Modernising, Upgrading and Recommissioning the Indoor Antenna Range at Stellenbosch University

Authors: D. M. P. Smith, D. B. Davidson, A. Bester and J. Andriambeloson

This paper describes the upgrade to the indoor antenna range at Stellenbosch University. The previous measurement process relied upon obsolescent control equipment and undocumented software; it was critical that these be replaced. Now, the antenna range supports three measurement types using a commercial integrated measurement control system that provides support for high gain and low gain antennas over a wide frequency range. These are spherical near-field, planar near-field and conventional far-field measurements, with the potential to implement cylindrical near-field. The antenna range potentially supports operations from 1 GHz up to 26.5 GHz, though the currently available probes do not cover the full band. The main physical upgrade was performed during October 2014, though investigations had already begun in 2011, and some supplementary tasks were still ongoing at the time of writing. Several innovative commissioning tests have been undertaken, some of which are only possible with near-field metrology, and these are described in the paper.

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