Numerical Study of the Effects of Absorber Permittivity Variations on Quiet Zone Illumination of Tapered Chambers

Author: Vince Rodriguez
Publication: AMTA 2021
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Tapered chambers use the reflections from the surfaces adjacent to the range antenna to illuminate the quiet zone (QZ). Polyurethane substrate is the preferred and most widely used radio frequency (RF) absorber in these chambers, due to its ability to be cut into complex shapes to conform to the tapered sections. Unfortunately, this type of absorber always presents slight differences in permittivity related to the manufacturing process.

To analyze the effects of the permittivity of the lossy foam on the QZ illumination in a tapered chamber, a series of numerical experiments using a full wave analysis technique are executed. The results are mainly obtained for frequencies under 1 GHz. The upper frequency of the simulation is limited by the electrical size of the problem and by the available information on the material permittivity. However, frequencies below 1 GHz is where the tapered chambers are superior to other methods for indoor antenna measurements.

Magnitude and phase are recorded over a 1.82m diameter spherical QZ to show the effects of the different absorber on the illumination. Results show that a variation on the absorber around the range antenna will deviate the illumination and skew the amplitude taper across the QZ. The amplitude distribution peak can be shifted by as much as 3.5 degrees from boresight. The effect on the phase taper is smaller with a negligible change in phase.

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