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4 August 2014 Feed array metrology and correction layer for large antenna systems in ASIC mixed signal technology
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Abstract
The paper deals with a possible use of the feed array present in a large antenna system, as a layer for measuring the antenna performance with a self-test procedure and a possible way to correct residual errors of the Antenna geometry and of the antenna distortions. Focus has been concentrated on a few key critical elements of a possible feed array metrology program. In particular, a preliminary contribution to the design and development of the feed array from one side, and the subsystem dedicated to antenna distortion monitoring and control from the other, have been chosen as the first areas of investigation. Scalability and flexibility principles and synergic approach with other coexistent technologies have been assumed of paramount importance to ensure ease of integrated operation and therefore allowing in principle increased performance and efficiency. The concept is based on the use of an existing feed array grid to measure antenna distortion with respect to the nominal configuration. Measured data are then processed to develop a multilayer strategy to control the mechanical movable devices (when existing) and to adjust the residual fine errors through a software controlled phase adjustment of the existing phase shifter The signal from the feed array is converted passing through a FPGA/ASIC level to digital data channels. The kind of those typically used for the scientific experiments. One additional channel is used for monitoring the antenna distortion status. These data are processed to define the best correction strategy, based on a software managed control system capable of operating at three different levels of the antenna system: reflector rotation layer, sub reflector rotation and translation layer (assuming the possibility of controlling a Stewart machine), phase shifter of the phased array layer. The project is at present in the design phase, a few elements necessary for a sound software design of the control subsystem have been developed at a technological demonstrator level while the ASIC board for generating the digital data stream has been fully developed. A prototype for control accurately the position of the sub-reflector up to a diameter of 5 meters (similar to the sub reflector size of a large antenna) using a Stewart mechanism is being planned. The selection strategy of the correction modes will depend on the dynamics of the phased array (i.e. the available bits of the A/D conversion). The reaction time allowed for the correction, depending on the error type and the inertia of the sub systems. Typically, the compensation can be divided among all the adjusting elements.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
F. Centureli, G. Scotti, P. Tommasino, A. Trifiletti, F. Romano, R. Cimmino, and A. Saitto "Feed array metrology and correction layer for large antenna systems in ASIC mixed signal technology", Proc. SPIE 9150, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, 91500F (4 August 2014); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2051302
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