If you are involved in antenna or system level design using mmWave or THz frequencies, then you understand the importance of dependable antenna testing equipment. It may be that you are designing passive phase array or that you are designing a mmWave radar sensor system, but when it comes to validation of your design, simulation can only bring you so far. Phased array antennas have to be measured over the air (OTA) to ensure the radiation pattern of your design efficiently conducts energy in the right direction which is where the MilliBox antenna test chamber system comes in.
Two critical components are needed to measure mmWave antenna precisely:
First is the Compact Anechoic Chamber which purpose is to prevent spurious reflection of the measured radiation that can spoil the measurement. The antenna test chamber size is dictated by the far field distance of the antenna array, also, the enclosure cavity needs to be large enough to fit your device under test (DUT) inside, therefore we offer several antenna test chamber sizes.
Second is the Antenna Positioner which is placed inside the antenna test chamber. Its purpose is to precisely rotate the DUT such that the measurement probe can record the energy radiated in a specific direction. Complete software automation of the DUT position allows fast and accurate plot capture to depict the 3D radiation pattern of the Antenna array.
MilliBox provides several solutions for those 2 elements specifically designed for millimeter wave antenna and THz antenna.
With the help of MilliBox, you can perform mmWave antenna testing to efficiently evaluate the performance of your design. Learn more about our solutions and ask to see a live demo for yourself when you reach out today.
How Does It Work?
Phased array antennas have been around since the invention of radar. With the trend to higher frequencies which reduce the size of radiating elements, a cluster of antennas can be arranged in a single device to direct energy in a specific direction with the help of electronically controller phase shifters. The control of those phase shifters done in hardware and software is called beamforming.
Traditionally antenna radiation pattern could be validated on their own without implication on the rest of the system. With active phase array, the radiation pattern of the antenna cannot be isolated from the rest of the system, i.e phase shifters and beamforming algorithm. Also, any change to the system has implication on the measured radiation pattern. In fact, the measurement complexity is exponential since an array of (n) antenna where each have a phase shifter with (m) positions can generate m^(n-1) different radiation patterns. Furthermore, the problem only grows with dynamic systems and radar sensors when some of them can switch antenna phases in milliseconds.
The traditional use of a large microwave anechoic chambers used once for antenna final validation is no longer sufficient for mmWave antenna testing, whether for radio communication applications or for radar systems. The radiation pattern measurement or radar sensor assessment are a continuous process which spans across antenna design, RFIC design, beamforming algorithm design, mechanical design, all contributing to the resulting performance.
This is why at Millibox we bring access to those test capabilities to all the engineers contributing to the performance of their millimeter wave antenna systems. Therefore, modularity, flexibility and affordability are the foundation principle of all MilliBox products.
How Can We Help?
Millimeter wave engineers ourselves, we created the first MilliBox in 2018 to address our own expectations because we could not find what we wanted on the market. We quickly realized that so many of our peers faced the same issues and we started selling MilliBox to them. Now with more than 270 MilliBox installed we continue to expand our product line as we listen to our customers and their needs. Having access to a MilliBox on your lab bench is your first step toward gathering critical information about the radiation patterns of your antenna system to ensure that it performs just as you intend.
In order to get started, you can go to buildyourmillibox.com web application and start selecting the best setup for your application.
When you need millimeter wave antenna testing, turn to the experts. MilliBox has several antenna test chamber sizes and antenna positioner types to offer. Those are practical and cost-effective options that can help you improve the quality of your products, and our team is always available to answer any questions you have. Learn more about MilliBox and contact us at +1 408 892 9595 or [email protected] for a quote.