UCLA Extension

Modern Microwave Antenna Measurements

This updated course is an intensive and comprehensive presentation of all aspects of the measurement of microwave antenna characteristics. Instruction presents techniques for the determination of antenna radiation patterns, directivity, gain, polarization, and impedance. Topics include the design, use, and evaluation of all capabilities used for antenna measurements, including outdoor ranges, compact ranges, anechoic chambers, and all near-field scanning methods in current use. Experimental results obtained from measured data illustrate these concepts. The course covers antenna measurements in the microwave and millimeter-wave frequency ranges and the instrumentation required for these measurements. Additional specialized topics include phased-array testing and alignment, antenna diagnostic methods, phaseless near field measurements, synthetic aperture techniques, measurements of wireless antennas, electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues, and radome testing. Participants also tour the UCLA Antenna Range and view an example of a near-field scanning facility covered in the course.

The course benefits engineers, scientists, engineering managers, and practicing antenna measurement technicians who need to quickly and thoroughly understand the principles of state-of-the-art antenna measurement techniques.

Each lecturer is a recognized expert in antenna measurements with distinguished contributions in the development of modern antenna measurement techniques. All were recruited from private industry, academia, and government agencies.

This is the 44th anniversary of the course, which was presented for many years at California State University, Northridge, under the enduring leadership of the late Professor Edmond Gillespie.

Course Materials

Participants receive lecture notes on the first day of the course. These notes are for participants only and are not for sale or unauthorized distribution.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Yahya Rahmat-Samii
, PhD, Distinguished Professor, holder of the Northrop-Grumman Chair in Electromagnetics, member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the former chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Rahmat-Samii was the 1995 President of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) and also served as the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. His research contributions cover a diverse area of electromagnetics and antennas. Dr. Rahmat-Samii has received numerous awards, including 1985 Fellow of IEEE, 1992 and 1995 IEEE AP-S Wheeler Best Application Prize Paper, 1999 University of Illinois ECE Distinguished Alumni Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal, AMTA’2000 Distinguished Achievement Award, 2001 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2001 elected Foreign Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, 2002 Technical Excellence Award from JPL, 2005 URSI Booker Gold Medal, 2007 Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award of IEEE AP-S, 2007 Edmond S. Gillespie Fellow of AMTA, 2009 IEEE AP-S Distinguished Achievement Award, 2010 UCLA School of Engineering Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award, 2011 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2011 IEEE Electromagnetics Award. Prof. Rahmat-Samii is the designer of the IEEE AP-S logo which is displayed on all IEEE AP-S publications.


Donald G. Bodnar, PhD, President of Biltmore Enterprises, Inc.  Dr. Bodnar has designed, analyzed and performed polarization characterization of many antenna types including scanning reflector antennas and has performed antenna and RCS measurements using compact range, near-field, and far-field measurement techniques. He has been a fellow of AMTA (Antenna Measurement Techniques Association) since 2012, was the 2010 President of AMTA, has been a Life Fellow of the IEEE since 2008, was the 1994 President and 1993 Vice President of the IEEE AP-S (Antennas and Propagation Society), served as Chairman of the IEEE Antenna Standards Committee from 1983 to 1994, and is the author or co-author of over 100 publications.  From 1999 to 2013 Dr. Bodnar was at MI Technologies rising to the position of Vice President for New Business Development, from 1997 to 1999 he was Chief Scientist Sensors Directorate, United States Air Force Research Laboratory, from 1996 to 1997 he was Chief Scientist, United States Air Force Rome Laboratory and from 1968 to 1996 he was at the Georgia Institute of Technology where progressed from a Research Engineer to Acting Laboratory Director.

Zhong Chen, MSEE, RF Engineering Director at ETSLindgren.

Per O. Iversen, MSEE, Chief Executive Officer, ORBIT/FR Inc., Horsham, Pennsylvania. Mr. Iversen has nearly 20 years of experience in the area of applied electromagnetics and antennas. Prior to his current position, he was chief technology officer with SATIMO SA, Kennesaw, Georgia, where he contributed to the development of multiple probe antenna measurement systems for a wide range of applications. He also worked for several years at ESTEC, the Technology Centre of the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Netherlands, where he managed antenna development programs for both terrestrial and spaceborne applications. Mr. Iversen is a member of the Board of Directors for the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association.

Kefeng Liu, MS, PCTO of General Test Systems Inc., Shenzhen, China.  Mr. Liu’s industrial career has been dedicated to applying numerical electromagnetic computational methods to the analysis and design verification of RF absorbers and anechoic chambers, and to the evaluation of low observable RF absorber performance from 10 MHz to 110 GHz. He was involved in the design and verification of many multi-million dollar projects with compact ranges, tapered far-field ranges, and EMC chambers with cutting-edge performance, and was responsible for the development of the ETS-Lindgren’s turnkey antenna and RCS measurement system solution packages. He is the inventor and/or co-inventor of three U.S. patents.

Dean L. Mensa, PhD, independent consultant in RCS measurements, Ventura, California. During his 37-year career at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, California, Dr. Mensa focused on the collection and application of radar signatures to establish the performance of airborne radar and missile systems, and directed the technical operations of the Radar Reflectivity Laboratory in conducting tests and analyses of radar signatures. He received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1994 and the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association Distinguished Achievement Award in 1995. Dr. Mensa has authored over 200 technical reports and 25 technical papers, conducted or participated in a number of short courses, and is a Senior Member of IEEE. He is known for his application of high-resolution inverse SAR imaging methods to RCS diagnostics and has written two texts on the subject.

Carl F. Stubenrauch, PhD, consultant in near-field antenna measurements, Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Stubenrauch is retired from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, Colorado. During his 25-year career at NIST, his research was focused on near-field measurement of antenna parameters. He has lectured at a number of short courses in antenna measurements. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Member of URSI Commission A and the Optical Society of America.


Day 1

Introduction to Antennas (Bodnar)
Antenna pattern terminology, types of antennas, representation of electromagnetic fields, coordinate systems, patterns, gain, directivity, effective area, and polarization.

Introduction to Antenna Measurements (Bodnar)
Field regions, frequency regimes, radiation patterns, the far-field criterion, antenna pattern measurements, display of antenna data, Friis transmission formula, range power budget, basic polarization measurement, and types of antenna ranges.

Electromagnetic View of Antenna Measurements (Rahmat-Samii)
Historical background, fundamentals, coordinate systems and wave equation solutions, equivalence theorem, equivalent sources, Huygen’s principle, and overview of near-field measurements.

Measurement of Gain and Directivity (Bodnar)
Measurement of gain by comparison to standards, availability of gain standards, 3-antenna absolute method, measurement of directivity, pattern integration, measurement errors.

Scattering Matrix Description of Waveguide Junctions and Antennas (Stubenrauch)
Basis functions for fields in a waveguide; impedance parameters; traveling waves; the scattering matrix; 1- and 2-port networks; measurements of scattering parameters of sources, loads, and antennas; mismatch correction—antenna gain measurement example; and scattering matrix description of antennas.

Antenna Range Instrumentation (Bodnar)
Antenna measurement receivers, transmitters, positioners, control systems, and recorders; automated systems; data acquisition; and analysis and display.

Day 2

Planar Near-Field Measurements (Stubenrauch)
Planar transmission equation and probe correction; scattering parameters and antenna gain, polarization, and pattern; practical implementation of planar geometries; range power budget; setup and initial testing; typical results; measurement errors; and near-field measurement of EIRP and saturating flux density.

Optimal Sampling of Antenna Near-Field Data (Rahmat-Samii)
Review of sampling in Fourier signal processing, band-limited feature of radiation field, interpolation with cardinal functions, interpolation from minimal number of samples, interpolation with non-uniformly spaced samples, construction of optimum sampling function, representative case studies.

Polar and Bipolar Near-Field (Rahmat-Samii)
Plane-polar and bipolar near-field measurement techniques, concepts and implementation, data processing methods, representative reflector and array antenna measurements.

Diagnostics and Phaseless Measurements (Rahmat-Samii)
Holographic image formation; phase retrieval and phaseless measurement techniques, representative array antenna diagnostics, simulations and measurements.

Cylindrical Near-Field Scanning (Stubenrauch)
Application of cylindrical scanning, typical implementations, development and solution of transmission equation, measurement examples and error studies, back-transformation issues.

Spherical Near-Field Scanning (Stubenrauch)
The SNF transmission equation, choice of sampling intervals and minimum sphere, near-field and far-field coverage area, modal filtering, spherical coordinate systems, moving and fixed line-of-sight ranges, examples of SNF range implementations, and transforms to arbitrary radii.

Calibration of Gain and Polarization Standards (Stubenrauch)
3-antenna method, extrapolation technique for gain measurements, swept-frequency measurements, polarization measurements of/for linearly and circularly polarized antennas, and calibration of near-field probes.

Day 3

Implementation of Near-Field Systems (Janse Van Rensburg)
Overview of NF system types; examples of typical planar, cylindrical, and spherical near-field test systems; mechanical requirements; RF subsystems requirements; and software requirements.

Error Analysis in Near-Field Scanning (Janse Van Rensburg)
Methodology and goal of uncertainty error analysis; types of error budgets; the NIST 18-term error budget for PNF, CNF, and SNF systems; discussion of specific error terms; and case studies.

Multiple Probe Antenna Measurement Systems (Iversen)
Multiple probe antenna measurements–background, probe array design challenges, probe array calibration methods, measurement uncertainties specific to probe arrays, examples of test facilities and applications.

Compact Ranges (Bodnar)
Single reflector, dual-reflector, and compensated compact ranges; reflector surface accuracy and measurement; reflector edge treatment; test zone specifications and evaluation; numerical modeling of compact ranges; compact ranges for RCS measurements; and feeds for compact range systems; and absorber treatment.

Wireless Testing (Liu)
Testing electrically small versus high-gain antennas, Cellular Telecommunication Internet Association (CTIA) over-the-air (OTA) performance testing, active versus passive measurements, future applications, the ideal system, and example solutions.

Tour of the UCLA Antenna Range

Day 4

Anechoic Chambers (Chen)
Understanding the RF absorbers, design and evaluation methods for tapered and rectangular chambers, anechoic chamber layouts, anechoic chamber quiet zone evaluation methods, and guidelines for chamber accessories.

EMI/EMC Testing (Chen)
Overview of electromagnetic compatibility, commercial and military EMC testing, radiated emission measurement, radiated immunity/susceptibility measurement, EMC test site facility requirements, test site acceptance, and summary.

RCS Measurements and RCS of Installed Antennas (Mensa)
Measurement of RCS, scattering from antennas, structural and antenna modes, specular and traveling-wave scattering, and test bodies for RCS of flush antennas.

Synthetic Aperture Concepts (Mensa)
Imaging notions; beam-forming properties of antennas; real and synthetic apertures; beam resolution, steering, and focusing; linear, spotlight, and inverse SAR; sampling requirements; image focusing; and 2-dimensional image examples.

Radome Testing (Bodnar)
Transmission efficiency, pattern distortion, beam deflection, boresight shift, radome positioners, gimbal positioners, beam straddlers, null seekers, far-field ranges, compact ranges, and near-field and scanning ranges.

Design and Evaluation of Far-Field Ranges (Bodnar)
Free space, elevated and ground reflection ranges; antenna positioners; in-situ measurements; model measurements; spherical coordinate antenna ranges; moveable and fixed line-of-sight ranges; achieving uniform plane-wave illumination; control of unwanted radiation; design equations for ground reflection and elevated ranges; and evaluation of far-field ranges.

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815