A Dual-Band High Power PNF Range with Interleaved T/R and Pulse Synchronization

Authors: Bruce Williams, Eddy Park, Ryan Cutshall, Justin Dobbins, Jacob Freking
Publication: AMTA 2021
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Modern antenna range design is often a careful balance of several competing objectives. Some of these design parameters are defined by the antenna under test (AUT), i.e. millimeter wave (Ka-band) test frequencies, frequencyconverting and non-converting AUTs, high-power radiation requirements, pulsed RF requirements, and interleaved transmit and receive (T/R) requirements. Other parameters are driven by the AUT’s application, like requirements for providing accurate pattern, gain, EIRP, and G/T predictions based on the measurement data. Yet other parameters are driven by cost and risk considerations, like the need for all-at-once acquisitions incorporating multi-frequency, multi-port, dual-pol, and multistate measurements. Also included in the “cost and risk” category is the need to collect all these measurements in the least amount of time.

A planar near-field antenna range designed with all these parameters in mind has been realized and is currently operational. This 1 m x 1 m planar near-field range incorporates several novel electrical and mechanical features, and we illustrate these features in terms of their driving requirements and their limitations. Included in our discussion: modular T/R range “front ends,” reconfigurable probe networks, absorber cooling strategies, near-field probes for high-power measurements, interleaved single-port transmit and multi-port receive measurements, and distributed pulse mode range architectures.

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