Vehicle Mobile Communications Test System

Designed to make both far-field and near-field measurements on automobiles and trucks, the Mobile Communications Test System is a central component of the multipurpose Antenna Range Complex that The Howland Company designed and installed at Motorola's corporate headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The measurement system uses a distributed axis positioning system. The probe antenna is mounted on a lightweight yet very strong dielectric boom that moves in theta. The vehicle drives onto a large azimuth positioner that provides the rotation in phi.

The Howland Company was responsible for the overall system design. We also designed and fabricated the dielectric boom and its drive system and control electronics.

The positioning accuracy of the system was designed to support spherical near-field measurements. The system interfaces to a commercially available antenna measurement system.

The Mobile Communications Test System was installed over ten years ago. Its reliable performance thoughout the years has helped Motorola, as well as their customers who have purchased range time, to lead the state of the art in embedded telematics systems.

  This view of the Mobile Comm Test System shows a vehicle with AUT on the turntable, and the pit into which the system retracts when the turntable is used with the ground reflection range.
Telematics test system - lightweight dielectric materials
Use of specialized materials makes the dielectric
structure lightweight yet very sturdy.

The Mobile Communications Test System is part of the multipurpose antenna range, designed by The Howland Company, at Motorola's main facility in Schaumburg, Illinois. By designing the dielectric truss and boom system to retract below grade when not in use, we were able to put the system's vehicle turntable to use as the test location for the 200 foot ground reflection range.

  Dielectric Truss Structure
Spherical Near-field system factory test

Factory testing of the Theta-axis positioning
system (above and right).
  Theta axis positioner--the system uses two of these units in a synchronized dual-drive configuration.