A Novel Dual Bridge Near-Field Measurement Facility

Authors: Jeff Way, John Demas

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS), working with Nearfield Systems Inc. (NSI) and others, has installed a state-of-the-art near-field antenna measurement system to test various payload antenna systems. This horizontal planar near-field system was designed to measure antennas with up to 30’ diameter apertures. In addition, a second bridge was included in the design so that the range can operate either as one very large scanner or as two autonomous ranges and double the testing throughput of the range. This near-field system features a large scan plane of nearly 40 ft. x 47 ft. with two smaller scan planes of 17’ x 47’ each. This horizontal nearfield measurement system has the capability to operate from 500 MHz to 75 GHz using NSI’s high speed Panther receiver and high speed microwave synthesizers. The system is capable of performing conventional raster scans, as well as directed plane-polar scans tilted to the plane of a specific Antenna Under Test (AUT). The range was completed in December 2011. This paper will describe this near-field range’s design and installation, present test data and plots from its acceptance test including results of a NIST 18- term error assessment.

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