AMTA Paper Archive


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RCS Certification
Wireless Test Cell Design Considerations
C.W. Sirles,A.R. Howland, M.H. Sewell, November 2003
This paper describes a family of new measurement systems, termed “test cells”, designed to satisfy the certification requirements of the Cellular Telephone & Internet Association’s (CTIA) “Method of Measurement for Radiated RF Power and Receiver Performance” test plan for wireless subscriber stations. These test cells employ simultaneous dual-axis mechanical scanning and operate in both far-field and near-field modes over the 750MHz to 6 GHz frequency range. Operation can be extended to higher frequencies through the use of suitable sampling antennas. Test cell facility configuration is detailed. Scanner layout and RF sampling antenna designs are discussed. Anechoic chamber characterization data is presented along with typical measured pattern and efficiency data for both broadbeam and directive AUT’s. Measurement test times for various test scenarios are discussed.
Development of a MATLAB Toolbox to Assist in the Process of RCS Range Calibration
R.J. Jost (Utah State University),B.M. Welsh (Mission Research Corporation), November 2003
Over the past few years, range certification activities have become more commonplace, as industry, government and academia have embraced the process and acted to implement documented procedures at their facilities. There is now a significant amount of documentation laying out the process, as well as templates to assist ranges in developing their range books. To date, however, there have been fewer examples of useful tools to assist the ranges in better understanding how the process will affect their specific range. The authors have developed a first generation MATLAB toolbox designed to provide ranges a “what-if” capability to see the impact of specific range errors on the range’s operations. Included within the toolbox are several types of additive and multiplicative errors, as well as means of modeling various aspects of radar operation.
Shielded Closed HIRF/EMC and Antenna Measurement Facility at Alenia Aeronautica
I. Bertino,M. Bozzetti, M. D'Urso, November 2004
In order to reach the desired degree of confidence in verifying the required aircraft flight clearances, according to military and civil international standards, Alenia Aeronautica have developed test facilities and EMC test areas which are suitable to perform conducted and radiated tests on fighter and transport aircraft seen as a whole system. Up to now, all tests performed at Alenia’s facilities are intended to be performed in open space, due to several constraints and limitations such as weather conditions effects and future higher EMC certification field level Alenia Aeronautica are designing and implementing a shielded/anechoic chamber, suitable for both HIRF/EMC testing on fighters without engines running and measurement of patter of the antennas mounted on aircraft. This paper includes the modern techniques and the new facility that Alenia Aeronautica are studying and developing at our division of Caselle South (Turin, Italy) are described.
Rapid Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test System for Vehicle Mounted Antennas
J. Graham,P. Iversen, November 2004
More and more wireless services such as satellite radio (SDAR), navigation systems, OnStar, and mobile telephones are installed in GM vehicles. This has created a need to make quick and accurate vehicle antenna measurements. For the frequency range of 500 MHz to 6 GHz, one solution is to use a spherical near-field system. The Satimo rapid probe array technology was selected to develop a vehicle antenna test system (ATS) to reduce test time and maintain data accuracy. The ATS was designed to operate inside of an existing GM electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) anechoic chamber equipped with a nine-meter turntable. The ATS was completed and received XM certification in the first quarter of 2004. The ATS performs multi-frequency dual-polarized complex measurements for every one-degree in azimuth and elevation, over a full hemisphere, in approximately five minutes. The autonomous transport and deployment system, allows the ATS hardware to be removed and the chamber returned to its EMC configuration. This paper presents the ATS design and a summary of the verification test results. A detailed uncertainty budget, as defined by NIST, is also presented.
3-D Antenna Measurement System - Low Gain Antenna Measurements and CTIA OTA Testing
D. Gray,J. Soong, November 2005
ABSTRACT We are in the era of wireless communications and devices. The antennas that enable these technologies are electrically small and can be challenging to test and analyze. Yet, the industry is becoming more standardized, and so too are the tests and certifications being adopted to validate these antennas. These antennas must undergo “antenna measurements” to characterize such information as far-field patterns and gain. Additionally, hand-held devices, such as cell phones, must satisfy requirements of the Over-the-Air (OTA) performance tests as specified by the Cellular Telecommunication and Internet Association (CTIA). These tests require a measurement system that can accurately collect data on a spherical surface enclosing the AUT. This system also has to provide the appropriate data analysis capabilities and has to be constructed from dielectric materials to minimize reflections.
Active Measurements for CTIA Compliant Mobile Phones
S. Dreizin,R. Braun, Y. Shavit, November 2005
• Total Isotropic Sensitivity Power (TIS), which is an acceptable Bit Error rate at a certain incident cell power. • Total Radiated Power (TRP), which is the total transmission power of the Mobile station. These measurements may be performed using the Agilent 8960 or the Rhode and Schwarz CMU 200 Base Station (BS) simulators. All measurements are done in an anechoic chamber and OTA (Over the air). This paper will describe the measurements that are required in order to comply with the CTIA Certification program - Test requirements for performing Radiated RF Power and Receiver Performance measurements on mobile handsets. The paper will summarize the system configuration and the features of this integrated test system.
OTA Performance Testing of Wireless Devices with Multiple Antennas
M. Foegelle, November 2006
OTA performance testing of active wireless devices has become an important part of evaluation and certification criteria. Existing test methodologies are extensions of traditional antenna pattern measurement techniques. A critical assumption of these methods is that the device under test utilizes a single active antenna. Advances in wireless technology continue to incorporate more complex antenna systems, starting with simple switching diversity and progressing to more advanced concepts such as adaptive arrays (smart antennas) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technologies. These technologies combine multiple antennas with various software algorithms that can dynamically change the behavior of the antennas during the test, negating the assumption that each position and polarization of an antenna pattern measurement represents a single component of the same complex field vector. In addition, MIMO technologies rely on the multipath interaction and spatial relationship between multiple sets of antennas. An anechoic chamber with a single measurement antenna cannot simulate the environment necessary to evaluate the performance of a MIMO system. New measurement methods and system technologies are needed to properly evaluate these technologies. This presentation will discuss the issues and evaluate possible solutions.
Traditional Antenna Measurements and CTIA OTA Measurements - Merging the Technologies
D. Gray,I. Lin, November 2006
This paper describes traditional antenna measurements and the relationship to the Over-the- Air (OTA) measurements specified by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA). It discusses the differences, the likenesses, and the importance of providing a system that can provide both traditional antenna measurements and CTIA OTA measurements. It will address the processes of providing a complete turn-key system – including chamber – that will meet CTIA certifications. Further, this paper shows the unique flexibility and features that the 700S-90 provides for meeting the customer’s needs, for a wide-variety of applications.
Expanding an ISO 17025-based Assessment Program in Wireless Compliance Test Facilities to Incorporate Characterization Measurements
R. Jost, November 2006
This paper proposes an approach for the wireless industry to use in assessing its measurement facilities to help ensure that they are providing measurement results that are accurate and repeatable, with a knowable error and uncertainty. This approach is based upon the successful development of a certification program for US RCS facilities based upon an ISO 17025-like standard. Key pieces of this program include a documentation standard for defining the facility's capabilities and operation, and a Report of Measurement and an accompanying Uncertainty Analysis. This paper will discuss the similarities and differences between an existing RCS certification program and the proposed wireless program, to include technical distinctions between the two programs. These distinctions are based upon such factors as a 1-way instead of 2-way propagation paths, the various modulation schemes in use today and the different types of measurements such as Specific Absorption Rate that are not considered in RCS measurements.
RCS Measurement Facilities Certification Program Update
Roger Davis (RSBP, LLC), November 2008
The National Radar Cross Section Measurement Facilities Certification Program seeks to raise collectively the quality bar across the community. A program to accomplish this goal was initiated in 1995. It continues with facilities joining the program every year. The program has now entered the recertification phase for facilities that achieved certification five or more years ago. This paper will briefly cover the history of the program, the participants, the certification process and criteria, the recertification process, status, and the way ahead.
Mark Winebrand (ORBIT/FR Inc.), John Aubin (ORBIT/FR Inc.), November 2008
Advantages of Far-Field (FF) anechoic chambers utilized for antenna measurements, as compared to conventional outdoor ranges, such as security, interference-free radiation, and immunity to weather conditions allowing broadband antenna measurements on a 24/7 basis, are well known. The dimensions of an anechoic chamber are primarily determined by the lowest operating frequency and are, therefore, significantly increased if operation is required down to VHF and UHF frequency bands. As a result, the advantages of indoor chambers are often disputed when considering low frequency applications. The main counter-argument is the real estate required for chamber construction. In addition, such chambers require the use of high performance absorbing materials, and consequently, chamber certification is always a challenging task. Therefore, rigorous and accurate 3D EM analysis of the chamber is an important procedure to increase confidence, reduce the risk associated with achieving the required test zone performance, and to make the design more efficient. Thus, an accurate simulation of the chamber is even more important these days due to a dramatically growing number of antenna manufacturers supplying products at VHF and UHF bands. Such analysis is a standard procedure at ORBIT/FR, and is described below for the example of a chamber with dimensions of 6m (W) x 6m (H) x 10m (L), operating down to 150 MHz.
A Time Sensitive Technique for Determining Personal Electronic Device Interference Tolerance for Commercial Aircraft
Charles Hunter,Stephen Blalock, November 2014
In late 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that airline passengers would be allowed to use personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of commercial flights.  However, to gain FAA approval for PED usage, airlines were required to demonstrate that their aircraft were sufficiently immune to potential interference from PEDs.  As a result of the FAA requirement, Delta Air Lines (DAL) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) collaborated to develop and implement a certification testing program based on the industry accepted standard for PED testing, RTCA/DO-307 “Aircraft Design and Certification for Portable Electronic Device (PED) Tolerance”.  Delta and GTRI accomplished certification of the Delta fleet by tailoring DO-307 to meet Delta’s needs of testing eleven flight active aircraft within a short timeframe.  GTRI was able to identify ways to improve test efficiency and implement changes to the test program in response to different aircraft configurations and active flight schedules.  This paper will discuss the program requirements, test system architecture, component selection, test methodology and test results for two critical components of aircraft Instrument Landing System (ILS); the Localizer and Glide Slope systems.
Advances in MIMO Over-the-Air Testing Techniques for Massive MIMO and other 5G Requirements
Michael Foegelle, November 2016
At AMTA 2006, we introduced the world to a system and method for over-the-air (OTA) testing of MIMO wireless devices with the concept of the boundary array technique, whereby the far-field over the air RF propagation environment is emulated to produce the realistic near field multi-path propagation conditions necessary for MIMO communication.  Last year, the CTIA released Version 1.0 of their "Test Plan for 2x2 Downlink MIMO and Transmit Diversity Over-the-Air Performance," which standardizes on the boundary array technique (commonly referred to as the Multi-Probe Anechoic Chamber technique to differentiate it from the use of a reverberation chamber)  for MIMO OTA testing.  As the wireless industry just now prepares to perform certification testing for MIMO OTA performance for existing 4G LTE devices, the rest of the community is looking forward to the development of 5G.  The corresponding future releases of the 3GPP wireless standard are expected to standardize the use of Massive MIMO in existing cellular communication bands.  Massive MIMO is similar to the concept of mulit-user MIMO in IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi radios, but is taken to the extreme, with potentially hundreds of antennas and radios per cellular base station.  This high level of radio to antenna integration at the base station will for the first time drive the industry beyond just antenna pattern measurements of base stations and OTA performance testing of handsets to full OTA performance testing of these integrated systems.  At the same time, handset design is evolving to use adaptive antenna systems that will pose additional testing challenges.  Likewise, manufacturers are looking to evaluate real-world usage scenarios that aren't necessarily represented by the test cases used for mobile device certification testing.  This paper will discuss a number of these advances and illustrate ways that the MIMO OTA test systems must evolve to address them.
Advances in Over-the-Air Performance Testing Methods for mmWave Devices and 5G Communications
Michael Foegelle, November 2016
At AMTA 2006, we introduced the world to a system and method for over-the-air (OTA) testing of MIMO wireless devices with the concept of the boundary array technique, whereby the far-field over the air RF propagation environment is emulated to produce the realistic near field multi-path propagation conditions necessary for MIMO communication.  Last year, the CTIA released Version 1.0 of their "Test Plan for 2x2 Downlink MIMO and Transmit Diversity Over-the-Air Performance," which standardizes on the boundary array technique (commonly referred to as the Multi-Probe Anechoic Chamber technique to differentiate it from the use of a reverberation chamber)  for MIMO OTA testing.  As the wireless industry just now prepares to perform certification testing for MIMO OTA performance for existing 4G LTE devices, the rest of the community is looking forward to the development of 5G.  In the search for ever more communication bandwidth, the wireless industry has set its sights on broad swaths of unused spectrum in the millimeter wave (mmWave) region above 20 GHz.  The first steps into this area have already been standardized as 802.11ad by the members of the WiGig Alliance for short range communication applications in the unlicensed 60 GHz band, with four 2.16 GHz wide channels defined from 58.32-65.88 GHz.  With the potential for phenomenal bandwidths like this, the entire telecommunications industry is looking at the potential of using portions of this spectrum for both cellular backhaul (mmWave links from tower to tower) as well as with the hopes of developing the necessary technology for mobile communication with handsets.  The complexity of these new radio systems and differences in the OTA channel model at these frequencies, not to mention limitations in both the frequency capabilities and resolution requirements involved, imply the need for a considerably different environment simulation and testing scenarios to those used for current OTA testing below 6 GHz.  The traditional antenna pattern measurement techniques used for existing cellular radios are already deemed insufficient for evaluating modern device performance, and will be even less suitable for the adaptive beamforming arrays envisioned for mmWave wireless devices.  Likewise, the array resolution and path loss limitations required for a boundary array system to function at these frequencies make the idea of traditional OTA spatial channel emulation impractical.  However, as we move to technologies that will have the radio so heavily integrated with the antenna system that the two cannot be tested separately, the importance of OTA testing cannot be understated.  This paper will discuss the potential pitfalls we face and introduce some concepts to attempt to address some of the concerns noted here.
Comparison of Facilities for Low Level Coupling Tests in UAV EMC Certification
David Escot Bocanegra, Sergio Fernández Romero, Patricia López Rodríguez, Manuel Jesús Añón Cancela, David Poyatos Martínez, October 2017
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) certification, aimed to ensure Air Vehicles (AV) safety, imposes the fulfilment of a number of requirements prior to flying in the airspace, in terms of usual Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) threats. Among them, and in relation to this study, the High-Intensity Radiated Field (HIRF) effects. Nowadays, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) regulations are being developed by several countries taking into account different safety requirements, proportionate to the risks. When the UAV risk is high due to its weight and dimensions, the certification requirements will be similar to those for manned aircraft. In this regard, there are two methods of evaluating the HIRF performance of a whole aircraft: traditional aircraft high level tests or alternative aircraft low level coupling tests. In any case, these kinds of tests need to be performed in dedicated test sites. Due to the size of aircraft, Open Area Test Sites (OATS) have been routinely used for these purposes. But they are outdoor facilities and suffer from intrinsic disadvantages, probably the most important one being the necessity of dealing with the vagaries of weather. As a result, alternatives to deal with EMC tests of such large items have been occasionally sought. This paper aims at comparing the results obtained when measuring part of the fuselage of an actual UAV in two test sites, an OATS and a Reverberation Chamber (RC). Two aircraft low level coupling tests are studied in depth, namely, Low Level Direct Drive (LLDD) and Low Level Swept Fields (LLSF) tests. In the former, the coaxial return technique was employed and, consequently, the reverberation chamber was used only as a mere shelter being the aim to confirm that the RC structure do not affect the results and good agreement with OATS is obtained. On the other hand, the LLSF tests were conducted in the RC with the paddle in stirrer mode and compared with the worst-case result obtained for several illuminations in OATS.
Over-the-Air Performance Evaluation of NB-IoT in Reverberation Chamber and Anechoic Chamber
Jun Luo, Edwin Mendivil, Michael Christopher, November 2018
NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) is a narrowband radio technology showing very different characteristics compared with traditional wireless protocols. For the first time based on authors' best knowledge, this paper compares the Over-the-Air (OTA) performance of NB-IoT in the Reverberation Chamber (RC) and Anechoic Chamber (AC), which involves two major RF test environment variations in the OTA test arena. In this paper, the Total Radiated Power (TRP) and Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS), related to the transmitter and receiver performance of NB-IoT, respectively, are investigated. For TIS test, an early exit algorithm with 95% confidence level based on Chi-Square distribution has been developed to improve the test speed. The test results show a good match (Within CTIA allowed measurement uncertainty) between AC and RC. Our analysis also includes several key parameters, such as test repeatability, measurement uncertainty, and test time, which gives a comprehensive comparison of different aspects between RC and AC for NB-IoT OTA test. It could be noticed as well that the early exit algorithm based on Chi-Square distribution improves the test time performance significantly without compromising the test accuracy.
CATR Quiet Zone Depth Variation
Marion C Baggett, Brett T Walkenhorst, October 2019
The traditional characterization of the quiet zone for a CATR is to perform field probe scans perpendicular to the range axis at one or more depths of the quiet zone, usually front, middle and back. There is usually no attempt to compare the peak signals across the field probe scans. In recent years, users of CATRs have been using these devices at lower and lower frequencies, sometimes below the lowest frequency that provides the specified performance for the CATR. It is recognized that as a CATR is used at lower and lower frequencies compared to its optics, the quiet zone quality will degrade. The purpose of this study was to create a quiet zone depth variation model to characterize the variation, particularly for low frequencies. The model was to treat the CATR as an antenna aperture and apply a power density versus distance model. It is well known that the extreme near field of an aperture is oscillatory at distances up to approximately 10% of the far-field distance, at which point the power density begins to follow the Fraunhofer approximation. The optics of a CATR place the quiet zone well within the oscillatory zone, indicating that the field will vary through the depth of the quiet zone. This variation will decrease with increasing frequency as the far-field distance for the CATR increases with frequency. The model has been compared to a simulation in GRASP and experimental data collected on a CATR.

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