DLR Compact Test Range

The DLR Compact Test Range is fully equipped to perform antenna radiation measurements and RCS- (Radar Cross Section) characterisation.

The CTR system is assembled inside a shielded, anechoic chamber of 24 meters length x 11.7 meters width x 9.7 meters height.
The facility is operated by the Microwaves and Radar Institute. The core component is a March Microwave Systems B.V. dual cylindrical parabolic reflector configuration. It provides far field conditions for accurate real time measurements. The reflectors are built of a precisely shaped aluminium layer that covers an aluminium-core honeycomb substructure. Their surface accuracy allows the reflectors to perform well from 1 GHz (30 cm wavelength) up to 100 GHz (3 mm wavelength). Their geometry results in a quiet zone diameter of up to 3.8 meters (in a height of about 5 meters above the ground floor level). They are set up in a 24 m x 11.7m x 9.7 m shielded anechoic chamber that is lined with pyramidal foam absorbers. Their design enhances the frequency range down to 300 MHz. A 6-axis model tower is used to handle the devices under test. Its first linear axis is a rail system that allows the model tower to completely roll out of the chamber. To perform radar cross section measurements, a Styrofoam tower can be erected on a second independent linear slide on the rails.

Measurement Equipment

Control and measurement equipment is housed in an adjoining room close to the feed slide on the first floor level. A 4-port Rohde & Schwarz ZVA network analyser is used as RF-source and LO oscillator. The high measurement accuracy and fast sweep time enhance the capability of the CTR. It is placed in the control room close to the feed slide system. To change the feed antenna two stacked linear slides are available for comfortable feed antenna handling. The antenna itself is mounted on a polarisation turntable.
Measurements are controlled by the control, post-processing and analysis software tool ARCS V3.5. The software is running on two identical quad-core personnel computers for reliability and data handling during data acquisition.

The DLR TechLab building accomodates all hardware activities and all measurement chambers of the HR Institute.

Specified by the Institute, the facility was assembled by March Microwave Systems B.V. into the “TechLab” building. in 2009 The ambient hall is designed to house the shielded, anechoic chamber. For the comfort of the user, the complete infrastructure facilities of the building are available. Owner of the system is the German Aerospace Center (DLR). System operations are under the responsibility of the Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-HR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.


Technical Details:

  • Compact Test Range: 24 x 11,7 x 9,7 Meter (L x B x H)
  • Quiet zone: 3.8 meters in diameter; in 5 meters in height
  • Frequency range: (300 MHz) 1 GHz until 100 GHz
  • Model tower: 6-Axis Orbit/FR
  • Further model tower for RCS measurement is available
  • RF-Measurement equipment: Rohde & Schwarz ZVA 24
  • Antenna and RCS measurement software

Scan of the measuring zone at 8, 10, and 12GHz; Amplitude and Phase.




Markus Limbach
German Aerospace Center

Microwaves and Radar Institute
, SAR Technology
Tel: +49 8153 28-3060

Fax: +49 8153 28-4-3060

E-Mail: Markus.Limbach@dlr.de
Bernd Gabler
Microwaves and Radar Institute
, SAR Technology
Tel: +49 8153 28-1182

Fax: +49 8153 28-4-1182

E-Mail: Bernd.Gabler@dlr.de
URL for this article