TRW’s New Near-Field Measurement Facility
Author: Jeff Way
TRW, working with Nearfield Systems Inc., is building a state-of-the-art near-field antenna measurement system to test the Astrolink payload antenna system. Astrolink is the next generation broadband satellite network that will deliver high speed Internet connections to the business desktop. TRW is building the Astrolink on-board communications payload which includes the antenna system. For this multi-reflector antenna payload, TRW is building a 40 ft. x 30 ft. horizontal near-field measurement system to operate from 1 to 50 GHz using NSI’s high speed Panther receiver and Agilent Technologies high speed VXI microwave synthesizers. The system will be capable of performing conventional raster scans, as well as directed plane-polar scans tilted to the plane of a specific reflector. Completion of the range is scheduled for the first quarter 2001.
This paper will describe the near-field antenna measurement system that will test the Astrolink antenna payload and provide an overview of the specifications and test requirements for this test system. This paper will also describe the tilted plane-polar scanning capability, the 1 to 50 GHz RF subsystem, and the facility plans and progress.