Extending the capabilities of the GRASP and CAESAR software to analyze and optimize active beamforming array feeds for reflector systems
ABSTRACT This paper describes a numerical approach for the analysis of a reflector antenna system which is fed by a Phased Array Feed. This approach takes mutual interaction effects into account between the antenna array and the low noise amplifiers in the evaluation of the system sensitivity and optimization of the beamformer weights, and can be used when several signal and noise sources are present on the sky, ground, and inside the system itself. The described methodology has been applied to a practical PAF (comprising 144 tapered slot antennas operating from 1 to 1.75 GHz) which is installed at a 25-m reflector antenna. Comparison of numerical and experimental results shows a good agreement.
- SourceAvailable from: Stefan Wijnholds[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The results of four recently introduced beamforming schemes for phased array systems are discussed, each of which is capable to provide high sensitivity and accurate polarimetric performance of array-based radio telescopes. Ideally, a radio polarimeter should recover the actual polarization state of the celestial source, and thus compensate for unwanted polarization degradation effects which are intrinsic to the instrument. In this paper, we compare the proposed beamforming schemes through an example of a practical phased array system (APERTIF prototype) and demonstrate that the optimal beamformer, the max-SLNR beamformer, the eigenvector beamformer, and the bi-scalar beamformer are sensitivity equivalent but lead to different polarization state solutions, some of which are sub-optimal.08/2011;
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this report is to document the noise performance of a complex beamforming array antenna system and to characterize the recently developed noise measurement facility called THACO, which was developed at ASTRON. The receiver system includes the array antenna of strongly coupled 144 TSA elements, 144 Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) (Tmin =35-40K) and the data recording/storing facilities of the initial test station that allow for off-line digital beamforming. The primary goal of this study is to compare the measured receiver noise temperatures with the simulated values for several practical beamformers, and to predict the associated receiver noise coupling contribution, antenna thermal noise and ground noise pick-up (due to the back radiation).10/2011;
Conference Paper: Experimental results of the APERTIF phased array feed[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: APERTIF (APERture Tile In Focus) is a Phased Array Feed (PAF) system that is being developed for the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) to increase its survey speed with a factor 20. This paper presents an overview of APERTIF and measurement results that demonstrate the unique capabilities of PAFs in practice: Wide field of view (scan range), low system temperature, excellent illumination efficiency, synthesis imaging and a significant reduction of the reflector feed interaction.General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, 2011 XXXth URSI; 09/2011