Author

Nathan Lett

Date of Award

3-24-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Peter J. Collins, PhD.

Abstract

Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements rely heavily on multiple assumptions. Uncertainty in the final measurement is determined based on these assumptions. One source in particular is the non-homogeneous nature of the transmission path between radar test equipment and a target under test. The following research extends prior research. This thesis intends to provide a unique two-way field probe solution for measuring Electro-magnetic (EM) fluctuations in a test volume. In this thesis, the design, development, and demonstration of a geodesic sphere encased quadcopter two-way probe is explained. The Parrot® Bebop Drone quadcopter was used with a 2v frequency divided geodesic sphere design. Position and pose data was accomplished with a Vicon™ motion capture system. And a Lintek 4000 radar instrumentation system provided RCS measurements. Many major system design considerations were discovered. The geodesic sphere to quadcopter interface should not interfere with flight characteristics. RCS measurements with position and pose data synchronization is important. And the sample points captured must be sufficient to extract any conclusions. This research concluded that a geodesic sphere and quadcopter could be used as a two-way probe to measure general field characteristics of an indoor compact RCS range. In a quadcopter only flight test, using a 2 to 5 GHz frequency sweep at 0.1 GHz increments, there were three instances where a direct correlation in phase measurement to flight path was observed. Further research is required to better understand the quality of the field measurements.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENG-MS-16-M-031

DTIC Accession Number

Pending

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