Characterizing Active Phased Array Antennas

Designing and implementing an active phased array antenna requires precise characterization of individual components and the integrated performance of the array. To ensure an accurate test of the intended adaptive nature of the active phased array antenna, the embedded algorithms need to be tested as well.

This application note aims to explain test procedures and give recommendations towards characterization of the relevant parameters for active phased array antennas and their passive subsystem, as often used in applications for Mobile Communication and RADAR. This application note describes transmit signal quality testing, multi-element amplitude and phase measurement techniques both in receive and transmit cases and introduces a new automated test methodology antenna radiation pattern measurement over frequency.

This paper also describes the test system used for transmit and receive module (TRM) characterization in active array antennas.