The diagnosis of antennas and radiating systems emitting electromagnetic energy is a fundamental aspect to ensure compliance with work specifications. The new telecommunications systems require multiple complex antennas with highly-demanding requirements, which entails a reduction of their design margins and tolerances. Consequently, slight malfunctions after their deployment can distort their operational specifications. The current systems for antenna diagnosis are used in dedicated facilities (e.g. anechoic cameras) or based on bulky devices (e.g., robot arms and laser trackers), resulting in expensive and non-portable systems. Those of external use (e.g. drones) do not reach enough positioning precision for high frequency measurements.
Researchers from a Spanish university working in electronic engineering provide a new system and a method for diagnosing antennas through the use of a portable device, which can be implemented in a commercial cell phone. The system comprises a probe antenna that is manually moved by a system operator along an arbitrary path. This probe captures the signals radiated by the antenna under test. A radiofrequency unit measures the properties (e.g., signal strength) of said signal and a positioning detector provides the position of the probe antenna along the path. Finally, a processing system performs the antenna diagnosis in real-time through a new method also patented. The method of the invention comprises defining at least one reference surface close to the antenna under measurement, moving the probe antenna along a path, homogenizing the spatial sampling of the measurements, processing the information to obtain the representation of the electromagnetic field and then diagnosing the antenna.
The researchers would like to reach license agreements with companies operating in the communications field with the aim to develop applications of the described technology.