Vecta has completed maintenance together with a significant upgrade to its outdoor far-field antenna range in readiness for forthcoming ISO/IEC 17025 certification (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories). This work included the replacement of all electric motors, servo drives, control systems, wiring and cabling. Communication links were upgraded to latest fibre standards and are networked using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).
This facility has a history of more than 20 years as a ground-reflection range for the measurement of cellular antenna pattern measurements. Within an overall land area of 25 hectares (65 acres) is an asphalt sealed strip that has been precision-graded using laser technology, measuring 300m in length with an obstacle free lateral zone of 200m width. Typically, 100m of length is used for testing cellular base station antennas.
A large azimuth-over-elevation positioner manufactured by Krupp GmbH is used to vary the orientation of the antenna under-test and compliance measurements for the upgraded facility, recorded in early April 2019, demonstrated increment accuracy of the encoders to be no worse than 0.05 degree.
Compared with commonly used near-field test ranges, Vecta’s range provides excellent accuracy in gain, beamwidth and sidelobe measurement.