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The Multi-Robot Large Antenna Positioning System for Over-The-Air Testing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology1



David R. Novotny, Josh Gordon, Michael S. Allman, Jeffrey R. Guerrieri, Alexandra Curtin, Kim Hassett, George McAdams, Quang Ton


To address dynamic testing requirements of new communications systems and RF processes that use non-static beam forming, NIST proposed the Large Antenna Positioning System (LAPS). The LAPS consists of two kinematically-linked six axis robotic arms, one of which is integrated with a 7-m linear rail system. This repositionable, multi-robot system can perform arbitrary scans around a device under test. The dynamic 13 degree-of-motion capability is designed to perform complex spatial interrogation of systems. The coordinated-motion capabilities of the system are key to support not only traditional antenna measurement geometries (i.e. spherical, cylindrical, planar, gain-extrapolation), but also intended to be used to dynamically interact with changing RF conditions. The robots can independently scan or interrogate multiple bearings toward a device under test, perform MIMO illumination, or trace out complex 6D paths during system testing. Further improvements to the basic kinematic models of each robot will allow this generation of robotic antenna range to operate open loop without laser tracker feedback.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association
Conference Dates
October 15-20, 2017
Conference Location
Atlanta, GA, US
Conference Title
Antenna Measurement Techniques Association


Antennas, near-field measurements, robots, positioning, gain, pattern, extrapolation, MIMO, SCARA.


Novotny, D. , Gordon, J. , Allman, M. , Guerrieri, J. , Curtin, A. , Hassett, K. , McAdams, G. and Ton, Q. (2017), The Multi-Robot Large Antenna Positioning System for Over-The-Air Testing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology1, Proceedings of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, Atlanta, GA, US, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created December 31, 2017, Updated April 12, 2022