The Radio Anechoic Chamber/DTU-ESA facility at DTU Elektro (Photo: Torben Nielsen)

DTU-ESA Facility upgrade

Monday 03 Oct 16
DTU Elektro has signed a 300,000 EUR contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for upgrade of the microwave instrumentation at the DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility – an ESA external reference laboratory for high accuracy antenna testing located at and operated by DTU. 

This will allow the DTU-ESA Facility to acquire state-of-the-art signal generator, signal receiver, and data acquisition system – and thus strengthen the internationally leading position of the DTU-ESA Facility. This new instrumentation is for high-accuracy generation, sampling, and reception of the 300MHz-60GHz microwave signals that are transmitted and received by the satellite antennas being tested and it constitutes a central part of the overall antenna measurement system. This new contract comes just a few months after signing a 5-year and 375,000 EUR frame contract for maintenance, development and operation of the DTU-ESA Facility, and these two agreements form a solid outset for DTU Elektro’s plans for expanding its capacity and expertise for high-accuracy experimental characterization of microwave technology. 

For years, the DTU-ESA Facility has been used extensively both for in-house research projects and teaching purposes, and for measurement programmes conducted in collaboration with and by external partners; in particular ESA. The facility is a radio anechoic chamber intended for the determination of antenna characteristics in the frequency range from 300MHz-60GHz. It is 14m long, 12m wide and 10m high (measured between the tips of absorbers). The chamber and control room are enclosed in RF shielding.

In recent years, the DTU-ESA Facility has participated to such ESA satellite missions as SMOS, BIOMASS, and GALILEO; these are missions requiring an extremely high accuracy of the antenna systems and thus of the calibration measurements of these antenna systems. The unique spherical near-field antenna measurement technique developed at DTU and employed at the DTU-ESA Facility makes this one of a very few facilities in the world that can meet these high accuracy requirements.

For further information, please contact Professor Olav Breinbjerg, Head of Electromagnetic Systems at DTU Electrical Engineering.

About ESA:

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.