1993 Technical Papers

A Transportable Compact Antenna Range

Authors: Joseph H. Pape, David R. Smith, Charles L. Devor, Jr., Joseph M. Smiddie
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

The Compact Antenna Range is becoming the method of choice for indoor testing of many types and sizes of antennas. Implementation of a compact range requires a suitable parent building structure in which to house the chamber. The chamber is located within the parent building and the compact range is then installed within the chamber. In some cases an existing building may not be available for the range and it may be difficult to acquire a new building due to local or proprietary requirements. Once a building has been located, many problems still exist with coordinating installation of the chamber and compact range within this building. Overcoming these problems can be both time consuming and inefficient in terms of cost.

This paper describes a Compact Antenna Range conceived and designed to be totally self-contained and truck transportable. The compact range consists of a complete anechoic chamber facility with self-contained electrical, lighting, HVAC and fire protection systems. The compact range provides a 3 foot test zone over the 5.8 to 94 GHz frequency range. Once completed and tested at the factory, the facility is transported and set in place at the users’ site.

Details are presented which describe the structural requirements of the chamber, the RF performance of the completed facility, and the transport and installation process. The integrated test positioner and an automatic feed changing mechanism are also described.


An Automated Test Sequencer for High Volume Near-Field Measurements

Authors: Greg Hindman, Dan Slater
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Test sequencing flexibility and high throughput are essential ingredients to a state-of-the-art near-field test range. This paper will discuss methods used by NSI to aid the operator through the near-field measurement process. The paper will describe NSI's expert system and customer applications of a unique test and processing sequencer developed by NSI for optimizing range measurement activities. The sequencer provides powerful control of the software functions including multiplexed measurements, data processing, and unattended test operations.


Automated MIMIC Wafer RF Test System

Authors: O. M. Caldwell, William L. Tuttle, Daryl Vaughan
Publication: Fifth Annual ARPA MMIC Conference
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Scientific-Atlanta is presently developing a new family of high-speed, general purpose, on-wafer test systems which greatly reduces RF test times and thereby can alleviate test bottlenecks at MMIC foundries. The primary objective for the equipment developed on the Scientific-Atlanta MIMIC Phase 3 program is to reduce present MIMIC chip RF test times by an order of magnitude compared to test systems presently in use.


Considerations for Upgrading a Pre-existing Near-Field System

Author: Jeff Way
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

In the past, various companies have installed large permanent Near-field antenna measurements systems. In many instances, a test range has been constructed for a particular project or purpose. the conclusion of the project, the range may become dormant or under-utilized. In addition, a dormant range quickly becomes a potential source for spare parts. These factors combine quickly to render the once functioning range unless.

With the current industry emphasis on cost reduction, minimizing new capital purchases, and utilization of existing resources, an upgrade of a dormant test facility is a preferable path. NSI has recently upgraded an existing Near-field antenna measurement system at Hughes Space and Communications Co. Hereinafter referred to as Hughes S&C. This paper focuses upon the design considerations undertaken during the upgrade procedure.


High-Speed, Pulsed Antenna Measurements using the MI Technologies Model 1795P

Author: O. M. Caldwell
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Characterizing antennas under pulsed RF conditions has focused attention on a class of measurement challenges not normally encountered in CW measurements. The primary problems often include high transmit power, thermal management of the AUT, and a close interaction between the antenna and its transmitting circuitry. This paper presents instrumentation techniques for pulsed RF antenna measurements using the 1795P Pulsed Microwave Receiver as an example of a commercially available solution applicable to both active and passive apertures. Emphasis is given to measurement speed, dynamic range, linearity, single pulse versus measurements, pulse width, pulse repetition frequency (PRF), frequency coverage, system integration and automation, and suitability of equipment for antenna range applications.


Implementation of a 22' x 22' Planar Near-Field System for Satellite Antenna Measurements

Author: Greg Hindman, Greg Masters
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Design and implementation of a large horizontal planar near-field system delivered to Space Systems / Loral for satellite antenna testing will be discussed. The 22' by 22' scan plane is 25' above the ground and employs real-time optical compensation for the X,Y, and Z corrections to the probe position. The system provides high-speed multiplexed near-field measurements using NSI's software and the HP-8530A microwave receiver. System throughput is enhanced through the use of a powerful and flexible test sequencer software module.


New Antenna Pattern Recorder which Reduces Test Time and Provides Advanced Data Management Capabilities

Authors: A. Renee Koster, David R. Morehead
Publication: AMTA 1993
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

As antennas have become more sophisticated, the testing requirements have grown tremendously. Testing often adds significantly to the cost of the system. A need has developed for test equipment more advanced than the completely manual systems of the past and less expensive than the completely automated systems of today. An antenna pattern recorder which helps to minimize test time is presented. The instrument utilizes a user friendly touch screen which facilitates user interaction with the unit. The pattern recorder is capable of measuring up to five channels of data simultaneously as a function of angle, linear position, or time. The data is stored on electronic media and may be saved, retrieved, zoomed, plotted, analyzed by internal programs or exported for analysis by external programs. The user may customize the plot format for test reports, proposal information, and other data requirements.

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