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Radiometric Evaluation of Antenna-Feed Component Losses

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2 Author(s)

Low-noise antenna systems are frequently used in conjunction with measurements of atmospheric and cosmic background noise at microwave frequencies. The input transmission line losses of these receiving systems must be precisely calibrated to insure proper identification of the portion of operating noise temperature attributable to the external environment. Although most components in an antenna line can be calibrated by conventional insertion-loss measurements, many feed component losses must be evaluated by means of nonstandard techniques. This paper describes a radiometric method for calibrating the loss of multimode antenna-feed components in which the field is linearly or circularly polarized. The method consists of measuring operating noise temperature, first with the components under evaluation installed and again after substitution by a waveguide section of known loss. Calibration and error analysis equations are derived and discussed. Application of the radiometric method, for the calibration of a mode-generator and quarter-wave plate polarizing section, resulted in a loss measurement of (0.0069 ±0.0016 pe)/dB.

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IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )