Design Considerations for a Planar Near-Field Scanner

Authors: Joseph H. Pape, James D. Huff, Alan L. Wilcox

Planar Near-Field scanning is becoming the method of choice for the testing of many types of antennas. These antennas include planar phased arrays, space deployable satellite antennas and other antennas either too large to move during the test or otherwise sensitive to the gravity vector. The planar scanner is a major component of the measurement system and must provide an accurate and stable platform for moving the RF probe across the test antenna’s aperture. This paper describes basic design requirements for a planar near-field scanner. Based on recent development activity at Scientific-Atlanta several design considerations are presented. Scanner parameters discussed include basic scanner concepts and geometry, scanner accuracy and stability, RF system including cabling and accuracy, load carrying requirements of the RF probe carriage, position and readout systems and drive and control systems. A scanner will be presented which incorporates many of the design features discussed.

 

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