Active antenna arrays with beamforming capabilities play a crucial role in establishing links between satellite terminals and ground devices. To meet the growing demand for SATCOM infrastructure testing, Rohde & Schwarz and IMST will unveil a solution for over-the-air (OTA) measurements of electrically large beamforming antenna arrays at the European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2023 in Berlin.
New satellite constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), and geostationary orbit (GEO) are facilitating uninterrupted connectivity on land, at sea, and in the air. These new orbits enable a range of services, including global tracking, internet of things (IoT), remote sensing, and non-terrestrial networks (NTN).
At EuMW, Rohde & Schwarz and IMST will demonstrate a powerful test solution for SATCOM terminal testing. With the compact R&S ATS1800C CATR based test chamber, the solution enables OTA measurements for characterizing the SANTANA IV antenna array module from IMST. The CATR reflector in the R&S ATS1800C creates a large quiet zone, ensuring higher measurement certainty compared to other solutions.
The R&S ZNA vector network analyzer is used to comprehensively test and characterize devices under test (DUTs). R&S AMS32 software measures technical parameters such as magnitude and phase of far field and near field distributions, as well as metrics like error vector magnitude (EVM) for evaluating the performance of digitally-modulated transceivers.
The showcased SANTANA IV module (FKZ 50RK1925) is a smart antenna terminal developed by IMST. It features electronically controlled antenna beam steering, allowing for electronic adjustment of the beam shape and pointing direction without any mechanical parts. The TX antenna array consists of 64 elements supporting dual linear or circular polarization. Designed for an operating frequency range of 29.5 GHz to 30 GHz, the module is ideal for SATCOM-on-the-move (SOTM) applications and can serve as a base module for larger arrays.