Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 11.1T1.42
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 3, 2013
The objective of this activity is to make available a well-characterised and very stable multi-frequency VAlidation STandard antenna for range qualification at 20/30/38/48 GHz (Ku-Ka-band up/down link and Q-V-band up/down-link, e.g. Ka-SAT and Alphabus).
Targeted Improvement: A VAlidation STandard antenna is an essential prerequisite for validating antenna test ranges, i.e. showing that a test range can deliver reliable results. Problems will be detected at an early stage before testing EQM?s or FM?s and consequently saves test time in error investigation in the final critical AIV/AIT phase.
In antenna testing there is no calibration device that can be used to correct facility errors, neither exists a golden standard. The best practise is to compare results with other test ranges. This requires a very stable antenna to exclude the influence of a changing device under test (insensitive to orientation, transportation, temperature etc.). The antenna should have a well defined coordinate system and its pattern shall be well characterized by simulation and measurements at a High Performance Test Range.
A VAST antenna exist for many years for 12 GHz. Over the years it has been measured at over 20 test ranges. This is an offset parabolic antenna and this seems also the best candidate for the proposed antenna. Feed technology can be re-used from existing designs for 20/30 GHz and 38/48 GHz feeds. However, the mechanical design and electrical design and simulation has to be done for the whole antenna.
Experience has shown that test results from an antenna test range cannot be trusted blindly. Testing at mm-wave frequencies is more prone to errors than the lower frequencies and it involves more than upgrading the instrumentation. For many ranges, it is a new and unexplored test field and it is certainly not common practise. Range validation is therefore of utmost importance and a VAST is an essential prerequisite for this.
- definition of requirements.
- investigation of existing technology (e.g. feeds)
- design and simulation of the antenna and all its components
- prototype manufacturing
- prototype testing at a high performance test range.