Doug Lung /
04.19.2013 10:52 AM
ESA Netherlands Facility Testing Antennas for Satellites
Satellite operators are using more complicated antennas to provide spot beams, increase satellite capacity
Satellite operators are using ever more complicated antennas to provide spot beams and increase satellite capacity. Engineers need a way to test these antennas on the ground. The European Space Agency has constructed the Compact Payload Test Range in its ESTEC technical center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands to test satellite antennas.

The test range consists of a Faraday cage to block all external RF signals and anechoic foam cladding absorbs RF inside the test range. ESA recently installed a state-of-the-art Near Field Scanner at test range to measure electromagnetic fields close to a test antenna. Multiple near field measurements can be used to calculate the far field antenna pattern. This makes it possible to measure large antennas (up to 8m in diameter) over a frequency range of 400 MHz to 50 GHz.

A picture of the facility is available in the ESA release Zone of silence: Testing satellite antennas. The first assignment for the new equipment will be to characterize the radiated performance of the next Galileo satellite prior to their launch later this year.

This near field technique sounds similar to the method used to verify broadcast antenna performance I wrote about many years ago; see my January 1996 RF Technology Column showing a near field probe being used to measure an Andrew slot antenna.

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

D. Pagan Communications /   Friday 10:35 AM
Blue Line is Hot on the Trail of DPA Microphones
Clyne Media, Inc /   Thursday 09:51 PM
Focusrite Expands RedNet Range

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology