Improved Coordinated Motion Control for Antenna Measurement

Authors: Charles Pinson, Marion Baggett

Some antenna measurement applications require the precise positioning of an antenna along a prescribed path which may be realized by a combination of several, independent physical axes. Coordinated motion allows for emulation of a more complex and/or precise positioning system by utilizing axes which are mechanically less complex or precise and are correspondingly more easily realizable.

An ideal coordinated motion system should 1) Allow for the description of coordinated paths as parametric mathematical functions and/or interpolated look-up tables 2) Support control variable parameters which affect the trajectory 3) Compute a feasible trajectory within given kinematical constraints 4) Generate measurement trigger signals along the trajectory 5) Minimize control-induced vibration 6) Compensate for multivariate positioning errors.

This paper will describe a novel approach to virtual-axis coordinated motion which offers significant improvements over existing motion control systems. This advancement can be applied to many antenna measurement problems such as Helicoidal Near-Field Scanning and Radome Characterization.

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