DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility at DTU Electrical Engineering. Photo: Thorkild Amdi Christensen

DTU’s near-field test facility is updated and expanded

Electrotechnology Electromagnetism Antennas Space research Satelittes

Last year, the European Space Agency (ESA) gave a substantial grant to update the equipment in DTU’s near-field chamber (DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility).

DTU Electrical Engineering is the world leader in the field of measurement of satellite antennas in a free-field room, i.e. a room having the same conditions as those in which the antennas will later be operating when installed on a satellite in space.

To maintain the leading global position, the laboratory in Building 353 is currently undergoing major renovation and expansion.

“We are both upgrading our measuring equipment and expanding the actual laboratory building. The satellites and the antennas are becoming more and more complex, and we therefore need both new equipment and more space,” says Professor Olav Breinbjerg, Head of DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility.

The renovation of the laboratory has been planned since January 2017 and is carried out from October 2017 to February 2018. The renovation includes:

  • Upgrading access rooms, preparation rooms, and control rooms—including an extension for better access of large equipment.
  • Upgrading the ventilation system for better control of temperature and relative humidity in the free-field room.
  • Upgrade the antenna tower and probe tower in the near-field chamber for better functionality.

In addition to its primary purpose as a test facility and new technology development, the laboratory is also used in connection with student projects.

“A small, exclusive group of our master's students are given the opportunity to take courses and try out our world-class laboratory. We are seeing a growing interest in the courses both among DTU students and foreign PhD students who—via the European School of Antennas network—are offered an intensive one-week course at DTU,” says Olav Breinbjerg.