Partnering opportunity

Hand operated system implementable in a cell phone and method for diagnosing radiating elements such as 5G antennas

Summary

A Spanish university has developed a system for diagnosing antennas through the use of a portable device. It comprises a probe antenna, which picks up the signals emitted by the antenna, a radiofrequency unit that measures the properties of said signal, a positioning subsystem and a processing system that carries out the diagnosis of the antenna from the obtained data. Companies in the communications field are sought to develop applications of the described invention under license agreements.

Partner sought

Type of partner sought: Industry. Specific area of activity of the partner: Companies that operate in the communications field. Task to be performed: Development of applications of the described invention.

Description

The diagnosis of antennas and radiating systems emitting electromagnetic energy is a fundamental aspect to ensure compliance with work specifications. The new telecommunications systems require multiple complex antennas with highly-demanding requirements, which entails a reduction of their design margins and tolerances. Consequently, slight malfunctions after their deployment can distort their operational specifications. The current systems for antenna diagnosis are used in dedicated facilities (e.g. anechoic cameras) or based on bulky devices (e.g., robot arms and laser trackers), resulting in expensive and non-portable systems. Those of external use (e.g. drones) do not reach enough positioning precision for high frequency measurements. Researchers from a Spanish university working in electronic engineering provide a new system and a method for diagnosing antennas through the use of a portable device, which can be implemented in a commercial cell phone. The system comprises a probe antenna that is manually moved by a system operator along an arbitrary path. This probe captures the signals radiated by the antenna under test. A radiofrequency unit measures the properties (e.g., signal strength) of said signal and a positioning detector provides the position of the probe antenna along the path. Finally, a processing system performs the antenna diagnosis in real-time through a new method also patented. The method of the invention comprises defining at least one reference surface close to the antenna under measurement, moving the probe antenna along a path, homogenizing the spatial sampling of the measurements, processing the information to obtain the representation of the electromagnetic field and then diagnosing the antenna. The researchers would like to reach license agreements with companies operating in the communications field with the aim to develop applications of the described technology.

Advantages and innovations

• The invention provides a system for diagnosing antennas that, compared to other systems that are currently known, avoids the use of mechanical positioning elements or large auxiliary structures, thanks to the use of a probe antenna that can be operated manually and to the use of positioning means that follow the free movement of the probe antenna. Moreover, the system can be deployed in a matter of minutes. • The invention can be implemented using a commercial cell phone. • The invention also provides a method that allows to homogenize the sampled data, thereby achieving greater flexibility, portability and rapid deployment of the system. In addition, the system and method avoid the need for an expert operator since it allows the system operator to perform data acquisition without the need of prior definition of the path to follow. • The system provides real-time visual feedback of the samples obtained, allowing the operator to know in which areas the sampling should be increased. Compared to other inventions that do allow arbitrary movements, the present invention provides the ability to handle this arbitrary data and convert it into information related to the aperture fields, thanks to a correct spacing of the data thus allowing to know the amplitude and phase of the radiated field by the different elements of the antenna, enabling diagnosis capabilities, even in those cases where there is no physical access to the antenna such as when the antenna is protected by a radome.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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