A document describes the Antenna Calibration & Measurement Equipment (ACME) system that will provide the Deep Space Network (DSN) with instrumentation enabling a trained RF engineer at each complex to perform antenna calibration measurements and to generate antenna calibration data. This data includes continuous-scan autoborebased data acquisition with all-sky data gathering in support of 4th order pointing model generation requirements. Other data includes antenna subreflector focus, system noise temperature and tipping curves, antenna efficiency, reports system linearity, and instrument calibration.

The ACME system design is based on the on-the-fly (OTF) mapping technique and architecture. ACME has contributed to the improved RF performance of the DSN by approximately a factor of two. It improved the pointing performances of the DSN antennas and productivity of its personnel and calibration engineers.

This work was done by David J. Rochblatt and Manuel Vazquez Cortes of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-47599


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Antenna Calibration and Measurement Equipment

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This article first appeared in the September, 2012 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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