MilliBox: mmWave anechoic chamber and 3D antenna positioner

MilliBox mmWave Antenna Test System consists of a mmWave anechoic chamber and 3D antenna positioner product line. Those products are highly effective for mmWave phase array antenna and RF system designers in 5G, 6G, 60GHz, millimeter wave radar, automotive radar, 77GHz, 81GHz, suitable for individual daily usage. It provides antenna radiation pattern and other key Over-The-Air (OTA) metrics quickly and efficiently.

mmwave phase array antenna radiation pattern

What were your options?

When it came to mmWave antenna testing in anechoic chamber for over-the-air measurements, there was only four options available:

Firstly, large microwave chambers. Because those are scarce resources, you have to share them with many other users.

Secondly, Compact Antenna Test Ranges (CATR). Those are very costly, therefore you may not be able to acquire them. If you can, you probably will have to share with others.

Thirdly, outside test labs. Those have limited availability, additionally, usage of such facilities can become pricey in the long run and can’t be amortized.

Finally, makeshift DIY setups. Those have unpredictable performance and reliability, above all they divert your engineering resource.

MilliBox mmWave antenna test solutions:

Introduced in 2018 as new approach to mmWave antenna testing.

MilliBox mmWave Antenna Test System provides the following benefits:

  • Compact and for individual usage, therefore always available when you need it.
  • Cost competitive even against DYI setups, this means easy to amortize.
  • Modular, so it evolves with your needs.
  • Flexible and expandable software platform.

Because most mmWave antenna have active phase arrays, the need for radiation pattern test are extensive. As such, MilliBox provides a compelling solution for your needs.

Since its inception, 100+ MilliBox setups have been installed worldwide. Certainly, this confirms that MilliBox addresses a clear need in the market. 

What is MilliBox mmWave Antenna Test System?

mmWave anechoic chambers

MBX02 4ft mmwave anechoic chamber and 3D positioner

MilliBox is a range of mmWave anechoic chambers equipped with 3D positioners. They are cost effective and modular, therefore addressing the shortfall of other systems. MilliBox systems are designed to test antenna radiation pattern over-the-air (OTA). Because the far field requirement for millimeter wave antenna is short, Millibox chambers dimensions  fit nicely on lab bench. Additionally, they provide a comfortable working position to the user.

MilliBox is constructed out of modular cubes which are combined to achieve the far field distance required. For example MBX02 with two cubes gives a far filed of 77cm whereas MBX04 with four cubes can give you a far field distance of 200cm. MBX0x products are constructed out of 24inch cubes and MBX3x products are made of 30inch cubes.

All MilliBox chambers are equipped with an instrument bay below the chamber deck, such that instruments like spectrum analyzer and Vector Network Analyzer are placed close to the device under test. As a result the Coax lengths are reduced which is important due to loss in mmWave Bands. The deck panels have pass-through holes large enough for feeding Power, Control and RF signals.

mmWave 3D antenna positioners

GIM01 MilliBox 3D mmWave positioner

MilliBox chambers are equipped with 3D antenna positioners also called Gimbals. The positioners are made of plastic material therefore reducing stray mmWave reflection. The positioners control interface is USB and the software controller is provided in Python source code. As a result, the user can modify and augment the software capabilities easily. Above all, the controller can run on any platform. The output from the software in a .CSV file containing all the acquired data and as a result plots into a radiation pattern. 

Because mmWave Device Under Test have different requirements, several type of positioners are available. MilliBox 3D antenna positioners cover 360 degrees in Elevation and Azimuth Plane that is to say the full radiation sphere. Additionally, the positioners resolution is lower than 0.1 degree. 

In conclusion, MilliBox provides a wide range of solutions for your mmWave antenna tests

For a comparison of the full line of MilliBox mmWave chambers and positioners, please see the complete MilliBox product guide.

Live demonstrations of MilliBox are available online. Additionally, during the session we will address any questions you may have, directly and privately.


Other resources:

MilliBox mmWave anechoic chamber demonstration video

Quick walk thru MilliBox mmWave setup video