Sie sind auf Seite 1von 1
Measurement of electrically small antennas via optical fibre Martin Alexander 1 , Tian Hong Loh
Measurement of electrically small antennas via optical fibre Martin Alexander 1 , Tian Hong Loh

Measurement of electrically small antennas via optical fibre

Martin Alexander 1 , Tian Hong Loh 2 and Andrés López Betancort *

Communication Technologies Group, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK 1 Martin.Alexander@npl.co.uk, 2 Tian.Loh@npl.co.uk * guest worker at NPL from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Abstract

Electrically small antennas for wireless communications applications are prone to excite common mode currents on cables connected to them for measuring their performance. A miniature RF-optical transducer enables an optical fibre connection to the antenna, thereby eliminating the large distortion associated with the unwanted radiation from a coaxial cable. This opto-electric field sensor system operates from 300 kHz to 10 GHz. Results of a small UWB monopole antenna with coaxial cable and with optical fibre are compared.

Introduction

• Electrically small antennas inherently have wide-beam or near-cardioid radiation patterns

• Accurate measurement of gain and patterns requires an antenna support that has minimal effect on the antenna radiation

• If an external power supply or data cables are needed to test the antennas, a vital factor is the effect they can have on the measured radiation pattern, especially if the antenna has an inadequate balun

• The undesirable radiation caused by the common mode current will interact with the intended antenna radiation causing errors [1], [2]

• To address the above problem the metal coaxial line can be replaced by an optical fibre, which is not invasive to the fields being measured and will not support common mode currents

• Small antennas in which there is no cable in the final product are required to be measured in isolation. This can be achieved by the OEFS system. This can greatly improve correlation with the computer model

• The main purpose of this work is to report the performance of an electro-optic t ransducer in achieving minimally invasive measurements of antenna performance

NPL ‘SMART’ antenna range

• The small antenna range is built in a screened room 7 m long x 6.2 m high x 6.2 m wide; Figure 1

• The frequency range is from 400 MHz, with low reflectivity absorber to 110 GHz

• The range contains an automated roll-over-azimuth positioner

• The reflectivity of the antenna supports needs to be as low as possible to make the lowest uncertainty measurements

• A source tower can be positioned to give the facility a range length between 0.5 m and 4 m

Opto-electric field sensor system

• A Seikoh-Giken OEFS-6S-002 transducer, 300 kHz to 10 GHz, was used in this research work

• It is based on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer on a laser activated lithium-niobate crystal on which electrodes modulate the light, for conversion back to RF by a photo-detector

• It has sub-nanosecond response and can measure pulses with a rise time of <100 ps

• The sensor with inbuilt 3 mm dipole can measure fields of at least 50 kV/m

• The transducer has a metal case 20 mm x 10 mm x 10 mm with an SMA connector and a tapered dielectric section to support the optical fibre; Figure 3

• The dynamic range is greater than 110 dB. This receive-only system has a loss of 20 dB

• The controller comprises a pair of cross-polarised 10 mW 1550 nm lasers, an optical circulator, a photo-detector diode and a 30 dB RF amplifier; see Figure 2

photo-detector diode and a 30 dB RF amplifier; see Figure 2 Figure 1: Orbit roll-over-azimuth positioner

Figure 1: Orbit roll-over-azimuth positioner with thin walled Kevlar tube tower and TDK absorber and polystyrene foam tower

tube tower and TDK absorber and polystyrene foam tower Figure 2 - OEFS controller and OEFS-PR-7G

Figure 2 - OEFS controller and OEFS-PR-7G transducer 25 mm diameter microstrip-fed top-loaded monopole antenna

(a)
(a)
mm diameter microstrip-fed top-loaded monopole antenna (a) Figure 3 - OEFS-6S-002 transducer with SMA connector (b)

Figure 3 - OEFS-6S-002 transducer with SMA connector

(b)
(b)

Figure 4 - Experimental setup for radiation pattern measurement of the monopole antenna using: (a) coaxial cable; (b) optical fibre - the OEFS transducer is beneath the antenna and shown in Figure 3

Experimental Findings

• To fi nd out the deviation in the RF signal due to fi bre movement, a 10 m long fi bre

was a) in a 0.5 m diameter coil, b) spread across the floor and c) twisted by rolling between thumb and finger. The variation in RF signal was up to 1 dB, see Figure 5(a).

A feedback loop in the controller (detecting the level of returned light) reduces this

to <0.3 dB, see Figure 5(b)

• The original plastic case of the transducer had ~15 dB shielding. The metal case gave up to 40 dB shielding up to 7 GHz; Figure 6

• Figure 4 shows the monopole antenna mounted on a foam bracket on top of a Kevlar tube with roll over azimuth rotation for measuring the radiation pattern over a sphere

• Fig. 8 shows the radiation patterns of the monopole antenna with the source horn co-polarised. (a) is with cable and (b) is with optical fibre connected to the antenna. The distortion of the pattern in (a) indicates radiation from the cable

(a)
(a)
(b)
(b)

Figure 5: variation of RF amplitude with fibre movement with (a) OEFS-C-10 GHz controller and (b) OEFS-CII-10 GHz controller incorporating a feedback loop

(b) OEFS-CII-10 GHz controller incorporating a feedback loop Figure 6: Level of EM interference for 2

Figure 6: Level of EM interference for 2 orthogonal orientations of transducer with respect to incident field, versus level of the monopole antennas

(a)
(a)
(b)
(b)

Figure 7: The experimental results for radiation pattern measurement of the vertically polarised monopole antenna measured at 3 GHz when the source horn is co-polarised using:

(a) cable, (b) optical fibre. The colour key is in steps of 2 dB

Conclusions

A

new antenna facility (SMART) is presented for minimally invasive measurements

of electrically small antennas for wireless communications applications

Assuming low wall reflections, the greatest challenges are to achieve non-reflecting antenna supports and elimination of reflections and common mode radiation from a cable;

the latter is achieved by the uniquely miniature OEFS transducer that replaces the able by optical fibre

With a minimum sized metal case, shielding from the source radiation of up to 40 dB was achieved

The OEFS system operates up to 10 GHz, with a dynamic range of at least 110 dB and excellent linearity

The effect of fibre movement (when measuring a radiation pattern) is reduced to <0.3 dB by a feedback loop in the controller.

References

1 Tian Hong Loh, Martin Alexander, New facility for minimally invasive measurements of electrically small antennas, LAPC_2008, March 2008, pp. 313 - 316.

2 Tian Hong Loh, Martin Alexander, Fabien Widmer, Phillip Miller, David Knight, Validation of a New Small Antenna Radiated Testing Range, EuCAP 2009, Berlin, Germany, Mar. 2009, pp. 699 - 703.

www.npl.co.uk/electromagnetics/rf-microwave/products-

and-services/smart-antenna-testing-range.

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Measurement Office, an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Our acknowledgements to Masayuki Kimura and Ryuji Osawa of Seikoh-Giken who continued development of the OEFS system. The authors wish to acknowledge the loan of the monopole antenna by Professor Peter Hall of Birmingham University.

system. The authors wish to acknowledge the loan of the monopole antenna by Professor Peter Hall