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Antenna Test Facility (ATF)

Antenna Test Facility (ATF)

State-of-the-art Measurement capabilities

Raytheon’s Antenna Test Facility (ATF) provides state-of-the-art measurement capabilities to assist in the development of advanced antenna technologies for a variety of airborne and space applications such as advanced radar and communication systems.

The ATF is available for use by Raytheon businesses as well as other companies that design and prototype new and experimental antennas. Our measurement capabilities are extensive and include:

  • RF and phased array radar cross section (RCS) testing and diagnostics
  • Design verification
  • Antenna evaluation
  • ISAR imaging technology
  • Antenna field pattern testing
  • Low observable design verification
  • Aircraft integrated forebody measurement
  • Airborne and ground-to-air RCS testing
  • Material characterization
  • Target signature development

Located in El Segundo, Calif., the ATF features indoor anechoic and compact ranges that are immune to environmental conditions and RF interference. This world-class facility is a six-story, 17,000-square-foot building, configured to enable parallel testing for commercial and government programs.

Multiple security zones meet requirements for all special programs. Welded quarter-inch steel panels encompassing each chamber provide RF isolation of more than 100 dB at frequencies up to 100 GHz. The facility also includes three large storage vaults.

Access to the facility is through an underground entrance that services several buildings. This facility entrance design provides added security access controls as well as preventing any unwanted external monitoring of personnel access. The L-shaped building has a footprint of 11,000 square feet and contains 17,000 square feet of floor space. The entrance to the separate range areas is on the below-ground level. There is also a high bay work area, two large storage vaults, and a storage area located on the lower level. The second floor, which is actually the ground level of this facility, contains offices, a conference room, a break room and restrooms.

The ATF features four large chambers that can test and measure antennas simultaneously. Two indoor, adaptable anechoic chambers, Chamber 1 and Chamber 2, contain compact ranges. These chambers can accommodate a variety of targets of varying dimensions and weights for RCS measurements, design verification and evaluation of antennas. All test ranges include positioners for rotating antennas under test, sophisticated control room instrumentation, analysis software, and test and data processing equipment. A large high bay (and adjacent loading pit and jib crane) services both chambers.

The high precision planar near field (PNF) range has a 10-foot by 10-foot horizontal scan plane employing a real-time optical compensation for the X and Y corrections to the probe position. The system provides high-speed multiplexed near field measurements using the HP8530 microwave receiver and Nearfield Systems, Inc.’s data acquisition PC-driven software. The PNF can accommodate antennas that are eight feet and smaller at frequencies between 6 and 18 GHz. With additional equipment installed, extended frequencies up to 110 GHz can be achieved.

The anechoic tapered chamber is capable of performing both near field (cylindrical, spherical, planar) and far field measurements. The chamber produces a plane wave meeting conventional 2-D criteria at frequencies from 0.2 to 34 GHz and can accommodate antenna testing at a frequency range of 0.1 to 110 GHz. Again, with additional equipment installed, extended frequencies up to 140 GHz can be achieved.

The ATF is staffed by an expert team of engineers and technicians who thoroughly understand the principles of complex antenna measurement techniques, range evaluation, lab operations, maintenance and test support services. As an industry leader, the facility received a green rating from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency quality audit and certification to the ANSI-Z-540/ISO-25 standard as an RCS measurement facility for Air Force Research Lab and Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division projects.

Anechoic Chamber 1

Anechoic Chamber 1

Compact Ranges — Chamber 1

Chamber 1 is an indoor, static, research and development compact range used for testing advanced passive and active arrays, developing stealth/low observable components and models, and fully supporting antenna measurements.

Chamber 1 is fully certified and adheres to the standards set forth by ANSI-Z-540/ISO-25 and continues to participate in the National RCS Measurement Facility Standards Program.

Chamber 1 can complete a calibration and be ready to support measurements within several hours. This is accomplished by using movable log stackers and positioners that support the foam column and pylon.

The target is illuminated with a plane wave produced by the dual reflector system. From the feeds located on the chamber floor, the wave is directed by a subreflector, suspended from the ceiling, onto the main reflector at the end of the chamber. This arrangement enables azimuth “cuts” to be taken in the symmetrical plane of the system.

Access to the chamber is provided by a 20-foot x 20-foot pneumatically controlled door, through which a walkway and a telescoping jib crane are extended. The crane lifts the target from the lower staging area and carries it onto a top hat rotator mounted on the pylon or onto a styrofoam column.

RF System:

  • Compact range using a dual parabolic reflector system
  • 45' L x 22' H x 22' W chamber with 6-foot by 6-foot by 12-foot quiet zone
  • Lintek élan 2000 Radar dual channel dual gate system
  • 20 watt solid state Tx amps with auto system drift correction
  • 2-18 GHz continuous band coverage for RCS measurements
  • 2-4 GHz, 4-8 GHz, 8-18 GHz, and 2-18 GHz Tx/Rx feeds
  • 500 MHz to 110 GHz for antenna measurements
  • SRDC composite 1500 lb capacity low RCS pylon
  • SRDC composite low RCS 12-foot test body

Positioning System:

  • Positioners for pylon, foam columns and antennas
  • Log stacker lifts for positioning pylon and foam columns
  • Az/El Pylon top hat positioner

Target Handling:

  • Extendable catwalk for chamber access
  • 2000 lb capacity telescoping jib crane

Software:

  • Lintek radar and positioning system control software
  • CompuQuest 1541 and KNOWBELL data processing software
  • Full processing capability including high resolution ISAR images, RCS vs. frequency, RCS vs. azimuth, time domain, global ISAR and antenna measurements
Anechoic Chamber 2

Anechoic Chamber 2

Compact Ranges — Chamber 2

Chamber 2 is an indoor, static, research and development compact range used for antenna measurements, advanced passive and active arrays, and radomes. The chamber can support multiple antenna and RCS measurement frequency bands by easily changing the chamber floor accessible feeds. Positioner control of the Tx site roll axis and Rx site roll, elevation and azimuth axes are available. Antenna measurements are supported by using an HP8530/MMS-410 gating box system. RCS measurements can also be supported by using the high power elan 2000 Radar system.

The target is illuminated with a plane wave produced by the dual reflector system. From the feeds on the chamber floor, the wave is directed by a subreflector, suspended from the ceiling, onto the main reflector at the end of the chamber. This arrangement enables azimuth “cuts” to be taken in the symmetrical plane of the system.

The overhead crane lifts the target from the lower staging area and carries it on the antenna tower for antenna measurements or onto the pylon top hat rotator for RCS measurements. Access to the target is provided by a two-person manlift. Chamber floor access is provided by a stairway.

The HP8530 system can be used to perform antenna checks (VSWR, gain) before measurements are started.

RF System:

  • Compact range using a dual parabolic reflector system
  • 90' L x 45' H x 45' W chamber with 12-foot x 12-foot x 24-foot quiet zone
  • HP8530 with MMS-410 gating box, 1 watt Tx solid state amp
  • 200 MHz to 110 GHz for antenna measurements
  • 45 MHz to 100 GHz for component measurements
  • 2-18 GHz for RCS measurements (requires Lintek élan 2000)
  • 5,000 lb capacity tower for antenna measurements
  • Orbit 3,000 lb capacity pylon

Positioning System:

  • 5 axis position control for antenna measurements
  • Log stacker lift for positioning pylon
  • Az/El pylon top hat positioner

Target Handling:

  • Two-person manlift for chamber and target access
  • 5000 lb capacity overhead crane

Software:

  • CompuQuest positioning system and RF system control software
  • CompuQuest 1541 data processing software to support full antenna measurement requirements and full RCS processing capability including high resolution ISAR images, RCS vs. frequency, RCS vs. azimuth, time domain and global ISA
Planar Near Field

Planar Near Field

Accurate Results

The planar near field range is an indoor facility used to measure antennas in the nearfield region and convert the measurements to far field results in support of the development of advanced antenna technologies.

Array designers benefit from the range's ease of use, accuracy and diagnostic tool capabilities.

RF System:

  • 10-foot x 10-foot horizontal scanner
  • HP8530 system
  • 1.7 GHz to 110 GHz frequency range

Positioning System:

  • Linear Industries ball screw X-Y scanner
  • HP laser position tracking system
  • Scanner installed on a special isolated free floating concrete slab floor

Target Handling:

  • 2000 lb capacity overhead crane

Software:

  • NSI data acquisition PC driven software
  • UNIX Sun workstation using custom data processing software
Anechoic Tapered Chamber

Anechoic Tapered Chamber

Custom Testing

The tapered chamber is an indoor, static facility used for measurements of development antennas, advanced passive and active arrays, and radomes. This chamber produces a plane wave meeting conventional 2D^2/Lambda criteria at frequencies from 0.2 to 34 GHz.

The RF system and range can be easily tailored to meet customer requirements. Amplifiers can be added as needed at the Tx or Rx sites to improve system performance.The on-site machine shop can support the fabrication of custom antenna fixtures.

The overhead crane lifts the target from the staging area and moves it to the chamber large door opening. The chamber overhead crane is then used to lift and position the antenna onto the tower. Targets mounted on the tower are located 14 feet off the chamber floor with access provided by using movable ladders.

RF System:

  • 90-foot long tapered direct illumination chamber
  • HP8530/HP8511 200 MHz to 2 GHz system, 18 GHz to 110 GHz
  • HP8530 with MMS-410 gating adapter 2-18 GHz system
  • 1,000 lb capacity antenna tower

Positioning System:

  • Positioning equipment
  • Tx site near apex is adjustable in downrange position
  • Rx tower manually adjustable for phase center positioning
  • Tx site is roll capable, Rx site has Az and roll capability, elevation capability with addition of small Az/El rotator
  • Laser alignment easily accomplished

Target Handling:

  • 16' H x 14' W chamber access door
  • Two-ton capacity overhead crane in staging area
  • Two one-ton capacity overhead cranes in chamber

Software:

  • CompuQuest 1541 positioning system and RF system control software
  • CompuQuest 1541 data processing software to support full antenna measurement requirements
Facility Overview

Facility Overview

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Business strategy

  • Make facility available for use by Raytheon and other companies that design, prototype new & experimental antennas
  • Support a variety of advanced radar, space & communication systems

Measurement capabilities are extensive

  • RF & phased array RCS
  • Design verification
  • Antenna evaluation
  • ISAR imaging technology
  • Antenna field pattern testing
  • Low observable design verification
  • Target signature development
  • Aircraft forebody measurement

Facility

  • 6-story, 17K SF of floor space
  • 2 adaptable compact ranges
  • 1 tapered chamber & 1 planar near field range
  • Environmentally controlled
  • Multiple security zones & storage vaults
  • RF isolated, each chamber
  • High bay assembly area & machine shop
  • Offices, restrooms & secured conference room