Design and Calibration of the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Closed Loop Laboratory Radio Frequency (RF) Propagation Section

Report No. ARL-TR-7860
Authors: William Coburn, Seth A McCormick, and Andre F Witcher
Date/Pages: October 2016; 50 pages
Abstract: The Closed Loop Laboratory includes a radio frequency (RF) propagation section from 8–18 GHz using broadband dual-ridged horn antennas (DRHAs) in an absorber-lined chamber. The aluminum chamber is constructed in 2 halves, 4 ft (W) x 4 ft (H) x 4 ft (L) connected by clamps so it can be opened as needed. Three DRHAs are mounted on each end of the 8-ft-long chamber on metal shafts oriented in a triangle pattern with independent rotation control. The entire 3-horn assembly on each end of the chamber is installed with clamps so that they can be removed. All the cables/connectors used to connect the network analyzer to the propagation section inputs are calibrated out of the measurements. However, the short cables between the input to the chamber and the horn input are not included, so their insertion loss is measured separately and the data corrected for this additional loss. Measurements are conducted from 7–19 GHz, where the measured transmission and coupling data represent the calibration of the entire RF propagation section. Calculated path loss and numerical simulations are shown to demonstrate that the chamber performance can be approximated by free space calculations or numerical simulations of the horn configuration.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2016