The Antenna Research Lab (ARL) has state-of-the-art measurement capabilities that exist at only a handful of universities in the United States.
The Antenna Research Laboratory (ARL) was established in 1997. The main objective of this state-of-the-art facility, directed by Dr. Ahmad Hoorfar, is to support research, analysis, modeling, test and development efforts related to antennas and high frequency electromagnetic systems. This Lab, with its indoor facility that includes a 29’ x 27’ x 28’ anechoic chamber (compact range) capable of fully automated high quality pattern and gain measurements from 2-75 GHz, is equipped with the latest antenna and microwave design and measurement tools. The test facilities also include a planar near-field antenna test system from 500 MHz - 10 GHz. In addition Villanova has teamed with Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVSEA-Philadelphia, to extend the capabilities of ARL to include accurate radar cross-section (RCS) measurements. Computer facilities available for research in the ARL include a network of several high performance workstations including two 16-core and 32-core servers each with 32GB of RAM. In addition ARL is networked through a T3 line to the ECE department’s network of Unix and Windows research workstations.
The lab is currently supporting research on Low-profile, electrically small and reconfigurable antennas, ultra-wideband antennas, metamaterial surfaces and media, through-the-wall microwave imaging, millimeter-wave scale-model measurement, and design automation and optimization using evolutionary computational techniques.
- ORBIT / FR Compact Range Serrated Reflector (AL-22404-AL):
Agilent E8364C Precision Network Analyzer and Data Acquisition System, 2-50GHz
- Agilent N5260A Millimeter-Wave Controller with 50-75GHz Waveguide Heads
- Orbit/FR 959 Spectrum Antenna Measurement
- Orbit/FR AL-360-1P Polarization Positioner and Orbit/FR 4806 Controller 6 axis
- Orbit/FR AL-4273-1 Elevation over Azimuth Positioner
- ORBIT / FR Near Field AL-4951-1-5.5-5.5-V Planar Scanner:
HP8510C Network Analyzer and Data Acquisition System, 0.5-10GHz
- HP 85301C Antenna Measurement System:
- HP 8530A microwave receiver, 8511B frequency converter and HP 83631B source (0.045-50GHz)
- Orbit/FR 959 Spectrum Antenna Measurement Workstation
- Orbit/FR Planar Scanner, 5.5ft X by 5.5ft Y by 10in Z by Roll travel.
Computer Facilities and Electromagnetic CAD Tool
Computer facilities available for research in the antenna laboratory include a network of 9 sun Ultra 10 and Pentium II and III NT workstations. In addition these laboratories are networked through a T3 line to the ECE department's network of more than 60 Sun Ultra research workstations as well as to the College of Engineering network of about 150 NT workstations, and the university's network of mainframe computers.
The available computational software packages in the antenna laboratory include various commercial electromagnetic simulators and antenna CAD tools as well as numerical codes developed in-house at the ARL. In particular, the electromagnetic simulation codes available for research include:
- XFDTDTM, for finite-difference time-domain modeling of arbitrary 3-D structures
- EnsembleTM for method of moments modeling of planar microstrip radiating structures
- IE3DTM for method of moments modeling of 3-D microstrip circuits and antennas
- MomentumTM for method of moments modeling of planar microstrip structures
- SonnetTM for method of moments modeling of 3-D planar circuits
- Numerical Electromagnetic Code (NEC) for simulation of wire-mesh modeling of conducting structures
- High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSSTM) for finite element modeling of arbitrary 3-D structures
Various FDTD and MOM based simulation codes for antennas developed in-house at the Antenna Research Laboratory at Villanova.