Outdoor Antenna Range,
RSI Technical Products

 
View of the range, from one of the source towers toward the test antenna locations downrange.
 

The Howland Company designed this multi-purpose antenna range for RSI Technical Products, a manufacturer of a wide range of antennas for commercial and military communications, satellite earth stations, and radar and air traffic control systems, and other applications.

We evaluated the proposed 116-acre site, performed pattern and range length analyses, and designed a layout to accommodate far-field testing of antennas ranging in size from 18 meter (60 ft) satellite earth station antennas to millimeter wave feeds. Multiple source antenna sites, antenna under test (AUT) sites for different antenna sizes and frequencies, and moveable diffraction fences provide maximum test flexibility.

We also performed measurements and analyses to help RSI develop workable antenna handling procedures for ATC dipole array antennas tested on the "FAA range" axis (see the range layout diagram below).

 

The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar Antenna is an all-aluminum, solid surface, 25-foot reflector designed for both outdoor and radome environments.

     
RSI antenna range layout diagram; click for larger image.   Mounting an Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) Antenna on one of the test towers
     
Top: Looking across the range, with one of the source
towers in the foreground and two AUT towers in the
background; Above: Range Layout diagram (click the
image to enlarge); Right, top to bottom: Typical AUTs--
Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, Airport Surveillance Radar
(ASR) being mounted on one of the AUT towers, dipole
array for Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon Systems
(ATCRBS), ATCRBS on its dedicated 40-foot test tower,
and AN/FPS-124 short-range air defense radar antenna
inside its radome. Bottom: another view across the range,
looking from the FAA test tower toward the three main
AUT towers (red *) in the background.
  The High Gain Open Planar Array, Model 1325-32, meets the worldwide LVA antenna requirements and is used as a secondary surveillance beacon antenna with or without a primary radar antenna. It is currently used worldwide and by the FAA for Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon Systems (ATCRBS) and is Mode-S compatible.
     

Antenna range features and capabilities (from RSI's web site):

  • Equipped to test antennas operating from
    30kHz to 60GHz, including the MILSTAR
    frequency bands
  • Available for a wide range of testing, from small
    millimeter wave feeds to antennas up to 60 feet
    in diameter
  • Unique ranges can be configures for specific
    testing requirements. Available Fresnel fences
    are positioned to provide specific quiet zone
    characteristics
  • Measurement capabilities include all standard
    antenna characteristics, i.e., radiation patterns,
    gain, axial ratio, return loss, insertion loss, and
    noise temperature
  • A wide range of source antennas are permanently
    mounted for use in both elevated and ground
    reflection ranges
  • Source antennas can be remotely peaked on
    boresights
  • Source antenna polarization can be changed
    through remotely controlled signal generator
  • Specific ranges are computerized and equipped
    with uplink/downlink satellite communications
  • Ranges are interconnected via underground fiber
    optic cables and phone lines
  • Test sites are certified by the FAA, DoD agencies,
    and prime contractors, as well as licensed by
    the FCC
  • Test sites are conveniently arranged around a
    centrally located antenna integration facility
    (see the diagram above)
  • Antenna integration facility serves as the test
    control point for four test sites
  • Two anechoic chambers are available on site
    with a third located at the main plant
  • State-of-the-art test equipment includes signal
    generators, frequency counters, vector and
    scalar network analyzers, sweep generators,
    power amplifiers, oscilloscopes, power meters,
    spectrum analyzers and a time domain
    reflectometer
  A High Gain Open Planar Array (HGOPA) antenna, used as a Secondary Search Radar antenna and Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS) interregator, mounted on the 40-foot test tower on RSI's FAA test range.
 
AN/FPS-124 UNATTENDED SHORT RANGE RADAR (UAR): The UAR is a cylindrical, electronically scanning, L-band, phased array radar antenna used to detect low-flying missiles and aircraft as part of the North American Air Defense System.
     
RSI range wide 2