Many manufactures do not follow a common standard when designing, during the manufacture or when producing supporting documentation for antennas. Halberd Bastion’s antenna testing service is an impartial consultation that enables clients to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the actual performance of antennas that is independent from manufacturer supplied, and often inconsistent, datasheets.
Laboratory testing of all antennas and ancillary RF components is conducted within parameters set by the firm’s stringent Quality Management System. This guarantees that accurate real-word results detailing the performance are gathered and the subsequent, comprehensive test reports compiled can be presented to Halberd Bastion’s clients. This information empowers clients allowing them to make intensely well informed decisions regarding antenna procurement.
Distributed over four laboratories, the testing facilities include:
- 4500 mᶾ microwave anechoic chamber
- RTS65 microwave reverberation dark room
- Five microwave shield rooms
- Vehicle test site
- Near and far field (1 km) testing systems
- 3D (SG64 probe) testing systems
- >100 Keysight Technology advanced test equipment
- Intermodulation Distortion (IMD) test systems
- Laser Diode Vibrometer (LDV) testing systems
- Five-frequency intermodulation test equipment
- Five-frequency power test equipment
- Static interference test equipment
- Low + high temperature and humidity testing systems
- Salt fog corrosion and environmental testing systems
- Ultraviolet light testing systems
- Waterproof testing systems
- RoHS environmental testing equipment
Antenna test reports are tailored to clients’ needs. It may be unnecessary to engage engineers to perform testing on redundant performance characteristics and examining only the relevant fields greatly reduces the costs involved. Targeted testing also ensures that critical information attracts the appropriate level of research, for M2M/IoT telemetry applications a carrier may have assigned a very narrow band for uplink/downlink therefore it is imperative that the testing conducted is focused at these frequencies. Regardless of how technologically advanced a network is, wireless transmissions perform only as well as the antennas that have been integrated. An expansion on the types of tests available can be viewed by following the links below.
Accurately testing the electrical properties of antennas is a complicated procedure that requires dedicated facilities, perfectly calibrated equipment and highly skilled technicians. Testing a range of antennas may attract a marginal increase a project’s capex however this expense is greatly outweighed by the risk of selecting an antenna model from a manufacturer’s datasheet which proves to be inappropriate, for large scale deployments this can be financially catastrophic. Selecting a vendor’s product based on a side-by-side comparison of real-world test results conducted by an impartial third party greatly enhances the likelihood of a project’s commercial success.
Ensuring that antennas will survive for the duration stipulated by the application’s engineering requirements is essential to minimising operating expense. There is a myriad of environmental factors that determine the overall survivability of antennas including; temperature, humidity, corrosion, vibration, UV radiation, water, impacts, etc. This branch of testing is particularly important for utility operators with projects such as metering where products are often expected to last in excess of 10 years under harsh industrial conditions.
Many organisations impose stringent regulations regarding the use of certain materials in the manufacturing of products, generally these exist to protect people and the environment from toxic levels being used in the product’s materials. The most prominent regime is the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), Halberd Bastion can test antennas to ensure they comply with the EU’s limitations. Other tests are completed with a direct reading spectrometer to perform spectrochemical analysis.
Most major telecommunications operators require that a device must meet its performance criteria before being approved for use on its network. Over The Air (OTA) testing is conducted to accurately predict device performance by simulating real-world conditions inside the laboratory. 4G LTE and 5G NR OTA tests are used to reveal both transmit and receive performance for a range of devices including smartphones, hotspots, embedded modems, IoT modules, laptops, and more. All OTA testing is conducted in CTIA-certified facilities.