New MI Compact Range Facility Measures Innovative Panasonic Airborne Antenna
Authors: Glen Kirkpatrick, John Wilber
Panasonic Avionics Corporation has developed an innovative antenna design that provides Ku-band connectivity for its In Flight Entertainment and Communications (IFEC) systems. Traditional approaches suffer outages when crossing the equator due to Adjacent Satellite Interference (ASI). Through the addition of a second antenna panel, Panasonic has both increased the overall performance and eliminated the ASI problem by cutting the elevation beam width by 50% when operating in the tropics and when crossing the equator. Due to the great success of its IFEC systems, Panasonic had a need to dramatically increase the production and test capacity for its antenna all while transitioning the manufacturing to a new facility in Lake Forest California.
MI Technologies has delivered two new state of the art compact range measurement systems and has worked with Panasonic to develop automated test systems that have reduced the test time by more than a factor of 4. The range design includes significant automation, integration with the antenna’s built in up and down converters, and the ranges are reversible.