The South African
National Antenna Test Range

Microwave Range

Microwave Antenna Test Range

The μWave range offers the capability to test all antenna functions in the frequency range from 10 MHz to 40 GHz. The primary range is 500 m x 100 m with compacted fill, graded to approximately 25 mm and grassed. Suppression of wide angle scattering is achieved by a secondary cleared area which extends more than 100 m on either side of the range axis.

Source Positioning Equipment

The signal source antenna is supported by a positioning system that provides polarisation rotation, azimuth and elevation pointing angle adjustment (squint) and height control. Supporting the complete assembly is a carriage that moves on vertical rails to position the centre of the source antenna at any selectable height from 0.3 m above ground level to about 11 m above ground level.

Test Positioning Equipment

A heavy duty three-axis (azimuth-over-elevation-over azimuth) antenna positioner is mounted on the top of a 1.1 m diameter 11 m high reinforced concrete tower which is independently mounted on a high strength footing. The tower has a 150 mm diameter central acces hole for all control and receiver cables. A 0.6 m wide work platform with a removable safety rail is mounted about 2 m below the top of the antenna positioner. All the positioner functions are remotely controlled from the operations room console, or from a local control on the roof of the control building.

Measurement systems are automated and measurements are made using, amongst others, an HP8530 type receiver, HP83640 type source, and purpose–written software. This range also provides for radar cross sectional measurements.

For a user manual of the microwave range, please click here (2.8 MB).