Compact Antenna Range Facility


FLC Region

Security Lab



4555 Overlook Avenue S.W.




FUNCTION: Supports the measurement of phase and amplitude pattern characteristics of devices under test (DUT) over a frequency range of 2.0 to 110.0 GHz in a controlled environment. The facility also provides the capability for radar cross section (RCS) measurements over the same frequency range.

DESCRIPTION: The facility is an anechoic chamber that is designed to operate in conjunction with a Scientific Atlanta Compact Range Model 5751 with millimeterwave (MMW) reflector. The Compact Antenna Range Facility consists of a shielded anechoic chamber (18 ft high × 22 ft wide × 40 ft long) and a geometry that enables farfield radiation patterns to be taken in a small space. Illumination of the MMW reflector at one end of the chamber provides a cylindrical quiet zone (4 ft diameter × 6 ft long) in which all the radiation patterns are measured. The quiet zone is specified to provide at least 45 dB of background noise isolation from 2.0 to 8.0 GHz and at least 50 dB from 8.0 to 94.0 GHz. The amplitude taper is specified to be no more than 0.5 dB over the quiet zone, with a corresponding specification of no more than 10° phase taper. Test antennas or subsystems are positioned by attaching them to an azimuthover-elevation mount. Further degrees of freedom (DOF) are allowed with the mounting point being on a roll axis and the entire positioner on a slide axis. A second roll axis is provided for source illumination and enables the source polarization to be quickly rotated.

INSTRUMENTATION: The Compact Antenna Range Facility uses a complete complement of microwave laboratory instrumentation, including network analyzers, microwave receivers, spectrum analyzers, frequency counters, power meters, function generators, and microwave synthesizers. Antenna and RCS measurements are made using a Hewlett-Packard 8530 microwave receiver coupled with Orbit/Flam & Russell 959 Plus Antenna and RCS Measurement software. RCS measurements are visualized and analyzed using KNOWBELL software from Aeroflex Inc. Four simultaneous channel measurements can be made to characterize an antenna or the RCS of a target from 2.0 to 110 GHz. Broadband, dual-polarized source antennas are available from 2.0 to 26.0 GHz. A high-speed source switch coupled with a 16-channel switch matrix supports 32-channel dual-polarized measurements from 2.0 to 26.0 GHz or 16-channel single-polarized measurements from 2.0 to 50.0 GHz.


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