Compact Range Systems
Compact range reflector-based systems offer users all the advantages of far-field configurations but with the convenience of environmental and security control. For indoor, far-field testing of a 3 foot diameter, 10 GHz antenna, the separation distance would need to be nearly 200 feet. A compact range can reduce this distance to under 20 feet. The ability to control temperature, eliminate wind deflections, avoid rain and snow as well as reduce maintenance costs are other day-to-day advantages of this product arrangement.
MI Technologies’ engineers have designed, manufactured and installed more compact ranges than all other suppliers combined. A turnkey installation, including chamber, absorber, reflector, positioners and the MI-350 Advanced Microwave Measurement System is a great choice. MI Technologies’ application engineers can assist customers in defining the appropriate reflector and chamber sizes needed to meet their testing objectives.
Standard compact range reflectors are available with test zone sizes from 1 foot diameter by 1 foot long for up to 110 GHz, to 12 foot diameter and 12 feet long for up to 94 GHz. Custom models of different sizes and for high frequencies can also be manufactured to meet specific customer requirements.
The reflector incorporates a virtual vertex design that places the vertex below the surface of the reflector which allows for the source feed to be located away from the collimated energy illuminating the test article and reduces multipath. This prime focus approach provides maximum frequency coverage.
In a point-source compact range, the feed is usually located just in front of and below the test antenna. In this configuration the receiver local oscillator and signal source can be located very close together. Special care must be taken to guard against direct leakage of the signal source into the test antenna. High quality RF cables and special shielding are used to insure against this stray leakage. Otherwise, instrumentation for the compact range is very similar to an indoor far-field system.