The robot-based measurement chamber of the IHF currently consists of eight automated axes, which are combined in a common kinematics and can, thus, be moved completely synchronously with each other. In addition to the industrial six-axis robotic arm, the measurement chamber provides a linear axis with another rotational axis mounted on its slide. This allows to operate the robot always in the optimal working area while reducing the risk of collisions, since the robot does not have to reach over the antenna under test.
To map the mechanical flexibility to the measurement technology, active mixer modules are used to generate the measurement signals. In this way, the setup can be easily adapted for the desired frequency range. The high frequency (RF, LO) and intermediate frequency (IF) signals required to operate the mixer modules can be conveniently reconfigured via an LO/IF distribution unit developed at IHF. In addition to a switchable power supply and programmable attenuators, the LO/IF distribution unit also offers high-frequency relays that allow to switch the signal paths. This permits to change the configuration of the mixer modules, e.g. to perform active radar measurements using the robot arm. The programmable attenuators are used to operate the vector network analyzer (VNA) in the optimum linearity range regardless of the antenna under test.