Characterizing Active Phased Array Antennas

Designing and implementing an active phased array antenna requires precise characterization of individual components and the integrated performance of the array. To ensure an accurate test of the intended adaptive nature of the active phased array antenna, the embedded algorithms need to be tested as well.

This application note aims to explain test procedures and give recommendations towards a general characterization strategy of the relevant parameters for active phased array antennas based on applications for mobile communication and RADAR. After a brief look into theory behind active phased array antennas, multi-channel phase-coherent signal generation and analysis is presented for CW and pulsed signals at up to 40 GHz carrier frequency.