The primary objective of many antenna measurement facilities is to provide a specified high accuracy of the measured data. The validation of an antenna measurement facility is the process of proving that such a specified accuracy can be achieved. Since this constitutes a very challenging task, antenna measurement accuracy has been the subject of much research over many years and a range of useful measures have been introduced. Facility comparisons, together with antenna standards, error budgets, facility accreditations, and measurement procedure standards, constitute an effective measure towards facility validations. This paper documents the results of a comparison between 8 European antenna measurement facilities with a specially designed reference antenna, the DTU-ESA 12 GHz Validation Standard Antenna (VAST-12). The electrical and mechanical properties of the VAST-12 antenna are presented and its three different coordinate systems are defined. The primary objective of the comparison is to obtain experience and results that can serve to develop standards for validation of antenna measurement facilities. The paper focuses on the comparison of the radiation pattern and presents not only the measurement data obtained at the facilities, but also investigates several procedures for comparing these data. This includes various definitions of pattern difference and statistical measures as well as a reference pattern. The comparison took place in 2004-2005 as part of the European Union network of excellence called ACE-Antenna Centre of Excellence.
Copyright: 2009 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE