Characterization of a Photonics E-Field Sensor as a Near-Field Probe

Authors: Brett T. Walkenhorst, Vince Rodriguez, James Toney
Publication: AMTA 2017
Copyright Owners: NSI-MI Technologies, SRICO

In this paper, we explore the possibility of using a photonics-based E-field sensor as a near-field probe. Relative to open-ended waveguide (OEWG) probes, a photonics probe could offer substantially larger bandwidths. In addition, since it outputs an optical signal, a photonics probe can offer signal transport through optical fiber with much lower loss than what can be achieved using RF cables.

We begin with a discussion of the theory of the device followed by a summary of results of a photonics sensor that was tested in a spherical near-field (SNF) range. In these tests, data were collected with the photonics probe in the test antenna position to characterize various probe parameters including polarization discrimination, probe gain, effective dynamic range, and probe patterns. Results are presented along with discussions of some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a photonics probe in a practical system based on the lessons learned in the SNF testing.

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