The Electromagnetic Radiation Lab (ERL) is a unique facility that was designed to characterize a wide variety of antenna types over a very wide bandwidth. The system employs a total of 10 positional axes to allow near-field and far-field testing in various modes of operation with great flexibility. A Planar Near-Field (PNF) scanner is used for testing directive antennas operating at frequencies up to 110 GHz. And a single phi-over-theta positioner permits both Spherical Near-Field (SNF) testing from L-band to W-band and far-field testing down to 0.2 GHz.

The ERL measurement facility contains four near-field measurement configurations, and a dual-axis far-field scanner.

Planar Near-field

Parmeter Capability
Max. Scan Speed

38 cm/s

Max. Scan Plane 4 m X 4 m
Frequency Range 1-110GHz
Ideal Usage Large directive antenna

Spherical Near-field (SNF)

In order to fully characterize the far-field radiation properties of antennas, one of two different SNF configurations may be used.

Phi-over-Theta SNF

Parmeter Capability
Max. Scan Speed 30 degrees/s
Theta Span -180° < Θ < +180°
Phi Span 0 < Φ < 360°
Max. AUT size A 100 Kg antenna with diameter up to 2m
Frequency Range 1-110GHz
Ideal Usage Characterizing low, medium and high gain antennas up to 110 GHz

Theta-over-Phi SNF

A second SNF configuration is available in the chamber to allow testing of larger antennas, antennas with gravitational sensitivities and antennas operating at frequencies below 1 GHz.

Parmeter Capability
Max. Scan Speed 30 degrees/s
Theta Span -174.4° < Θ < +174.4°
Phi Span 0 < Φ < 360°
Max. AUT size A 2500 Kg antenna with diameter up to 2.5m
Frequency Range 0.20-50GHz
Ideal Usage

Measuring large, gravitationally sensitive, or low frequency antennas

Cylindrical Near-field

This configuration is well suited for testing fan beam base station antennas that are typically very directive in one plane and very broad in the orthogonal plane.

Far-field