Testing an antenna for space at the Technical University of Denmark. This is one of ESA’s external laboratories, specialist centres of excellence located across Europe, supplementing the Agency’s inhouse facilities.
The Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility (SNFTF) can sample an antenna’s surrounding electrical field highly accurately in close-up in all directions, then extrapolate these values to estimate its far-distant performance.
Seen here is the antenna now flying in orbit on ESA’s SMOS satellite to record changing soil moisture and ocean salinity levels. More recently, the Facility has contributed to ESA’s Biomass satellite – which carries radar to measure carbon stored in forests. And calibration of a test probe for evaluating Sentinel-1’s imaging radar is due to take place this autumn.
Sergey N. Pivnenko, manager of the DTU–ESA Facility, is seen in the foreground.
This week sees the 35th ESA Antenna Workshop On Antenna and Free Space RF Measurements take place in ESA’s technical centre ESTEC, in Noordwijk the Netherlands. Experts from across Europe are sharing the latest ideas on measurement techniques during this four-day event.