AMTA Paper Archive
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An Automated Precision Microwave Vector Ratio Measurement Receiver Offers Solutions for Sophisticated Antenna Measurement Problems
This paper describes a new, automated, microprocessor controlled, dual-channel microwave vector ratio measurement receiver for the frequency range 10 MHz to 18 GHz. It provides a greater than 120 dB dynamic range and resolutions of 0.001 dB and 0.1 degree. Primarily designed as an attenuator and Signal Generator Calibrator, it offers solutions to antenna measurement problems where high accuracies and/or wide dynamic measurement ranges are required such as for broadband cross-polarization measurements on radar tracking antennas, highly accurate gain measurements on low-loss reflector antennas, frequency domain characteristics measurements on wide-band antennas with resulting data suitable for on-line computer conversion to time domain transient response and dispersion characteristics data and wideband near field scanning measurements for computing far field performances. The measurement data in the instrument is obtained in digital form and available over an IEEE-488 bus interface to an outside computer. Measurement times are automatically optimized by the built-in microprocessor with respect to signal/noise ratio errors in response to the measurement signal level and the chosen resolution. Complete digital measurement data amplitude of both channels and phase, is updated every 5 milliseconds.
E-2C APS-125 Radar In-Flight Antenna Measurement Techniques
The E-2C Hawkeye aircraft is a carrier based airborne early warning sensor platform. The primary sensor is the APS-125 radar which is operated in the 400 to 446 MHz frequency range and utilizes a 10-element, Yagi end-fired array antenna integrated into a rotating, 2,400 pound rotodome mounted on top of the E-2C aircraft. As is the case for most airborne antennas, the performance in free space when the antenna is off the aircraft can be readily measured on a ground antenna range, but the accurate measurement of the antenna’s performance under actual flight conditions presented project engineers with a unique problem: Pattern interaction between the rotating rotodome and the aircraft fuselage and turning propellers could not be evaluated using existing ground range facilities. The proposed improvements to these facilities to accomplish this task were estimated to cost in excess of five million dollars.
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