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A Non-contact Machine Vision System for the Precision Alignment of mmWave Antennas in all Six Degrees of Freedom

Published

Author(s)

Joshua A. Gordon, David R. Novotny

Abstract

Although highly accurate relative position data can be achieved using laser tracking systems which are suitable for millimeter wave antenna characterization, a considerable gap exists in the ability to absolutely align antennas to laser tracker target coordinate systems. In particular this scenario arises in millimeter wave near-field measurements where probe antenna aperture dimensions are on the order of a millimeter, and the position of its origin must be known to better than 1/20th of a wavelength, and orientation known to fractions of a degree. The fragile nature and dimensions of such probes negate the use of coordinated metrology measurement systems and larger touch probes for accurate spatial characterization. The Antenna Metrology Laboratory at NIST in Boulder, Colorado is developing a new machine vision based technique for measuring the absolute position of small (1- 2 mm) millimeter wave antenna apertures relative to laser tracker target coordinate system. A synergy with existing laser tracking systems, this approach will provide a non-contact method for determining the absolute position and orientation coordinate frame of the probe antenna aperture in all six degrees of freedom to within 30-60 microns. This alignment technique is demonstrated using the CROMMA Facility at NIST in Boulder, CO.
Proceedings Title
36th Annual Symposium of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA)
Conference Dates
October 12-17, 2014
Conference Location
tucson, AZ
Conference Title
Antenna Measurements Techniques Association: 36th Annual Symposium

Keywords

Machine Vision, Antenna Metrology, Antenna Alignment

Citation

Gordon, J. and Novotny, D. (2014), A Non-contact Machine Vision System for the Precision Alignment of mmWave Antennas in all Six Degrees of Freedom, 36th Annual Symposium of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA), tucson, AZ, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=916360 (Accessed July 27, 2021)
Created October 12, 2014, Updated January 27, 2020