Determination of Far-Field Antenna Patterns from Near-Field Measurements
Authors: Richard C. Johnson, H. Allen Ecker, and J. Searcy Hollis
In many cases, it is impractical or impossible to make antenna pattern measurements on a conventional far-field range; the distance to the radiating far field may be too long, it may be impractical to move the antenna from its operating environment to an antenna range, or the desired amount of pattern data may require too much time on a far-field range. For these and other reasons, it is often desirable or necessary to determine far-field antenna patterns from measurements made in the radiating near-field region; three basic techniques for accomplishing this have proven to be successful. In the first technique, the aperture phase and amplitude distributions are sampled by a scanning field probe, and then the measured distributions are transformed to the far field. In the second technique, a plane wave that is approximately uniform in amplitude is created by a feed and large reflector in the immediate vicinity of the test antenna. And in the third technique, the test antenna is focused within the radiating near-field region, patterns are measured at the reduced range, and then the antenna is refocused to infinity. Each of these techniques is discussed, and various advantages and limitations of each technique are presented.