Measurement Performance of Basic Compact Range Concepts

Author: Dietmar Fasold

Compact range test facilities represent a high standard for fast real-time and precision measurements. Nowadays, test applications are varying from single antennas to full payload antenna platforms, full-scale RCS and imaging objects to be tested within a frequency range starting from some 100 MHz up to 1000 GHz and beyond.

Different facility type were developed during the last 30 years and for the different applications a variety of facility optimizations were performed. Up to now, mainly three different types of compact test ranges are used and installed worldwide.

This paper gives an overview of the facility types i.e. Single Reflector, Dual Cylindrical Reflector and Compensated Ranges with its advantages for specific applications and also pros and cons when compared to each other. The facilities were analyzed with a proven software tool so that performance data for the plane wave quality, the measurement accuracy and system characteristic data including impact sizes of test antennas could be extracted for comparative analyses.

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