Unique Two-Way Field Probe Concept Utilizing a Geodesic Sphere and Quad-Rotor
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Surveying the test volume of a radar range normally involves utilizing an antenna field probe to measure the electromagnetic field in that volume of space. Today, field probes vary in size and shape and can be difficult and time consuming to setup. They also have a limited range of motion due to their support structure and translational mechanism, which also has scattering mechanisms that can perturb the field they are measuring. Field probes are useful, but because of these shortcomings they can provide limited characterization of the field illuminating the measurement area. Leveraging quad-rotor technology, coupled with a two-way probe concept, will provide the flexibility and maneuverability to easily transverse the test volume without the interfering supporting structures. The two-way probe concept characterizes the illuminated field indirectly, by utilizing a geodesic sphere to encompass a quad-rotor and shield its many scatterers, which in-turn provides a much simpler scattering mechanism whose scattering statistics can provide an accurate measure of the illuminated field at the position of the quad-rotor. This new two-way flying field probe concept will provide valuable magnitude and phase information to the radar engineer.
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