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.