Deliverable 9.3: Report containing the conclusions from the beam-steering tests

As part of the Work Package 9 activities in EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, on-the-air tests of the IRF-developed triple channel arbitrary-waveform exciter prototype were carried out at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru from March 19, 2012 to March 24, 2012 inclusive. The IRF staff involved were Dr. Gudmund Wannberg, IRF-K (now ℅ Wannberg Radarkonsult AB) and Mr. Walter Puccio, IRF-U.

The purpose of these tests was threefold:

  1. to verify that the IRF-developed exciter prototype could successfully drive a high-power incoherent-scatter radar at its output frequency without running into RF feedback problems
  2. to verify the ability of the exciter to generate phase-stable
    carrier signals modulated by completely arbitrary waveforms
  3. to verify the beam-steering capabilities of the triple-channel prototype at least in principle through on-the-air tests.

Deliverable 9.3 is a report focusing on the beam-steering tests.

The conclusions from the tests are that technically these tests at JRO must be characterized as a total success:

  • the ability of an AD9957-based exciter to drive a 2 MW, 50-MHz transmitter at the output frequency without developing feedback problems has been demonstrated
  • using long Chu codes, which cycle the real and imaginary halves of the baseband data word through their entire amplitude ranges, the arbitrary-waveform capability of the AD9957 is verified at baseband rates up to 15 Mwords (complex) per second
  • the FP6 Design Study proposal for EISCAT_3D transmit beam-steering, i.e. to control individual array elements by numerically phase-shifting independent exciters, is demonstrated and validated in principle.
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