Practical Gain Measurements

Author: Marion Baggett

Collecting accurate gain measurements on antennas is one of the primary tasks for our community. One of the primary concerns in making gain measurements is choosing one of the well known gain measurement techniques to make the measurement. Each gain measurement technique has an inherent accuracy limit based on the measurements made, the measurement environment and the equipment required. The frequency band of interest may also have an impact on the gain measurement scheme employed. In addition, each technique can affect the throughput of the range in question. Balancing the cost of obtaining the gain versus the required accuracy of the gain measurement is a difficult task. This paper will discuss the basic accuracy limitations for several of the standard gain measurement techniques and will catalog the accuracy limitations of the various gain measurement techniques versus the cost associated with obtaining that quality of measurement.

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