Sensors, 19(21), p. 4663- (2019); doi:10.3390/s19214663
On-site antenna measurement has been recently attracting an increasing interest in order to assess the antenna performance in real operational environments. The complexity and cost of these kind of measurements have been significantly cut down due to recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs) hardware and antenna measurement post-processing techniques. In particular, the introduction of positioning and geo-referring subsystems capable of providing centimeter-level accuracy together with the use of phase retrieval techniques and near-field to far-field transformation algorithms, have enabled near field measurements using UAVs. This contribution presents an improved UAV-based on-site antenna measurement system. On the one hand, the simultaneous acquisition on two measurement surfaces has been introduced and calibrated properly, thus reducing geo-referring uncertainties and flight time. On the other hand, the positioning and geo-referring subsystem has been enhanced by means of a dual-band real time kinematics (RTK) unit. The system capabilities were validated by measuring an o set reflector antenna, and the results were compared with the measurements at the spherical range in the anechoic chamber and with the measurements collected with a previous version of the implemented system.
This research was funded by the Ministerio de Educación—Gobierno de España under Grant FPU15/06341; by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades—Gobierno de España under Project RTI2018-095825-B-I00 (“MilliHand”); by the Government of the Principality of Asturias (PCTI) and European Union (FEDER) under Grant IDI/2018/000191; and by the Instituto Universitario de Investigación Industrial de Asturias (IUTA) under Project SV-19-GIJON-1-17 (“RadioUAV”).