The Alignment of a Spherical Near-Field Rotator using Electrical Measurements

Authors: Allen C. Newell, Greg Hindman

The mechanical rotator must be correctly aligned and the probe placed in the proper location when performing spherical near-field measurements. This alignment is usually accomplished using optical instruments such as theodolites and autocollimators and ideally should be done with the antenna under test mounted on the rotator. In some cases it may be impractical to place the alignment mirrors on the AUT or optical instruments may not be available. In these and other cases, it is desirable to check alignment with electrical measurements on the actual AUT and probe. Such tests have recently been developed and verified. Appropriate comparison and analysis of two near-field measurements that should be identical or have a known difference yields precise measures of some rotator and probe alignment errors. While these tests are independent of the AUT pattern, judicious choice or placement of the antenna can increase the sensitivity of the test. Typical measurements will be presented using analysis recently included in NSI software.

 

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