The objective of the activity is to elaborate, design and verify an antenna gain measurement system suited for rapid calibration and characterisation of active planar ground terminal antennas, which are series produced. The ground terminal antennas will operate in Ku and Ka-band.
Targeted Improvements:Time reduction of more than 90% of the overall antenna measurement and calibration step when compared to conventional measurement methods.
Description:Future low cost ground terminal antennas will include smart functionalities such as self-scanning. These electronically steerable and reconfigurable terminal antennas must be designed for series production and expensive components and materials must be avoided. However, in order to guarantee reliable performance, every single antenna needs to be calibrated. Conventional antenna gain characterisation methods by near-field or compact-range measurements are not optimal due to the required measurement setup time and testing for each antenna.
In this activity, a prototype of a series-production focussed probe-array based antenna calibration setup shall be designed and developed. Such system shall be suited for rapidRF characterisation and calibration of different active antennas technologies (e.g. phased-arrays, met materials and met surfaces).The setup shall be employed for Ku- and Ka-band antennas with linear as well as circular polarisation, whereas the probe antennas might be changed for the respective frequency bands.
Various aspects such as the need for near-to-far-field transformation, the need for mechanical steering of the probe array or of the antenna under test, the suitability of two-port network analysers and the optimum probe array layout shall be taken into account. The possibility of integrating the antenna system in a band-conveyor based production line shall also be assessed. Methods for antenna gain pattern retrieval based on few measurement samples, e.g. using a-priori knowledge about the antenna-under-test, shall be discussed and implemented. Off-the-shelf suited components for a final measurement setup demonstrator shall be identified and the electromagnetic layout of the RF setup shall be designed.
As main outcome of the activity, the prototype measurement setup shall be demonstrated by sample real-time antenna calibrations and testing.
Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".