AMTA Paper Archive
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Measurement of Active Reflection Coefficient for Co-located MIMO Radar Using Dual Directional Couplers
This paper presents a way to determine mutual coupling effects through analysis of the active voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) to predict the presence of large reverse power levels in co-located multiple input multiple output (MIMO) radars in transmit mode. The methodology consists of measuring the forward and reverse waves on a dual directional coupler (DDC) to directly obtain the active reflection coefficient on a co-located MIMO radar system. The active VSWR of each individual antenna is computed from measurements of the active reflection coefficient. These results are compared against analytical methodologies.
Spot-Probe Reflectometer Measurements of Geological Core Slab Samples
Rock core specimens collected during surveys for oil drilling have, in a standard form, a 4" diameter. Cores are cut in half or in 1/3-2/3 sections to provide core slab. We developed a measurement procedure based on spot probe illumination to characterize geological and/or geochemical properties of core slab specimens via their complex permittivity for frequencies between 2.5 GHz and 20 GHz. Conventional reflectometer methods are based on illumination of a thin slab of air-or metal-backed material. However, in this case only the front surface is flat and the back surface is semicircular. A measurement method was developed based on time-domain gating to separate the back-surface reflection from that of the front. Material inversion is then based on the amplitude and phase of the reflection just from the front surface. This paper presents details of the calibration for this reflectometer measurement method, along with example measurements of core slab materials. Two different inversion methods are applied to these measured data. The first is a more conventional frequency-by-frequency method for inverting complex permittivity from the amplitude and phase of the reflection. The second method applies a physical model, the Debye relaxation model, to the data. This model-based approach minimizes the errors from edge diffraction from the small sample size.
Evaluation of the Monostatic-Bistatic theorem applied to the radar signature of aerial platforms in low frequency
In this paper, we explore the capabilities of the Monostatic-Bistatic Theorem (MBT) applied to Radar Cross Section (RCS) in low frequency. Originally, the validity of this theorem has been shown in high frequency for targets whose RCS is produced by elementary interactions (specular reflection in particular). We are interested in aerial platforms and in particular some Low Observable targets that have relatively "pure" geometries limiting the presence of complex interactions. Several variants of the MBT from the field of electromagnetism  and acoustics  are used. Their performances are compared from data obtained from a MoM method that is recognized to produce accurate scattering data. To highlight the discrepancies produced by the different variants, we use both a metric to compare the quality of the bistatic holograms obtained and also radar imaging which allows locating the areas of the target where the echoes are not correctly restored.
Conex Antenna, Radar, and Measurement Equipment Lab
The Conex Antenna, Radar, and Measurement Equipment Lab (CARAMEL) is a ten-element VHF antenna array that operates from 30 MHz-120 MHz with an attached lab space. This array was developed for use in low frequency Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements. The antenna elements support both vertical and horizontal polarizations. The antenna was designed using a genetic algorithm, employing the fragmented aperture technique; measured and modeled data will be presented. The attached lab space is air conditioned and provisioned for rack mounted equipment. The structure uses a modified 20' Conex shipping container where an entire sidewall has been replaced with a reinforced composite radome for the antennas. The overall mechanical frame design included a Finite Element Analysis to ensure structural integrity. The system is intended for long-term standalone use as an outdoor measurement radar system but can be moved using standard shipping container methods. The structure was shipped using a standard cargo carrier from Atlanta, Georgia to White Sands, New Mexico.
A Novel S-band Two-Layer Dielectric Rod Antenna with High Gain and Very Low Cross-polarization
In this paper, the concept of a new S-band dual-polarized dielectric rod antenna is discussed. The antenna is composed of two concentric dielectric cylinders. The inner dielectric presents high dielectric constant, while the outer has a lower dielectric constant. Given this configuration, the resulting antenna provides high gain, narrow beamwidth, large bandwidth, and very low cross-polarization. In addition, the antenna is lower size in the transversal dimensions, and is predicted to be lighter than other antennas that provide equivalent performance, especially at low frequencies (S-band). An antenna with such an architecture can be 3D-printed, and therefore, the cost for the fabrication are considerable low. Numerical results of the antenna performance are presented and discussed.
A Novel Method for Suppression of Individual Problematic Sidelobes in Phased Array Antennas
Shipboard phased array radar antennas typically have high gain, low sidelobe specifications, and testing after initial production, overhaul or repair often reveals sidelobes that fail specifications, requiring rework. Further, some systems only allow phase adjustments as a means to fine tune the pattern. To correct sidelobe failures in these systems, the phase distribution of the array is first mapped using near-field scanning techniques, then specific element phases are adjusted, such as by using phase shifters. The standard method of determining phase changes has been based on trying to achieve a nominal phase profile; however, this method does not allow targeting specific problematic sidelobes. The authors have developed a novel method, dubbed "Whack-a-Lobe", which targets suppression of specific sidelobes while minimizing other impacts to the pattern. Recognizing that far-field sidelobes are a summation of complex vectors of the individual elements in the direction of the sidelobe, the authors have developed a cross product technique that identifies elemental vectors orthogonal to a far-field sidelobe vector such that only a minimal phase change to these elemental vectors is needed to reduce the sidelobe level. This technique is targeted, deterministic, and reduces tuning cycles, labor hours and antenna test chamber time.
Complex waveforms generation by SVO
We deal with an approach, based on the Singular Value Optimization (SVO) technique, for the synthesis of array-based generators of near-field complex waveforms. The approach selects the grid wherein enforcing the design specifications and the radiator locations to control the ill-conditioning associated to the determination of the array excitation coefficients. Following the SVO optimization, the array coefficients are determined by a Singular Value Decomposition (SVD). Numerical results are provided for the synthesis of the near-field scattered by a perfectly conducting sphere illuminated by an elementary dipole.
Optimized Compact Antenna Test Range with Short Focal Length for Measuring Large L/Ku-Band Active Antennas
A new Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) has been built, as a turnkey facility, with a cubic quiet zone (QZ) of 4.8m x 4.8m x 4.8m in the frequency range 0.9-18 GHz. The CATR has been installed in a new building with an isolated and stable foundation. The dimensions of a traditional CATR for such QZ size becomes impractical and requires a very large chamber. A new, diagonally fed, short focal length reflector has been developed to minimize the chamber size to fit the dimensions of 22 m x 14.5 m x 14.5 m.
Top-fed P-band Dual Circular Polarization Patch Antenna Design
This paper discusses about the design, fabrication and testing of a compact P-band (370 MHz) dual circular polarization (CP) patch antenna. The antenna is intended for reflectometry applications by measuring both direct and ground reflected 370 MHz signals transmitted from a satellite or airborne source. This design adopts quadrature-phase hybrid feeding network for achieving excellent polarization purity and supporting simultaneously LHCP and RHCP measurements. Another novel design aspect is placing the feeding network on top of the patch so that the antenna can be mounted directly on a ground plane. Therefore, the resonant modes inside the patch is excited from the top instead of from ground plane as in conventional designs. High dielectric material (ECCOSTOCK®HiK) with a dielectric constant of 9 and loss tangent of 0.002 was used as the substrate to reduce the antenna size. The final antenna has a dimension of 5.9" x 5.9" x 1.3" (excluding ground plane) and weight of 1620 gram. The measured performance on a 1-foot diameter circular ground plane showed 4.5 dBic gain and 23 dB co-polarization to cross-polarization isolation at the center frequency for both LHCP and RHCP. The 1-dB gain bandwidth is approximately 3.7%.
Antenna Modeling on Complex Platforms Through Constrained Equivalent Aperture Distributions
Accurate in situ antenna manifolds are desired for performance evaluation of radio frequency systems, including communication, navigation, and radar among others. In situ antenna measurements are the most accurate way to obtain antenna manifolds on the platform of interest, but are often impractical or impossible to obtain. Instead, combinations of simulations and measurements are used to estimate antenna manifolds on platforms. First, the gain and phase of the target antenna are measured on a simple ground plane, over the frequencies and field of view of interest. The measurements are then imported into computational electromagnetics codes to simulate platform scattering from the platform of interest. However, the representation of the measured data is not unique, which leads to inaccuracies and/or a large run time in computational electromagnetics codes. This paper presents a new method to represent measured antenna data in electromagnetics codes through aperture current distributions of simulated cross-slots and monopoles. A weighted sum of far-fields from the simulated equivalent elements approximates the measured antenna far-fields, with weights determined by the minimization of the L2-norm difference between measured far-fields and equivalent element far-fields. However, the least square solution may place large, unrealizable currents on the aperture. A constraint is introduced to limit the amount of current on the aperture, by minimizing the length of the solution vector. In this paper, the details of the suggested method will be presented. We will also illustrate the accuracy of the method through example simulations, where good agreement is achieved between truth data and equivalent antennas on complex platforms.
Effective Polarization Filtering Techniques for Ground Penetrating Radar Applications
The effect of different decomposition techniques on the imaging and detection accuracy for polarimet-ric surface penetrating data is studied. We derive the general expressions for coherent polarimetric decomposition using the Stokes parameters and model based polarimetric decomposition using the Yamaguchi technique. These techniques are applied to multi-frequency (0.4-4.8GHz) full polarimetric near-field radar measurements of scattering from surface laid calibration objects and shallow buried landmine types and show in detail how the decomposition results provide effective surface and sub-surface clutter reduction and guide the interpretation of scattering from subsurface objects. Data processing methods assume cross-polar symmetry and a novel bistatic calibration procedure was developed to enforce this condition. The Yamaguchi polarimetric decomposition provides significant clutter reduction and image contrast with some loss in signal power; while Stokes parameters also provide imagery localising targets, complementary information on the scattering mechanism is also obtained. Finally a third novel polarimetric filter was formulated based on differential interferometric polarimetric decomposition. The three combined techniques contribute to a significant improvement of subsurface radar performance and detection image contrast.
Evaluation of Software Defined Radio Receiver for Phaseless Near-Field Measurements
This paper presents a time domain antenna measurement technique by using a low cost software defined radio receiver. The technique aims to resolve measurement challenges derived from antennas where the reference signal is not accessible. The phase reconstruction implemented in this work is based on calculating the Fast Fourier Transform of the time domain signal to estimate the power spectrum and the relative phase between measurement points. In order to do that a reference antenna is used to retrieve the phase, providing a full characterization in amplitude and phase of the electric field and allowing source reconstruction. The results demonstrate the potential of this technique for new antenna measurement systems and reveal some of the limitations of the technique to be optimized, like the undesired reflections due to the interactions between the probe and the reference antenna.
Enhanced PNF Probe Positioning in a Thermally-Uncontrolled Environment using Stable AUT Monuments
The need for thermal stability in a test chamber is a well-established requirement to maintain the accuracy and repeatability sought for high frequency planar near-field (PNF) scanner measurements. When whole chamber thermal control is impractical or unreliable, there are few established methods for maintaining necessary precision over a wide temperature range. Often the antenna under test (AUT) itself will require a closed-loop thermal control system for maintaining stable performance due to combined effects from transmission heat dissipation and the environment. In this paper, we propose a new approach for near-field system design that leverages this AUT stability, while relaxing the requirement of strict whole chamber thermal control. Fixed reference monuments strategically placed around the AUT aperture perimeter, when measured periodically with a sensing probe on the scanner, allow for the modeling and correction of the scanner positioning errors. This process takes advantage of the assumed stability of the reference monuments and attributes all apparent monument position changes to distortions in the scanner structure. When this monument measurement process is coupled with a scanner structure that can tolerate wide thermal variations, using expansion joints and kinematic connections, a robust structural error correction model can be generated using a bilinear mapping function. Application of such a structure correction technique can achieve probe positioning performance similar to scanners that require tightly controlled environments. Preliminary results as well as a discussion on potential design variations are presented.
Laboratory Proofs on a Nonredundant Spherical NF-FF Transformation for a Quasi-Planar AUT Mounted in Offset Configuration
This communication provides an experimental assessment of an accurate near-field-far-field (NF-FF) transformation with spherical scan, properly developed to take into account a mounting in offset configuration of a quasi-planar antenna under test (AUT). Such a technique relies on the nonredundant sampling representation of electromagnetic fields and, unlike the classical NF-FF transformation, it allows the reconstruction of the far field radiated by an AUT from a minimum number of NF data, which remains practically the same both when the AUT is mounted in onset and offset configuration, since this number is related only to the surface modeling the AUT. Such a surface has been here chosen coincident with that formed by two circular bowls with the same aperture and eventually different bending radii. Experimental results assessing the validity of such a technique are reported.
Resurfacing the NASA Langley Experimental Test Range Reflector
An ambitious resurfacing campaign was launched in late 2017 to correct for large reflector surface distortions present at the NASA LaRC Experiment Test Range (ETR) in support of performing Europa Clipper flight High Gain Antenna (HGA) measurements at X-and Ka-band frequencies. The effort was successful as the worst case peak-to-peak amplitude ripple was reduced from 4.0-dB to 1.5-dB across the 4.1-meter quiet zone.
A Novel GO-PSO Algorithm for Designing 3D- Printed Optimized Pixelized Inhomogenous and Shaped-Profiled Lens Antennas
In this paper, a novel algorithm for designing 3D-printed shaped inhomogeneous dielectric lens antennas is provided. The synthesis approach is based on a novel combination of Geometrical Optics (GO) and the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) method. The GO method can trace rays through inhomogeneous media and calculate the amplitude, phase, and polarization of the electric field. The algorithm is used to design an inhomogeneous lens antenna to produce an electronically scanned revolving conical beam to replace a mechanically scanned parabolic reflector antenna for spaceborne weather radar satellite antenna applications. Two breadboard model on-axis fed lens designs are presented and measured results given to validate the approach. A representative optimum off-axis design is presented which produces the revolving conically scanned beam. Imposition of a Body-of-Revolution restriction allows the optimization to be performed at a single offset feed location. The complex inhomogeneous engineered materials that results from optimization are printed using new 3D printers.
A Procedure to Characterize and Predict Active Phased Array Antenna Radiation Patterns from Planar Near-Field Measurements
This contribution details a procedure to collect and process necessary data to describe the antenna patterns of PAAs using a planar near-field (NF) range. It is proposed that a complete characterization methodology involves not only capturing beam-steered antenna patterns, but also measuring embedded element patterns, exhaustive testing of the excitation hardware of the antenna under test (AUT), and performing a phased array calibration technique. Moreover, to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach, the methodology is applied onto a 2x8 microstrip patch PAA, proving its utility and effectiveness. Finally, by means of the collected data, any array pattern could be predicted by post-processing, as proven by the great agreement found between a measured pattern and its computed predicted version.
Standard Definitions of Terms for Antennas and Radio Wave Propagation
The standard definitions of terms for antennas and radio wave propagation are provided in IEEE Std. 145-2013 and IEEE Std. 211-2018, respectively. These documents define the accepted and harmonized terminology used in the fields of antennas and propagation. Arbitrary use and misuse of fundamental terms are still observed in technical papers and presentations at conferences.
Influence of the Phase Uncertainty in Spherical Wave Expansion in the Millimeter-Wave Range
Phase uncertainty in antenna measurements introduces significant errors to the amplitude of the transformed pattern in Spherical Wave Expansion (SWE). To get a better understanding of the impact of phase errors, the measured phase error of a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) is synthesized as a random phase error and subsequently added to the measured antenna patterns of three different antennas during the SWE. The resulting erroneous patterns are compared with the measured reference patterns and the error magnitude and probability distribution are studied. It is proven that the introduced errors to the transformed far-field patterns can be substantial. Furthermore, the relation between the antenna type and the error level and distribution is elaborated. The error level is different for the three antennas and the error level distribution is dependent on the mode spectra of the antennas.
2D RCS Prediction from Multistatic Near-Field Measurements on a Plane by Single-Cut Near-Field Far-Field Transformation and Plane-Wave Synthesis
A near-field far-field transformation (NFFFT) technique with a plane-wave synthesis is presented for predicting two-dimensional (2D) radar cross sections (RCS) from multistatic near-field (NF) measurements. The NFFFT predicts the FF of the OUT illuminated by each single source, then the plane-wave synthesis predicts the FF of the OUT each illuminated by each plane-wave by synthesizing the FFs given in the NFFFT step. The both steps are performed in the similar computational procedure based on a single-cut NFFFT technique that has been proposed previously. The method is performed at low cost computation because the NF and source positions are required only on a single cut plane. The formulation and validation of the method is presented.
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