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Versatile Low-Cost and Light-Weight RF Equipment for Field Measurements
  • Jonas Kornprobst ,
  • Raimund A. M. Mauermayer ,
  • Thomas F. Eibert
Jonas Kornprobst
Technical University of Munich

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Raimund A. M. Mauermayer
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Thomas F. Eibert
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Abstract

We present a low-cost and light-weight measurement equipment based on a software-defined radio (SDR) and a radio-frequency over fiber (RFoF) connection. The main purpose of the hardware are near-field antenna measurements, but possible use-cases also include imaging and other inverse-source scenarios.
The two features “low-cost” and “light-weight” of the hardware are important for the use on an unmanned aerial vehicle: Crashes should not financially ruin the operator and payload is of course a central issue for any flying object. Regarding the RF properties of the hardware, the RFoF connection has the great benefit of extremely low loss as compared to coaxial cables, while the SDR offers a great deal of flexibility concerning measurement frequency, bandwidth, and signal filtering.
One transmit channel of the SDR is employed to provide a coherent signal to an antenna and two receive channels can capture two components of the field, e.g., two linearly independent polarizations. As an important part of the RF circuitry, a drift compensation is implemented as a countermeasure against changing temperature conditions.