Selection Criteria for Near-Field Gain Techniques

Authors: Gregory Masters, Patrick Pelland

Several gain measurement techniques exist for near-field antenna ranges. These include Comparison-gain, Direct-gain and Three-antenna gain methods. Each technique has its own unique advantages and disadvantages in terms of accuracy, cost and measurement time. Range operators must understand the differences between these techniques in order to properly configure their test system to best suit their requirements. This paper surveys each of the gain techniques and identifies the relative advantages of each. As part of the survey, all three techniques were performed on three types of near-field antenna measurement systems: Planar, Cylindrical and Spherical. The results of this paper provide the reader with a practical understanding of each technique, the formulas required, and real-world examples for the trade-offs needed to outfit a range for fast and accurate gain measurements while balancing cost and schedule.

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