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Measuring Antenna Characteristics using a Network Analyzer


This experiment will introduce the student to measurement techniques using a Network Analyzer by making measurements of several antennas and comparing their results to theoretical values. The antenna characteristics to be evaluated are a half-wave dipole, quarter-wave monopole, five-element Yagi, and a source antenna.


1. Measure the physical dimensions and calculate the operating frequency of the half-wave dipole, quarter-wave monopole, and yagi antennas. Record your findings.

2. Using the Network Analyzer in a single port S11 measurement mode, measure the input impedance of the three antennas. Sweep the frequency an octave above and below the calculated operating frequency and record your results.

Tip: To measure the input impedance the network analyzer setting should be as follows:

A. Choose Measurement Settings
Press MEAS and select A/R
From the Stimulus group, press CENTER and enter the operating frequency
Press SPAN and enter the range of frequencies to be swept

B. Perform Measurement Calibration
Press CAL
Select S11
Follow Directions on Screen to perform calibration

C. Measure the Device Under Test (DUT)
Connect the antenna to the TEST CONNECTOR
Press the FORMAT key and select SMITH CHART
Press MKR
Select a marker which can be moved with the rotary knob
Using the marker, find the value corresponding the operating frequency

3. Connect the antennas to the Network Analyzer as shown in Figure 1. Obtain all data necessary to describe the following antenna characteristics:

a) Directivity (plot antenna pattern in appropriate plane)

b) Polarity

c) Path Loss (power loss from reference antenna to antenna under test (AUT) as a function of distance)

Microwave antenna, RF measurement, network analyzer, frequency analyzer, antenna measurement, dipole, yagi, monopole, elements, reflector, gain, S11, S21, reflection coefficient, input, output, noise figure, NF, RF system, polarization, refraction, wave, VSWR, wavelength, far field, near field, wavefront, input port, thru measurement, HP, Agilent, manufacture, component, calibration, CAL, marker, swept, dynamic range.

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