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Gain and Phase Center Calibration of Log Periodic Dipole Arrays using Complex Fit Algorithm
Zhong Chen, November 2014
Abstract – This paper introduces a method for calibrating the gain and the frequency dependent phase center locations of Log Periodic Dipole Arrays (LPDAs).  The method builds upon the three antenna method, but is conducted over a PEC ground plane in an Open Area Test Site (OATS).   Similar to the traditional three antenna method, three pairings of transmission measurements are taken.  In each measurement, one antenna is set at a fixed height above the ground plane, while the other antenna is scanned in height over 1 to 4 m heights.  Magnitude and phase responses between the two antennas are taken at multiple heights.  Measured results are fit to a theoretical model using a complex fit algorithm.   From this process, the gain and frequency dependent phase center locations of each antenna can be solved.   Measurement data show that it is effective in reducing systematic uncertainties associated with assuming fixed phase center locations.  In addition, unlike other calibration methods over a conducting ground plane, no assumptions are made about the antenna patterns.  This method provides an accurate, versatile and fast method for calibrating LPDAs from as low as 100 MHz.
Absolute Near-Field Determination of the RapidScat Reflector Antenna onboard the International Space Station
Yahya Rahmat-Samii,Joshua Kovitz, Luis Amaro, Jeff Harrell, November 2015
Recently, the Rapid Scatterometer (RapidScat) instrument was developed to sense ocean winds while being housed onboard the International Space Station (ISS). This latest addition to the ISS, launched and mounted in September 2014, significantly improves the detection and sensing capabilities of the current satellite constellation. The dual-beam Ku-band reflector antenna autonomously rotates at 18 rpm and acquires scientific data over a circular scan during typical ISS operations. Mounting such an antenna on the ISS, however, gives rise to many engineering challenges. An important consideration for any antenna onboard the ISS is the interference generated towards nearby ISS systems, space vehicles and humans due to the possible exposure to high RF power. To avoid this issue, this work aimed to characterize the antenna's absolute near-field distribution, whose knowledge was required for a blanker circuit design to shut off the RF power for certain time slots during the scan period. Computation of these absolute near-fields is not a straightforward task and can require extensive computational resources. The initial computation of those fields was done using GRASP; however, an independent validation of the GRASP results was necessary because of safety concerns. A customized plane wave spectrum back projection method was developed to recover the absolute electric field magnitudes from the knowledge of the measured far-field patterns. The customized technique exploits the rapid computation of the Fast Fourier Transform alongside the proper normalization. The procedure starts by scaling the normalized (measured or simulated) far-field patterns appropriately to manifest the desired total radiated power. This was followed by transforming the vectors into the desired rectangular coordinate system and interpolating those components onto a regularized spectral grid. The FFT of the resulting Plane Wave spectrum was properly scaled using the sampling lengths to determine the absolute near-field distributions. The procedure was initially validated by comparing the results with analytical aperture distributions with known far-field patterns. The properly normalized PWS approach was subsequently applied to the RapidScat Antenna using measured patterns from JPL’s cylindrical near-field range. The resulting near-fields compare quite well between the plane wave spectrum technique and GRASP, thus validating the calculations. This work provided significant enabling guidelines for the safe operation of the ISS-RapidScat instrument.
Advances in Near-Field Test Practices to Characterize Phased Array Antennas
Carl Mueller,Paul Seo, Mark Caracccio, Wilson Vong, Sam Ho, November 2015
Current and future beam-steerable phased array antennas require broadband frequency range, multiple-beam operation and fast switching speeds.  Near-field antenna testing is an efficient tool to rapidly and securely test antenna array performance, but many of the features of current and next-generation electronically steerable antennas require advances in near-field techniques so as to fully characterize and optimize advanced antenna arrays.  For example, system requirements often dictate broadband frequency operation, which presents challenges in terms of probe antenna choices and probe-to-test antenna distances to properly characterize and optimize test antennas with a minimal number of scans and thus satisfy stringent customer requirements in a cost- and time-effective manner.  Raytheon is developing near-field antenna test measurement techniques tailored to measure the radiation patterns of multiple beams over wide frequency ranges, to expand the range of test data collected for antenna optimization and customer review.  Key test design considerations faced in developing advanced near field characterization techniques will be presented.  Custom software to integrate antenna control with the near field measurement system is necessary to provide enhanced capability of characterizing multiple beams.  Specialized data processing and analysis tools are needed to process thousands of datasets collected from a single scan, in a timely manner.
Millimeter-Wave Performance of Broadband Aperture Antenna on Laminates
Rashaunda Henderson,Richard Pierce, Supreetha Aroor, Joel Arzola, Christopher Miller, Harini Kumar,Thethnin Ei, Andrew Blanchard, Dave Fooshe, Bert Schluper, Dan Swan, Carlos Morales, November 2015
This paper summarizes the design, fabrication and characterization of a coplanar waveguide fed modified aperture bowtie antenna operating in the 60 to 90 GHz range.  Modifications to the bowtie edges extend the bandwidth up to 40%  without increasing radiator area.  The antenna was initially designed and measured in the 3-8 GHz frequency band and then frequency scaled to 60-90 GHz.  The millimeter wave antenna is implemented on FR408 (er=3.65) and a multilayer laminate. Both substrates can be used in millimeter-wave system design where efficient antennas are needed.  Return loss measurements of the antennas are made on a Cascade probe station. The results agree well with simulations in ANSYS HFSS. Until recently, only simulated radiation patterns were available illustrating  broadside gain of 5 to 7 dB for these antennas. With the acquisition of a spherical scanner, near-field measurements have been taken of the three antennas from 67 to 110 GHz.  The broadside radiation pattern results are compared with simulation.  The NSI 700S-360 spherical near-field measurement system used in conjunction with an Agilent network analyzer, GGB Picoprobes and Cascade manipulator allow for on-wafer measurements of the antenna under test.
Experimental Validation of Improved Fragmented Aperture Antennas Using Focused Beam Measurement Techniques
James Maloney,John Schultz, Brian Shirley, November 2015
In the late 1990’s, Maloney et al. began investigating the design of highly pixelated apertures whose physical shape and size are optimized using genetic algorithms (GA) and full-wave computational electromagnetic simulation tools (i.e. FDTD) to best meet the required antenna performance specification; i.e. gain, bandwidth, polarization, pattern, etc. [1-3].  Visual inspection of the optimal designs showed that the metallic pixels formed many connected and disconnected fragments.  Hence, they coined the term Fragmented Aperture Antennas for this new class of antennas.  A detailed description of the Georgia Tech design approach is disclosed in [4].  Since then, other research groups have been successfully designing fragmented aperture antennas for other applications, see [5-6] for two examples. However, the original fragmented design approach suffers from two major deficiencies.  First, the placement of pixels on a generalized, rectilinear grid leads to the problem of diagonal touching. That is, pixels that touch diagonally lead to poor measurement/model agreement.  Other research groups are also grappling with this diagonal touching issue [7]. Second, the convergence in the GA stage of the design process is poor for high pixel count apertures (>>100).            This paper will present solutions to both of these shortcomings.  First, alternate approaches to the discretization of the aperture area that inherently avoid diagonal touching will be presented.  Second, an improvement to the usual GA mutation step that improves convergence for large pixel count fragmented aperture designs will be presented. Over the last few years, the authors have been involved with developing the use of the focused beam measurement system to measure antenna properties such as gain and pattern [8].  A series of improved, fragmented aperture antenna designs will be measured with the Compass Tech Focused Beam System and compared with the design predictions to validate the designs. References:  [1] J. G. Maloney, M. P. Kesler, P. H. Harms, T. L. Fountain and G. S. Smith, “The fragmented aperture antenna: FDTD analysis and measurement”, Proc. ICAP/JINA Conf. Antennas and Propagation, 2000, pg. 93. [2] J. G. Maloney, M. P. Kesler, L. M. Lust, L. N. Pringle, T. L. Fountain, and P. H. Harms, “Switched Fragmented Aperture Antennas”, in Proc. 2000 IEEE Antennas and Propagations Symposium, Salt Lake City, 2000, pp. 310-313. [3] P. Friederich, L. Pringle, L. Fountain, P. Harms, D. Denison, E. Kuster, S. Blalock, G. Smith, J. Maloney and M. Kesler, “A new class of broadband planar apertures,” Proc. 2001 Antenna Applications Symp, Sep 19, 2001, pp. 561-587. [4] J. G. Maloney, M. P. Kesler, P. H. Harms and G. S. Smith, “Fragmented aperture antennas and broadband antenna ground planes,” U. S. Patent # 6323809, Nov 27, 2001. [5] N. Herscovici, J. Ginn, T. Donisi, B. Tomasic, “A fragmented aperture-coupled microstrip antenna,” Proc. 2008 Antennas and Propagation Symp, July 2008, pp. 1-4. [6] B. Thors, H. Steyskal, H. Holter, “Broad-band fragmented aperture phased array element design using genetic algorithms,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagation, Vol. 53.10, 2005, pp. 3280-3287. [7] A. Ellgardt, P. Persson, “Characteristics of a broad-band wide-scan fragmented aperture phased array antenna”, EuCAP 2006, Nov 2006, pp. 1-5. [8] J. Maloney, J. Fraley, M. Habib, J. Schultz, K. C. Maloney, “Focused Beam Measurement of Antenna Gain Patterns”, AMTA, 2012
Mitigating Effects of Interference in On-Chip Antenna Measurements
Edmund Lee,Edward Szpindor, William McKinzie III, November 2015
Coupling a Chip Antenna to an Antenna Measurement System is typically achieved using a co-planar micro-probe.  This micro-probe is attached to a probe positioner that is used to maneuver the micro-probe into position and land it on the chip. Through this process, the chip is held by a chuck.  Intentional and unintentional radiation from the Chip Antenna will interact with the micro-probe and chuck.  From design conception, the antenna designer must take steps to reduce currents on the chip surface to minimize unintended radiation that will interact with both the measurement setup and the surrounding components of the final design.  Even with good design practices, residual currents will still remain and radiate from the chip.  Combined with intentional radiation from the chip antenna in the upper hemisphere, these radiated fields will impinge on the micro-probe and the probe positioner.  Reflections from both the micro-probe and its positioner will reflect and generate interference patterns with the desired signal in the spherical measurement probe.  In this paper, we evaluate, to first order, these effects by experimentation on two types of micro-probes (ACP & Infinity).  The residual errors are then evaluated using modal filtering tools that further reduce these effects and the results are presented.  Finally the dielectric chuck is modeled in simulation to evaluate the effects of the chuck on antenna patterns at 60 GHz and the results are presented.
Spherical Geometry Selection Used for Error Evaluation
Greg Hindman,Patrick Pelland, Greg Masters, November 2015
ABSTRACT Spherical near-field error analysis is extremely useful in allowing engineers to attain high confidence in antenna measurement results. NSI has authored numerous papers on automated error analysis and spherical geometry choice related to near field measurement results. Prior work primarily relied on comparison of processed results from two different spherical geometries: Theta-Phi (0 =?= 180, -180 = f = 180) and Azimuth-Phi (-180 =?= 180, 0 = f = 180). Both datasets place the probe at appropriate points about the antenna to measure two different full spheres of data; however probe-to-antenna orientation differs in the two cases. In particular, geometry relative to chamber walls is different and can be used to provide insight into scattering and its reduction.  When a single measurement is made which allows both axes to rotate by 360 degrees both spheres are acquired in the same measurement (redundant). They can then be extracted separately in post-processing. In actual fact, once a redundant measurement is made, there are not just two different full spheres that can be extracted, but a continuum of different (though overlapping) spherical datasets that can be derived from the single measurement. For example, if the spherical sample density in Phi is 5 degrees, one can select 72 different full sphere datasets by shifting the start of the dataset in increments of 5 degrees and extracting the corresponding single-sphere subset. These spherical subsets can then be processed and compared to help evaluate system errors by observing the variation in gain, sidelobe, cross pol, etc. with the different subset selections. This paper will show the usefulness of this technique along with a number of real world examples in spherical near field chambers. Inspection of the results can be instructive in some cases to allow selection of the appropriate spherical subset that gives the best antenna pattern accuracy while avoiding the corrupting influence of certain chamber artifacts like lights, doors, positioner supports, etc. Keywords: Spherical Near-Field, Reflection Suppression, Scattering, MARS. REFERENCES Newell, A.C., "The effect of measurement geometry on alignment errors in spherical near-field measurements", AMTA 21st Annual Meeting & Symposium, Monterey, California, Oct. 1999. G. Hindman, A. Newell, “Spherical Near-Field Self-Comparison Measurements”, Proc. Antenna Measurement Techniques Association  (AMTA) Annual Symp., 2004. G. Hindman, A. Newell, “Simplified Spherical Near-Field Accuracy Assessment”, Proc. Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) Annual Symp., 2006. G. Hindman & A. Newell, “Mathematical Absorber Reflection Suppression (MARS) for Anechoic Chamber Evaluation and Improvement”, Proc. Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) Annual Symp., 2008. Pelland, Ethier, Janse van Rensburg, McNamara, Shafai, Mishra, “Towards Routine Automated Error Assessment in Antenna Spherical Near-Field Measurements”, The Fourth European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2010) Pelland, Hindman, “Advances in Automated Error Assessment of Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements”, The 7th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2013)
On the Probe Pattern Correction in Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements
Jose Luis Besada,Ana Ruiz, Carlo Rizzo, November 2015
In planar and cylindrical near-field antenna measurements the probe pattern correction is essential, since the used angular sector of the probe pattern extends over large part of the forward hemisphere. But in spherical near-field measurements, the probe is always looking towards an antenna under test (AUT) and the used angular sector of the probe pattern is relatively small: it usually does not exceed some ±30deg, but typically is much smaller, depending on the size of the AUT and the distance to the probe. For this reason, for low-directive probes with little pattern variation in the used angular sector, it is often said that the probe pattern correction can be omitted without introducing significant error in the calculated far-field AUT pattern. However, no specific guidelines on the value of the introduced error have been presented so far in the literature. In this paper, the error in the calculated far-field AUT pattern due to omitted probe pattern correction is investigated by simulations and confirmed by selected measurements. The investigation is carried out for two typical probes, an open-ended waveguide and a small conical horn, and for aperture-type AUTs of different electrical size with different distance to the probe. The obtained results allow making a justified choice on including or omitting the probe pattern correction in practical situations based on the estimated error at different levels of the AUT pattern.
Near-Field (NF) Measurements and Statistical Analysis of Random Electromagnetic (EM) Fields of Antennas and Other Emitters to Predict Far-Field (FF) Pattern Statistics
Barry Cown,John Estrada, November 2015
This paper discusses the application of modern NF measurements and statistical analysis techniques to efficiently characterize the FF radiation pattern statistics of antennas and other EM emitters whose radiated EM fields vary erratically in a seemingly random manner. Such randomly-varying radiation has been encountered, for example, in measurements involving array antenna elements and reflector feed horn(s) containing active or passive devices that affect the relative phases and/or amplitudes of the pertinent RF signals in a non-deterministic manner [1-2]. In-Band (IB) as well as Out-Of-Band (OB) signals may be involved in some cases. Other possible randomly varying EM radiations include leakage from imperfectly-shielded equipment, connectors, cables, and waveguide runs [2- 4]       Previous work at GTRI [5-7] has shown that computations of key FF radiation pattern statistics  can be made based on NFFF transformations involving a) the sample average value of the complex electric field at each NF measurement point, b) the sample average value (a real number) of the standard deviation of the complex electric field at each NF measurement point, and c) the measured complex cross-covariance functions at all different NF measurement points. The key FF radiation pattern statistics of most interest are typically a) the statistical average FF radiation pattern, b) the standard deviation, c) the probability density function (p.d.f.), and d) the cumulative probability distribution (C.P.D.). Simulated data measurement protocols and the requisite statistical processing of the NF measured data will be presented and discussed in detail at the symposium.       The NF cross-covariance functions introduce a new level of complexity in NF measurements and analysis that is absent for “deterministic” EM field measurements because the cross covariance functions must be measured and processed for all different NF measurement points on the NF surface to compute valid Pattern FF statistics. However, pairs of linear or circular probe arrays can be used to great advantage to achieve tolerable NF measurement times for the cross covariance functions and the aforementioned NF statistical quantities, thereby enabling valid computations of the FF pattern statistics. The use of dual probe arrays will be presented and discussed in detail and compared with mechanical scanning of two “single” probes over two NF measurement surfaces. A technique for estimating the cross-covariance functions will be presented and compared with exact values.
Estimating Measurement Uncertainties in Compact Range Antenna Measurements
Stephen P. Blalock,Jeffrey A. Fordham, November 2015
Methods for determining the uncertainty in antenna measurements have been previously developed and presented. The IEEE recently published a document [1] that formalizes a methodology for uncertainty analysis of near-field antenna measurements. In contrast, approaches to uncertainty analysis for antenna measurements on a compact range are not covered as well in the literature. Unique features of the compact range measurement technique require a comprehensive approach for uncertainty estimation for the compact range environment. The primary difference between the uncertainty analyses developed for near-field antenna measurements and an uncertainty analysis for a compact range antenna measurement lies in the quality of the incident plane wave illuminating the antenna under test from the compact range reflector. The incident plane wave is non-ideal in amplitude, phase and polarization. The impact of compact range error sources on measurement accuracy has been studied [2,3] and error models have been developed [4,5] to investigate the correlation between incident plane wave quality and the resulting measurement uncertainty. We review and discuss the terms that affect gain and sidelobe uncertainty and present a framework for assessing the uncertainty in compact range antenna measurements including effects of the non-ideal properties of the incident plane wave. An example uncertainty analysis is presented. Keywords: Compact Range, Antenna Measurement Uncertainty, Error Analysis References: 1.     IEEE Standard 1720-2012 Recommended Practices for Near-Field Antenna Measurements. 2.     Bingh,S.B., et al, “Error Sources in Compact Test Range”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Antenna Technologies ICAT 2005. 3.     Bennett, J.C., Farhat, K.S., “Wavefront Quality in Antenna Pattern Measurement: the use of residuals.”, IEEE Proceedings Vol. 134, Pt. H, No. 1, February 1987. 4.     Boumans, M., “Compact Range Antenna Measurement Error Model”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association 1996 5.     Wayne, D., Fordham, J.A, Mckenna, J., “Effects of a Non-Ideal Plane Wave on Compact Range Measurements”, Antenna Measurement Techniques Association 2014
Spherical Spiral Scanning for Automotive Antenna Measurements
Jeffrey A. Fordham,Francesco D'Agostino, November 2015
Spherical spiral scanning involves coordinating the motion of two simultaneous axes to accomplish near-field antenna measurements along a line on a sphere that does not cross itself. The line would ideally start near a pole and trace a path along the sphere to the other pole. An RF probe is moved along this path in order to collect RF measurements at predefined locations. The data collected from these measurements is used along with a near-field to far-field transformation algorithm to determine the radiated far-field antenna pattern.  The method for transforming data collected along spherical spiral scan has been previously presented [1]. Later laboratory measurement studies have shown the validity of the spherical spiral scanning technique [2]. Here, the authors present a review of the spherical scanning technique and present recent advances and the applicability of the method to testing antennas mounted on automobiles. The method has the advantages of a reduction of the overall number of data points required in order to meet a minimum sampling requirement determined using non-redundant sampling techniques. This reduction in the number of data points and the advantage of moving two axes simultaneously result in a significant reduction in the time required to collect a set of measured data. Keywords: Spherical Near-Field, Telematics, Automotive References: [1] F. D’Agostino, C. Gennarelli, G. Riccio, and C. Savarese, “Theoretical Foundations of near-field to far-field transformations with spiral scannings,” Prog. In Electromagn. Res., vol. PIER 61, pp 193-214, 2006. [2] F. D’Agostino, F. Ferrara, J. Fordham, C. Gennarelli, R. Guerriero, and M. Migliozzi, “An Experimental Validation of the Near-Field to Far-Field Transformation with Spherical Spiral Scan,” Proc. Of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, 2012.
60 GHz Antenna Diagnostics from Planar Near-Field Antenna Measurement Without External Frequency Conversion
Paula Irina Popa,Sergey Pivnenko, Olav Breinbjerg, November 2015
We previously demonstrated that 60 GHz planar near-field antenna measurements without external frequency conversion can provide far-field radiation patterns in good agreement with spherical near-field antenna measurements in spite of the cable flexing and thermal drift effects [P.I.Popa, S.Pivnenko, J.M.Nielsen, O.Breinbjerg, ”60 GHz Antenna Measurement Setup Using a VNA without External Frequency Conversion ”36thAnnual Meeting and Symposium of the Antenna Measurements Techniques Association, 12-17 October, 2014]. In this work we extend the validation of this 60 GHz planar near-field set-up to antenna diagnostics and perform a detailed systematic study of the extreme near-field of a standard gain horn at 60 GHz from planar and spherical near-field measurement data.  The magnitude and phase of all three rectangular components of the electric and the magnetic aperture fields are calculated, as is the main component of the Poynting vector showing the power flow over the aperture. While the magnitude of the co-polar electric field may seem the obvious object for antenna diagnostics, we demonstrate that there is much additional information in those additional quantities that combine to give the full picture of the aperture field. The usefulness of the complete information is illustrated with an example where the horn aperture is disturbed by a fault.  We compare the results of the planar and spherical near-field measurements to each other and to simulation results.
Probe-corrected Phaseless Planar Near-Field Antenna Measurements at 60 GHz
Javier Fernández Álvarez,Sergey Pivnenko, Olav Breinbjerg, November 2015
Antenna measurements at increasing working frequencies carry the difficulty of reliably measuring the signal phase, due to effects of cable bending, thermal drift, etc, and the resulting impedance mismatch which introduces uncertainty in the measurement results. In this paper we investigate the problem of phaseless measurements and phase retrieval for planar near-field measurements, together with the application of probe correction of the retrieved results, to the best of our knowledge the first experimental case of probe correction in phaseless near-field antenna measurements. A phase retrieval method based on an iterative Fourier technique (IFT) is proposed and tested with measurements of a Standard Gain Horn at 60GHz acquired at the planar near-field (PNF) scanner facility at the Technical University of Denmark. The obtained results indicate good agreement with a measured reference pattern within the region of validity when the probe correction is applied after performing the phase retrieval from a pair of uncorrected probe signals. Application of the probe correction before the phase retrieval, on the other hand, shows not satisfactory results. Additional improvements are obtained by introducing spatial filtering at the AUT aperture, thus enhancing performance of the algorithm by reducing phase noise of retrieved fields. Also, a “double-iterated” approach is explored, with additional phase-retrieval iterations after probe correction, with the aim of introducing true electric fields into the IFT.
Speed and Accuracy Considerations in Modern Phase Center Measurements
James Huff, November 2015
This paper presents a method for determining the phase center of an antenna based on pattern measurements made over multiple frequencies with a two axis spherical positioning system.  Mathematical calculations are used to determine the best-fit sphere for the measured phase data.  The origin of the sphere is the phase center of the antenna at the frequency of interest.  This method provides fast, flexible multi-frequency measurement of an antenna’s phase center. Results validating the proposed method are presented using both simulated data and measured data.   In order to determine the accuracy of this method, a dipole is translated a precise distance within the measurement coordinate system. The difference between phase center measurements made before and after the translation gives an indication of the potential accuracy of the measurements. Also, major contributors to phase center measurement uncertainty are discussed with consideration to reducing the overall phase center measurement uncertainty.
Multi-Probe Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test System for an Aircraft Rotodome
Edward Szpindor,Per Iversen, Daniel Frey, James Stamm, November 2015
A multi-probe array (MPA) spherical near-field antenna measurement system, comprised of COTS equipment, has been developed for testing UHF antennas mounted in an aircraft rotodome. The spherical probe radius is 5 meters, which accommodates a 24 ft. diameter rotodome. The probe array, arranged in a circular arc about the test zone center, provides rapid time multiplexed samples of dual polarized spherical theta angle measurements. These measurements are collected at incremental steps of spherical phi angles, provided by a floor azimuth turntable.  The rotodome is mounted on the azimuth turntable, and is rotated 360 degrees during a data collection. During one azimuth rotation, completed in a few minutes, a full set of 3D, dual polarized, multi-frequency near-field pattern data is collected. The data is transformed to full 3D far-field patterns in another few minutes, providing a complete rotodome test time within 15 minutes. The entire system is contained within a room 42’ x 42’ x 25’. This paper will describe the test requirements, physical requirements of the DUT, size constraints of the facility, and measurement speed goals. Alternate solutions and range geometries will be discussed, along with why the MPA solution is best given the requirements and size constraints. The system will be described in detail, including discussion of the room design, RF instrumentation, multi-probe array, positioning equipment, and controllers. Measurement results will be presented for test antennas of known pattern characteristics, along with other performance metrics, such as test times.
An Innovative Close-Range Antenna Scanner System for Obtaining Far-Field Radiation Pattern of Installed Antenna at Short Distances
Serguei Matitsine,Tse-Tong Chia, Alexander Zubov, Rengasamy Kumaran, Hock-Kwee Oh, November 2015
We have successfully designed and developed an innovative “CLose-range Antenna Scanner System” (or CLASS) suitable for measuring the far-field radiation pattern of installed antennae at short distances. The system consists of three key components: (1) a uniquely designed lens horn antenna that generates plane waves in close proximity, (2) a mechanical x-y scanner to scan the antenna-under-test, and (3) a customized stitching software to compute the far-field antenna pattern from the measured field information. The developed system has a scan area of 4.6 x 4.6 m, with resolutions of ±0.1mm in both the x and y traverse directions. The scanner structure is designed in a scalable fashion to cater for measurement of antenna installed at various locations (e.g. front and sides) on a platform. The system is capable of measurement from 1 to 18 GHz and generates far-field radiation pattern with a gain accuracy of ±1 dB.
Investigation of Higher Order Probe Corrected Near-Field Far-Field Transformation Algorithms for Precise Measurement Results in Small Anechoic Chambers with Restricted Measurement Distance
Yvonne Weitsch,Thomas. F. Eibert, Raimund Mauermayer, Leopold G. T. van de Coevering, November 2015
For today's sophisticated antenna applications, the accurate knowledge of 3D radiation patterns is increasingly important. To measure the antennas under far-field conditions over a broad frequency band is hereby hardly impossible. By near-field to far-field transformation, one can overcome the difficulties of limited measurement distances. In common spherical near-field antenna measurement software, the transformation based on spherical mode expansion is typically implemented. These software tools only provide to correct the influence of first order azimuthal probe modes. The influence of the probe’s higher order modes though increases with shorter measurement distances. To measure a broad frequency range in one measurement set-up and to save time, dual ridged horns are popular candidates since they operate over a wide frequency range. The drawback is that they are probes of higher order. In this contribution, we will present an investigation on near-field measurements which are transformed into the far-field deploying the transformation technique based on spherical modes which is extended by a higher order probe correction capability. The resulting diagrams comparing first and higher order probe correction show that a correction is important in particular for the cross polarization In addition, the near-field data is transformed with an algorithm which employs a representation by equivalent currents. In this method, a higher order probe correction based just on the probe’s far-field pattern is integrated. The equivalent currents supported by an arbitrary Huygens surface allows to reconstruct the current densities close to the actual shape of the AUT which is mandatory for precise antenna diagnostics. Another issue needs to be accounted for regarding limited measurement distances and spherical modal expansion. While representing the AUT and the probe in spherical modes the radii of the spheres grow the more modes are included which depends on the sizes of the TX and the RX antennas. It has to be ensured that both spheres do not interfere.  All measurements were carried out in the anechoic chamber of our laboratory in which measurements starting at 1 GHz are practicable according to the dimension of the chamber and of the absorbers. Due to our restricted measurement distance of 0.57 m, all the above mentioned rules need to be considered. In conclusion, small anechoic chambers are also capable of delivering precise antenna measurements over a broad frequency range due to algorithms capable of higher order probe correction.
Comparison of Payload Applications in Near Field and Compact Range Facilities
Carsten Schmidt,Josef Migl, Alexander Geise, Hans-Juergen Steiner, November 2015
For satellite applications payload measurements are a crucial part of the radio frequency validation campaign before the launch. Parameters like Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP), Input Power Flux Density (IPFD), Gain over Noise Temperature (G/T), Gain over Frequency (G/F), Group Delay, and Passive Intermodulation (PIM) are to be measured in suitable facilities on satellite level. State-of-the-art payload measurements are conducted in compensated compact range facilities which offer a real-time test capability which is easy to setup and use. Closed link tests are straightforward to realize with two compact range feeds employing feed scanning. The measurement techniques as well as the error budgets are well known. Near-field facilities are widely used for antenna pattern measurements. However, there is not much literature available discussing in particular measurements of G/T, G/F, and Group Delay in the near field. Measurements of the above parameters in the near field seem to be feasible, however, the processing of the measured data has to be adapted and further calibration measurements are required. In this paper methodologies for payload parameter measurements in compact range and near field facilities will be described. A comparison of payload measurement campaigns in near field and compact range facilities will be drawn. The techniques will be compared in terms of measurement timing and effort, practicability for satellite applications, and achievable accuracies.
Size Reduction of Patch Antenna Based on Complementary Rose Curve Resonators
Betty Savitri,Larbi Talbi, Khelifa Hettak, November 2015
In this paper, a patch antenna has been designed based on the complementary split ring resonator (CSRRs), complementary rose curve resonators (CRCRs) and without using these inclusions. Complementary rose curve resonators (CRCRs) are used in design of patch antenna. The Patch antenna based on the complementary rose curve resonators (CRCRs) are achieved by patterning the ground plane under the conductor trace. The perimeter of the Rose curve can be adjusted by tuning the amplitude of the sine function and the radius of the base circle.  With the order of CRCRs, the loading effect of the complementary resonators on the patch antenna is controlled. This works demonstrated that higher order CRCRs allows more compactness of the design and higher miniaturization factor. We proposed a compact patch antenna based on the complementary split ring resonator (CSRRs) and the complementary Rose curve resonator (CRCRs). The proposed patch antenna shows good performances which is designed to operate at 2.4 GHz. The results demonstrate the configurability of the design for a specific size. The results show the effectiveness of using metamaterials in microwave circuit can obtain from n to n+1 of the CRCRs order will result in 0.3 % miniaturization. IndexTerms:  Patch Antenna, Metamaterial, Size Reduction, split ring Resonators, Rose Curve Resonators
Antenna Measurement Implementations and Dynamic Positional Validation Using a Six Axis Robot
David Novotny,Joshua Gordon, Alexandra Curtin, Ronald Wittmann, Michael Francis, Jeffrey Guerrieri, November 2015
We have performed spherical and extrapolation scans of two antennas at 118 GHz using a commercial 6-axis robot.  Unlike spherical scanning, linear extrapolations do not precisely conform to the natural circular movement about individual robot axes. To characterize the quality of the data, we performed dynamic position and orientation characterization of the robotic systems. A laser tracker is used to measure the probe antenna movement relative to the antenna under test, this information is used to continually update the position and posture of the probe during scanning. We correlated the laser tracker data with the mmWave insertion phase to validate dynamic measurement position results at speeds up to 11 mm/s. We previously demonstrated spherical measurements with this system. The extrapolation measurements presented here require more stringent accuracies for pointing that general pattern analysis


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