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Pattern
Simultaneous Beam Characterization and Active RDP of a Multi-Beam Antenna
B. Rizzuto,C. Jones, P. Kolesnikoff, November 2011
The Enhanced Antenna Subsystem (EAS) is a 12 beam, receive only antenna which uses a combination of switched elements and phase delay to accomplish independent beam steering. The upper portion of the dome­shaped antenna is populated with 45 circularly polarized antenna elements in an icosahedron pattern along with 15 additional circularly polarized elements along the cylindrical skirt extension. The antenna was tested in our 35’ by 35’ by 65’ compact range. Pattern testing was accomplished by mounting the antenna to a roll positioner atop a high load tower, which was then mounted to an azimuth turntable. The range has a 20’ by 20’ reflector providing an 8’ quiet zone. Using a switching network, we simultaneously characterized 11 statically pointed beams while tracking the range source antenna with the 12th beam. Post processing of the data was performed to separate the beam data and calibrate out losses through the switching network.
Beam-Steering Computer Design for Space-Fed Phased-Array Antenna
P. Brady,D. Mauney, J. Skala, November 2011
In this paper, a beam-steering computer design is explored for a large space-fed phased-array antenna. GTRI previously developed a beam-steering computer for a smaller phased-array antenna which accomplished spherical propagation focusing and multiple phase-only beam-broadening modes. In a subsequent effort, the beam-steering computer design was scaled for a large phased-array antenna to accomplish similar tasks. To verify the design, a series of far-field measurements was initiated to characterize the performance of the antenna by comparing with past measured near-field data and modeled results. One of the primary responsibilities of the beam-steering computer was the focusing of the spherical propagation wave front. A measurement technique is discussed to accomplish this focusing for the large space-fed phased-array antenna by correcting measurement errors in the spherical propagation routine of the beam-steering computer. Additional patterns were taken using the updated feed horn focal point for spherical propagation correction. By correcting the phase errors caused by spherical propagation defocusing in the original beam-steering computer, significantly better antenna performance was obtained, including higher peak gain, reduced nearby sidelobe levels, and removal of beam-pointing errors. Another important responsibility of the beam-steering computer was the ability to realize multiple antenna modes, including a focused pencil beam as well as defocused broadened-beam modes. A stochastic gradient descent algorithm was utilized to obtain several phase tapers to accomplish beam-broadening for the antenna modes. These modes were implemented in the beam-steering computer and tested on a far-field range. The antenna patterns were compared with modeled results and with previous measured data to ensure validity of the implementation.
Accuracy of Near Field Pattern Measurements Performed with Analytical Probe Models
F. Boldissar,A. Haile, November 2011
Calibration of probes for planer near field range measurements is generally required to obtain accurate cross-polarization (xpol) data; however, probe calibration is costly and time consuming. Using analytical models in place of calibration is generally much more cost effective, but may result in larger measurement errors. In a previous paper [1], we showed that simple models of copol probe patterns with zero xpol can give accurate measured results, provided that the probe xpol is much better, generally 10-15 dB better, than the Antenna Under Test (AUT). The next question is “Can a lower performing (and cheaper) probe be used if both the copol and xpol probe patterns are modeled?” In this paper, we compute AUT xpol measurement errors that result from probe xpol errors, and we compare far field AUT patterns processed using probe models with patterns processed with calibrated probe files.
A New Planar Antenna Element For Ka-Band Applications
R. Glogowski,J. Zurcher, C. Peixeiro, J. Mosig, November 2011
One of the most promising bands for long-range radiocommunications is the Ka-band (25-40 GHz). This is due to the existence of a natural radio transmission window around 30 GHz. Both terrestrial and satellite transmission systems are planned on this frequency band. For satellite applications, circular polarization is needed and the antennas or antenna arrays must frequently exhibit specially tailored radiation patterns. This paper proposes an efficient planar element for Ka-band telecom and remote sensing applications. The element has reduced losses (and hence good efficiency), while providing circular polarization (AR better than 3 dB) and good matching (better than 10 dB) in the 25.5-27.0 GHz frequency band. The element is fed by an integrated low loss transmission line (suspended strip line, SSL). This modular design allows an easy grouping into high efficiency subarrays, which include beam forming networks (BFNs) built in the same SSL technology and an innovative transition to the final standard waveguide feeder.
Spherical Near-Field Measurements at UHF Frequencies with Complete Uncertainty Analysis
A. Newell,P. Pelland, B. Park, T. White, November 2011
A spherical near-field measurement range at Nearfield Systems Inc. has recently been used to measure gain, pattern and polarization of a multi-element helix array operating in the UHF band. Verification of gain performance over the operating band was of primary importance and so major efforts were made to obtain the best possible gain results and to quantify the gain uncertainty through a complete error analysis. A single element helix gain standard was first calibrated and the estimated uncertainty in this calibration was 0.35 dB. A double ridged horn was to be used as the probe for the spherical near-field measurements and so the patterns of the horn at all test frequencies were measured on the spherical range using identical horns as the AUT and the probe. From these measurements, probe pattern files were generated that could be used to perform the probe correction in the measurements of the helix gain standard and the multi-element array. The helix gain standard was then installed in a new spherical near-field range at NSI with the double ridged horn as the probe. The range used a specially designed phi-over theta rotator that could support and rotate the array and maintain the required position accuracy. The chamber was lined with 36 inch absorber. Spherical measurements were then performed and the data processed to provide the far-field peak amplitudes at each frequency that were necessary for gain measurements. The far-field peak values are equivalent to the far electric field for the gain standard and are compared to the same parameter for the multi-element array to produce the final gain results. The helix array was then installed in the spherical range and a series of measurements were performed to produce the far-field gain, pattern and polarization results and also to provide the data for the complete 18 term uncertainty analysis. The uncertainty in the gain measurements was 0.45 dB and the axial ratio uncertainty was 0.11 dB.
An Empirical Near-field to Far-Field Convergence Study for Antenna Measurements
P. Nelson,J. Henrie, November 2011
Pattern distortion due to finite range measurement of antennas in close proximity to electrically large metallic media is examined. The ubiquitous yet arbitrary 2D2/. distance requirement cannot be blindly applied to scenarios where antennas couple to nearby structures. A C-band standard gain horn antenna is analyzed near a circular metallic plate at 6 GHz using the commercial software FEKO. The near-fields are computed at various radii, which are set to multiples of D2/., where D is defined as the largest dimension of the complete structure. The radiating near-field patterns are normalized and compared to the far-field pattern. Results indicate that measurement at 2D2/. may not be necessary. Increasing fractions of D2/. results in a diminishing measurement error that may be tolerable, depending on the intended application.
Estimation of Far-Field Errors Due To Mechanical Errors In Spherical Near-Field Scanning
Michael Francis,National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2012
ABSTRACT When the mechanical requirements are established for a spherical near-field scanner, it is desirable to estimate what effects the expected mechanical errors will have on the determination of the far field of potential antennas that will be measured on the proposed range. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has investigated the effects of mechanical errors for a proposed outdoor spherical near-field range to be located at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. This investigation was performed by use of theoretical far-field patterns and introducing position errors into simulated spherical near-field measurements using software developed at NIST. Periodic and random radial and angular position errors were investigated. Far-field patterns were then calculated with and without probe-position correction to determine the effects of mechanical position errors. Periodic errors were found to have a larger effect than random errors. This paper reports the results of these investigations.
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.
Robotically Controlled mm-Wave Near-Field Pattern Range
Joshua Gordon,NIST, November 2012
The Antenna Metrology Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder Colorado has developed a robotically controlled near-field pattern range for measuring antennas and quasi-optical components from 50 GHz to 500 GHz. This range is intended to address the need for highly accurate antenna pattern measurements above 100 GHz for a variety of applications including remote sensing, communications and imaging. A new concept in near-field range systems, this system incorporates the positioning repeatability of a precision industrial six-axes robot, six-axes parallel kinematic hexapod, and high precision rotation stage, integrated with a highly accurate laser tracking system. Programmable robot positioning allows the system geometry to be configured for spherical, planar, and cylindrical scans, as well as gain extrapolation measurements. Variable scan volume accommodates different test antenna sizes. Positioning accuracy better than 10 µm is predicted. Specifics of the system design, operating specifications and configurability will be presented.
A Novel Approach to RCS Measurements Utilizing Knowledge-Based Information
David Berger,System Planning Corporation, November 2012
Indoor RCS measurement facilities are usually dedicated to the characterization of only one azimuth cut and one elevation cut of the full spherical RCS target pattern. In order to perform more complete characterizations, a spherical experimental layout has been developed in 2007 at CEA for indoor near field monostatic RCS assessment. This experimental layout was composed of a 4 meters radius motorized rotating arch (horizontal axis) holding the measurement antennas while the target was located on a polystyrene mast mounted on a rotating positioning system (vertical axis). The combination of the two rotation capabilities allowed full 3D near field monostatic RCS characterization. A new study was conducted in 2011 in order to achieve a more accurate positioning of the measurement antenna. The main objective is to enhance the RCS measurement performances, especially the environment subtraction directly related to the positioning repeatability of the measurement antenna. This new mechanical design has therefore been optimized to allow a +/-100° azimuth range with an angular positioning repeatability of less than 1/1000°. To achieve this level of accuracy, several keys design elements were considered: robust mechanical design, position control system… This paper describes the new experimental layout and the results of a positioning accuracy assessment campaign conducted using a laser tracker.
Achieved mechanical Accuracy of a 3D RCS spherical near field Arch Positioning System
Pierre MASSALOUX,CEA, November 2012
Indoor RCS measurement facilities are usually dedicated to the characterization of only one azimuth cut and one elevation cut of the full spherical RCS target pattern. In order to perform more complete characterizations, a spherical experimental layout has been developed in 2007 at CEA for indoor near field monostatic RCS assessment. This experimental layout was composed of a 4 meters radius motorized rotating arch (horizontal axis) holding the measurement antennas while the target was located on a polystyrene mast mounted on a rotating positioning system (vertical axis). The combination of the two rotation capabilities allowed full 3D near field monostatic RCS characterization. A new study was conducted in 2011 in order to achieve a more accurate positioning of the measurement antenna. The main objective is to enhance the RCS measurement performances, especially the environment subtraction directly related to the positioning repeatability of the measurement antenna. This new mechanical design has therefore been optimized to allow a +/-100° azimuth range with an angular positioning repeatability of less than 1/1000°. To achieve this level of accuracy, several keys design elements were considered: robust mechanical design, position control system… This paper describes the new experimental layout and the results of a positioning accuracy assessment campaign conducted using a laser tracker.
Major challenges to wearable and textile antenna measurements in the spherical format
Pawel Kabacik,Wroclaw University of Technology, November 2012
The paper presents in-house developed antenna positioner capable to acquire radiation pattern in the full spherical format for wearable and textile antennas. The positioner features remarkable advantages and mitigates troublesome to measurement accuracy shadowing by the positioner structure. Furthermore, development methodology of the human phantom without heavy liquids is proposed. Since evaluation of wearable and textile antennas must put considerations to major variations in antenna performance during antenna operation, we have found an urgent need to define new engineering measure that will help in quick evaluation of such antennas.
Measurement campaigns for selection of optimum on-ground performance verification approach for large deployable reflector antenna
Sergey Pivnenko,Technical University of Denmark, November 2012
This paper describes the measurement campaigns carried out at P-band (435 MHz) for selection of optimum on-ground verification approach for a large deployable reflector antenna (LDA). The feed array of the LDA was measured in several configurations with spherical, cylindrical, and planar near-field techniques at near-field facilities in Denmark and in the Netherlands. The measured results for the feed array were then used in calculation of the radiation pattern and gain of the entire LDA. The primary goals for the campaigns were to obtain realistic measurement uncertainty estimates and to investigate possible problems related to characterization of the feed array at P-band. The measurement results obtained in the campaigns are compared and discussed.
Rod Dielectric Feed for Compact Range Reflector.
Nikplay Balabukha,Institute of Theoretical and Applied Electrodynamics of Russian Academy of Science (ITAE RAS)., November 2012
A dielectric rod feed with a special radiation pattern of a tabletop form used for the compact range reflector is developed and analyzed. Application of this feed increases the size of the compact range quiet zone generated by the reflector. The feed consists of the dielectric rod made of polystyrene; the rod is inserted into the circular waveguide with a corrugated flange. The waveguide is excited by the H11-mode. The rod is covered by the textolite biconical bushing and has a fluoroplastic insert in the vicinity of the bushing. Mathematical modeling was used to obtain the parameters of the feed for the optimal tabletop form of the radiation pattern. The problem of the electromagnetic radiation was solved for metal-dielectric bodies of rotation by method of integral equations with further solving of the problem of the synthesis for feed parameters. The dielectric rod feed was fabricated for the X-frequency range. Feed amplitude and phase patterns were measured in the frequency range 8.2-12.5 GHz. Presented results of mathematical modeling and measurements for X-range radiation patterns correlate well. It is shown that this feed increases by 20-25% the quiet zone of the compact range with reflector in the form of nonsymmetrical cutting of the paraboloid of revolution 5.0 . 4.5 m in size in the frequency range 8.5-10.0 GHz as compared to a conical horn feed.
An Improved Antenna Gain Extrapolation Measurement
Jason Coder,National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2012
An improved system for antenna gain extrapolation measurements is proposed. The improved method consists of a vector network analyzer, a pair of RF optical links, and a pair of waveguide mixers. This change in hardware equates to a system with better dynamic range and a simplified reference measurement. We present a detailed description of the new extrapolation measurement setup, discuss the advantages and disadvantages, and validate the new setup by measuring the gain of an antenna previously measured with a traditional extrapolation setup. After presenting the comparison, we will discuss applications of this measurement system that extend beyond extrapolation gain measurements (e.g., spherical near- and far-field pattern measurements).
Design and experimental verification of near field Ka-band probe based on wideband OMJ with minimum higher order spherical mode content
John Estrada,SATIMO, November 2012
A desired feature of modern field probes is that the useable bandwidth should exceed that of the Antenna Under Test (AUT) [1]. Recent developments in probe and orthomode junctions (OMJ) technology has shown that bandwidths of up to 4:1 are achievable [2-5]. The probes are based on inverted ridge technology capable of maintaining the same high performance standards of traditional probes However, in typical Spherical Near Field (SNF) measurement scenarios, the applicable frequency range of the single probe can also be limited by the content of µ.1 spherical modes in the probe pattern [6-7]. This is because the traditional NFtoFF software applies probe correction under the assumption that the probe pattern is fully specified from knowledge of the E-and H-plane patterns only [8]. While this condition is guaranteed for virtually any type of probe for small illumination angles of the AUT and/or a long probe/AUT distance this assumption may lead to unacceptable errors in special cases. This paper describes the design and experimental verification of a Ka-band probe based on the inverted ridge technology. The probe is intended for high precision SNF measurements in special conditions that require less than -45dB higher order spherical mode content. This performance level has been accomplished through careful design of the probe and meticulous selection of the components used in the external balanced feeding scheme. The paper reports on the electrical and mechanical design considerations and the experimental verification of the modal content.
MEASURING LOW CROSS POLARIZATION USING A BROAD BAND, LOG PERIODIC PROBE
Allen Newell,Nearfield Systems Inc., November 2012
There are a number of near-field measurement situations where it is desirable to use a broad band probe to avoid the need to change the probe a number of times during a measurement. But most of the broad band probes do not have low cross polarization patterns over their full operating frequency range and this can cause large uncertainties in the AUT results. Calibration of the probe and the use of probe pattern data to perform probe correction can in principle reduce the uncertainties. This paper reports on a series of measurements that have been performed to demonstrate and quantify the cross polarization levels and associated uncertainties that can be measured with typical log periodic (LP) probes. Two different log periodic antennas were calibrated on a spherical near-field range using open ended waveguides (OEWG) as probes. Since the OEWG has an on-axis cross polarization that is typically at least 50 dB below the main component, and efforts were made to reduce measurement errors, the LP calibration should be very accurate. After the calibration, a series of standard gain horns (SGH) that covered the operating band of the LP probe were then installed on the spherical near-field range in the AUT position and measurements were made using both the LP probes and the OEWG in the probe position. The cross polarization results from measurements using the OEWG probes where then used as the standard to evaluate the results using the LP probes. Principal plane patterns, axial ratio and tilt angles across the full frequency range were compared to establish estimates of uncertainties. Examples of these results over frequency ranges from 300 MHz to 12 GHz will be presented.
Estimating the Effect of Higher Order Modes in Spherical Near-Field Probe Correction
Allen Newell,Nearfield Systems Inc, November 2012
The numerical analysis used for efficient processing of spherical near-field data requires that the far-field pattern of the probe can be expressed using only azimuthal modes with indices of µ = ±1. (1) If the probe satisfies this symmetry requirement, near-field data is only required for the two angles of probe rotation about its axis of . = 0 and 90 degrees and numerical integration in . is not required. This reduces both measurement and computation time and so it is desirable to use probes that will satisfy the µ = ±1 criteria. Circularly symmetric probes can be constructed that reduce the higher order modes to very low levels and for probes like open ended rectangular waveguides (OEWG) the effect of the higher order modes can be reduced by using a measurement radius that reduces the subtended angle of the AUT. Some analysis and simulation have been done to estimate the effect of using a probe with the higher order modes (2) – (6) and the following study is another effort to develop guidelines for the properties of the probe and the measurement radius that will reduce the effect of higher order modes to minimal levels. This study is based on the observation that since the higher order probe azimuthal modes are directly related to the probe properties for rotation about its axis, the near-field data that should be most sensitive to these modes is a near-field polarization measurement. This measurement is taken with the probe at a fixed (x,y,z) or (.,f,r) position and the probe is rotated about its axis by the angle .. The amplitude and phase received by the probe is measured as a function of the . rotation angle. A direct measurement using different probes would be desirable, but since the effect of the higher order modes is very small, other measurement errors would likely obscure the desired information. This study uses the plane-wave transmission equation (7) to calculate the received signal for an AUT/probe combination where the probe is at any specified position and orientation in the near-field. The plane wave spectrum for both the AUT and the probe are derived from measured planar or spherical near-field data. The plane wave spectrum for the AUT is the same for all calculations and the receiving spectrum for the probe at each . orientation is determined from the far-field pattern of the probe after it has been rotated by the angle .. The far-field pattern of the probe as derived from spherical near-field measurements can be filtered to include or exclude the higher order spherical modes, and the near-field polarization data can therefore be calculated to show the sensitivity to these higher order modes. This approach focuses on the effect of the higher order spherical modes and completely excludes the effect of measurement errors. The results of these calculations for different AUT/probe/measurement radius combinations will be shown.
Shortcomings in Simulating Formulas for the Far-field Pattern emitted by a K-band Open-ended Rectangular WaveguideShortcomings in Simulating Formulas for the Far-field Pattern emitted by a K-band Open-ended Rectangular Waveguide
Maria C Gonzalez,University of California, Davis, November 2012
Measurement of E and H plane far field patterns for an open-ended rectangular waveguide in the free air operating between the frequencies of 16 and 19 GHz are shown and compared with the simulated patterns derived by several authors. Although the theoretical expressions give a broader pattern for the E-plane than for the H-plane, which is observed, measurements exhibit a sharper decay in the E-plane than the one obtained by simulation. In this work, we calculate the errors associated with the use of the different models that fail to correctly approximate the E-plane. Finally, we introduce a parameter in the best model to adjust the effective aperture dimensions in order to obtain a more realistic representation of the measured far field.
Demonstration of Antenna Pattern Deconvolution from the Measurement Range Transfer Function for a 2D Vector Source
Scott Goodman,Air Force Institute of Technology, November 2012
A Plane Wave Synthesis Approach for mitigating errors in antenna measurements caused by stray signals and imperfections in the measurement range illuminating fields has been demonstrated previously for a 2D scalar source [1]. This paper presents algorithms developed for the Range Transfer Function (RTF) method for a 2D vector source. Vector basis functions for both the field representation and the AUT representation are implemented to provide a robust numerical solution. The new algorithms are more stable because the plane wave angles and the antenna measurement angles may be completely general, provided that Nyquist rules of sampling are observed during both the field probing (to obtain the plane wave coefficients) and the antenna measurement (to obtain the raw pattern data).


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