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Certain unique features of a recently constructed plane-polar near-field measurement facility for determining the far-field patterns of large and fragile spaceborne antennas are described. In this facility, the horizontally positioned antenna rotates about its axis while the measuring probe is advanced incrementally in a fixed radial direction. The near-field measured data is then processed using a Jacobi-Bessel expansion to obtain the antenna far fields. A summary of the measurement and computational steps is given. Comparisons between the outdoor far-field measurements and the constructed far-field patterns from the near-field measured data are provided for different antenna sizes and frequencies. Application of the substitution method for the absolute gain measurement is discussed. In particular, results are shown for the 4.8-m mesh-deployable high-gain antenna of the Galileo spacecraft which has the mission of orbiting Jupiter in 1988.
Date of Publication: Jun 1985