cantabria from Spain and based on the Uniform Theory of Diffraction (UTD). A description of the code is first done to follow with the measurement project that has been performed at the INTA facilities in Madrid. A mountable mock-up of the Hispasat satellite has been used to obtain different configurations. Special geometrical shapes have been added to the satellite platform to check for different scattering effects.
Verification of Antenna Radiation Patterns and Scattering Returns (RCS) of Full Size Targets Using Missile Engagement Simulation Arena (MESA) Facility (NAWCWPNS, China Lake CA) Radar System, and a Hardware in the Loop Radar System
Most often when performing antenna and RCS measurements, integrating the results is performed with some type of computer generated simulation or model of the application scenario. In the case of Missile Engagements for Fuze Radars, there is an opportunity to engage full size targets in a near real engagement. The missile fuze antenna can be mounted on the test cart which is able to position the fuze antenna in azimuth, pitch and roll. For instrumentation the MESA Facility has available a PN coded BiPhase multi-range gate radar system. Various Full size targets are available for use in the arena. The target are positioned for a multitude of trajectories utilizing an overhead target positioning system. The Overhead Target Positioning System suspends and moves the targets using a multipoint string system that controls, Pitch, Roll, height, and azimuth positioning. The Overhead Target Positioning System (OTS) is also controlled in lateral movement. (across the range) This paper will show the verification of antenna patterns and RCS returns of full size targets using the MESA Radar system, and verification of these measurements using a hardware in loop fuze radar system simultaneously.
Planar Source Reconstruction and Far Field Calculation From Near Field Hemispherical Acquisition
A reconstruction method that calculates bi-dimensional equivalent magnetic currents from the tangential electric field components over a hemispherical region is presented. The method is applied for diagnosis as well as for near field to far Field (NF-FF) transformation. The method is well suited for antenna radiation pattern measurement using a near-field spherical acquisition system in anechoic chamber.
Characterization of Antenna Patterns by Means of Statistical Image Classification
The accuracy of near field measurements have in the past largely been judged by inspection however the authors have developed an objective measure of the accuracy and repeatability of such measurements. This paper illustrates the measurement process and the techniques associated with statistical image classification used to confirm its accuracy and repeatability. The technique will be illustrated via the correlation of data sets acquired over a variety of different frequencies and scan plane areas. The examination of these measurements will demonstrate the applicability and sensitivity of the technique when the accurate assessment of highly correlated patterns is required.
Extending the Angular Coverage of Planar Near-Field Measurements by Combining Patterns From Two or More Antenna Orientations
The angular coverage of planar near-field measurements is limited by the size of the scan plane, and the "region of validity" is defined by the angle between the edge of the AUT and the edge of the scan plane. In some applications, results are required over a larger angular region than is possible with the available scanner. The angular coverage can be increased by rotating the antenna and repeating the measurement. The results of the two measurements are then combined. Successful combination depends on using both the coordinate system and vector components that are appropriate for the antenna rotation. In general for a single antenna orientation, any coordinate system can be used with any vector components, but when combining or comparing patterns for two antenna rotations, the axis of rotation must be the polar axis and the vector components must correspond to that coordinate system. Measurements results will be used to demonstrate the proper choice of coordinates and components and to illustrate potential problems that may arise.
Compact Antenna Test Range Built to Meet the Unique Testing Requirements for Active Phased Array Antennas, A
Microwave Instrumentation Technologies (MI Technologies) in cooperation with Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. (Signaal) and the Royal Netherlands Navy has designed and produced a compact antenna test range to specifically address the unique testing requirements imposed in the testing of active phased array antennas. The compact range was built specifically to test Signaal's new Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) prior to introduction into various naval fleets throughout the world. This reversible Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) allows antenna testing in both transmit and receive modes. The measurement hardware is capable of testing both CW and pulsed waveforms with high dynamic range. In addition to conventional antenna pattern measurements the system is capable of measuring EIRP, Gff and G/NF, as well as providing analysis software to provide aperture reconstruction. A special Antenna Interface Unit (AIU) was designed and built to communicate with the Beam Steering Computer which controls the thousands of T/R modules which make up the APAR antenna system. A special high power absorber fence and other safeguards were installed to handle the transmit energy capable of being delivered from the APAR antenna system.
Satellite Payload Parameter Measurements in a Compensated Compact Antenna Test Range
Modern Satellite Antennas and Payloads are characterized by a lot of physical parameters like e.g. Radiation Pattern, Gain, EIRP, Flux Density, Gff and PIM, whereas the available time frame for measurements is getting shorter and shorter. The DSS Compensated Compact Range (CCR) allows a time efficient measurement of all payload parameters with high accuracy under controlled environmental conditions. The CCR consists of two doubly curved reflectors, which prevent inherent cross-polarization and create a very high constant amplitude and phase distribution in the quiet zone with a very good scanning performance. Most of the payload parameters can be measured directly or have to be calculated from a set of measurement values. For the G/T measurement of active antennas a new method for the noise power measurement was established. This paper describes the principle test set-ups with the corresponding measurement techniques to improve the measurement accuracy. Error budgets will be presented for pattern and gain measurement.
Wideband Radar Echoes From Cylindrical Rods
In order to assess the suitability of long thin metal rods as calibration devices for both co-polarized and cross-polarized (abbreviated as co-pol and x-pol) RCS measurements, we study RCS data from rods at broadside and compare them with 2D theoretical predictions. We find that the 45° tilt angle is optimum for calibration purposes. Near grazing incidence to a horizontal rod, the first traveling wave lobe in the HH pattern is a very prominent feature. Its angular location and amplitude have been measured as a function of frequency and compared with theory. A formerly unexplained error due to a contaminated calibration is identified.
SAR Interferometry for Structural Changes Detection
The interferometric measurements for the structure change detection of a dam due to water level change and to seasonal temperature variation is presented. The instrument used is the Linear SAR (LISA) of the European Microwave Signature Laboratory, which allows two synthetic apertures, one linear of 5 meters length and another circular of about 2 meters. The microwave instrumentation, based on a vector network analyzer and on a pair of wide-band antenna, allows a dual polarized measurement in a frequency band, ranging from 500 MHz to 6 GHz. In this particular context, fully polarimetric measurements have been performed in the frequency band from 5.2 to 6 GHz. From the selected measurements parameters a spatial resolution on the structure of about 30 by 30-cm is achieved. Measurements have been repeated at 7 different dates in the period from June to September. From the set of obtained images a large number of differential interferograms was been formed corresponding to different deformation conditions of the barrage. Results showing the deformation pattern, clearly visible on the whole imaged portion of the structure, are presented. The comparison between measured displacements by D-InSAR and those from the barrage monitoring system in the selected points where traditional tools are installed are in good agreement.
Low-Power Characterisation of the TJ-II Stellerator Quasi-Optical Beam Waveguide
Plasmas inside the TJ-II Stellerator are generated by heating the electron cyclotron resonance waves with a high-power millimeter-wave beam from gyrotron generators and through two transmission lines. Both lines have been tested at nominal power level and they are currently in operation. This paper is devoted to the low-power testing of the transmission lines performed before their operation at high power level. A corrugated horn antenna was designed to generate a pattern that simulates the gyrotron output. In order to evaluate the set up, a twofold approach was taken. On one hand, the antenna pattern was measured and compared with the predicted one. On the other hand, the beam propagation through the mirror line was measured and simulated using Huygens diffraction theory. The comparison of the theoretical and experimental results from both the corrugated antenna and propagation through the transmission line are presented in this paper.
Design and Testing Techniques for Automotive Conformal Diversity Antennas
The automobile antenna industry is facing two rapidly growing trends: (1) the incorporation of effective, low cost, AM/FM conformal antenna designs and (2) the antenna capability to handle diversity FM radio receivers. The development of techniques for testing automotive conformal diversity antennas' performance becomes necessary to evaluate and compare them. Testing techniques to obtain the antenna Input Impedance (Zin), Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) and Mismatch Loss (MML) as well as the azimuth gain patterns and the combined diversity signal (maximum of the diversity signals) are described. Experimental results for the Annular Slot Windshield Diversity Antenna using polarization diversity are shown. It is demonstrated that the Annular Slot Windshield Diversity Antenna can be used effectively to reduce multipath fading.
Evaluation of Scattering Level of TT&C Antennas with Geometrical Scale Modeling Technique
Omnidirectional antennas are typically used as Tracking, Telemetry and Command (TT&C) antennas for satellites. However, the omnidirectional patterns of TT&C antennas located on satellite structures are susceptible to substantial scattering and polarization mismatch loss, especially at the initial mission stage. Consequently, it is very important to properly evaluate the extent of these effects for each of the initial mission configurations. In this paper, measurement techniques to achieve proper evaluation of scattering level and polarization mismatch loss for TT&C antennas of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) are presented. The paper encompasses a test approach, a test procedure and test results. Application of these test techniques is essential to the TDRS TT&C antenna qualification program.
Technique for the Approximate Compensation of Antenna Illumination Taper from Near Field Measured, ISAR Data Sets, A
This paper presents an approximate, practical technique for the compensation of antenna pattern amplitude taper effects that occur in near field RCS data. The technique uses inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) data sets. Complete pattern determination uses an iterative approach over target rotation angle and frequency bandwidth, with a series of near field ISAR images as input to obtain the corresponding corrected, near field, frequency/azimuth pattern data. Assumed is direct target illumination using a source with a known angular illumination pattern. The technique and its application environment in the Boeing Near Field Test Facility is described. It is then demonstrated using a near field data collection range of 100 feet from the target center of rotation. The approach is shown to be effective for target sizes with cross range extents extending to the one-way 3 dB points of the illumination taper (two-way 6 dB points). Demonstration of compensation performance and a study of accuracy achievable versus the near field image parameters used is presented.
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