Test & trials facilities
In addition to being very well equipped with RF/microwave test & measurement equipment, the Group also is fortunate to have a number of test and trial facilities to support our radar development.
For small aperture antenna characterisation, such as feedhorns, we have a large amount of radar absorbing material (RAM) available which is rated to 100 GHz and is known to work well at even higher frequencies. These sheets can be reconfigured in the lab to suit different experiments.
The School has a small acoustic anechoic chamber and whilst lined with acoustic rather than microwave absorbing foam, it does provide a location for testing small antennas, feedhorns etc. which is electrically quieter and suffers less from reflections than our regular labs.
We have access to the roof of our 3-storey building which provides long range views which enables us to test antennas with large far-field distances or characterise radars at distances up to several kilometres.
We have a dedicated Radar Test Lab at the University Observatory, just 10 minutes’ walk from the Physics building. We have a ground floor room with double opening windows which looks out across a large grass area with lines of sight up to ~150 m. This is ideal for radar and antenna testing and we use this facility frequently when flying drones for data collection. If we need longer ranges and wider areas, we can use the University’s sports pitches with agreement of the Sports Centre and Grounds Department.