Advances in Antenna Measurement Instrumentation and Systems

Authors: Steven R. Nichols, Roger Dygert, David Wayne

Since the early days of antenna pattern recorders, advances in instrumentation and computers have enabled measurement systems to become highly automated and much more capable providing higher productivity, more efficient use of test facilities, and reduced data acquisition time.

Recently, measurement speeds of microwave receivers and vector network analyzers have advanced considerably. To take full advantage of these speed improvements, the measurement system architecture must be carefully considered. A comparison of several system architectures is given, along with discussion of key concepts and parameters that affect system timing, and a general method of calculating overall test time.

A summary table illustrates that small timing differences due to instrumentation and system architecture can have a significant impact on overall test time.

Further advances in system throughput are being explored using techniques such as simultaneous multi-frequency measurements in conjunction with a narrowband or wide band Receiver. A brief description of these techniques and initial proof of concept results are included.

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