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Spring 2001



New Indoor Antenna Testing Range

The department's new anechoic chamber is being used to test new antennas in a fully automated indoor facility.

The equipment consists of a combination near-field and far-field scanner inside an anechoic chamber. The chamber walls are lined with material that absorbs radio waves to reduce radio "echoes". Test antennas are placed in the chamber and the scanner is used to probe the fields radiated by the antenna. This information is processed to produce radiation patterns that show how the radiation from the antenna varies with direction.

A vector network analyzer from Agilent Technologies is used as a signal source and receiver. Software customized for Virginia Tech by the supplier of the scanning equipment, Antcom in Los Angeles, is used to process and display the data.

The anechoic chamber was constructed by staff and students of the Antenna Group and funding for the $500,000 facility was provided by the university and the Navy. It complements the outdoor antenna test range on the roof of Whittemore Hall that has been in use since 1985.

The Antenna Group designs and builds antennas for commercial and government applications. Antennas for wireless communications are especially popular.

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, July 25, 2001
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