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DUO positioners for antenna measurements

DUO antenna positioners from mmWaveTest

The DUO Antenna Positioners

High load, high precision, full-sized 3D antenna positioners for mmWave and radar development

The DUO series is a line of 3D positioners/gimbals for Over-The-Air (OTA) testing of mmWave 5G-NR, gNodeB, CPE, Fixed Wireless Access, and radar applications in the GHz and THz domains.

The DUO positioners will handle any size from small to large DUT/AUT and are CNC-manufactured in PET and Delrin/Acetal polymer for low stray reflections and highest rigidity. They can position the Device-Under-Test at high resolution and precision in 3D (360-degrees * 360-degrees) rotations.

Our designs use best-in-class components and highly rigid structures to guarantee accuracy and reliability under all test conditions and loads. They offer the best possible precision in their class.

Paired with the anechoic chamber AC888, AC1120, or the walk-in sized AC1224 antenna test room, the DUO 3D positioners form attractive full-size solutions for any radar and mmWave antenna test and measurement.

We constantly engage in custom modifications and run numerous programs concurrently. If you have special requirements that you cannot find here, we encourage you to contact us for an informal discussion on your specific needs.

Precision-engineered designs for professional antenna development

The DUO positioners can hold DUTs spanning up to 83 cm width and allow for measuring large directional, beam-shaping antennas or large mechanical structures like side-view mirrors with 77 – 81 GHz radar units.

All our positioners are accurate designs for professional applications, and they have autonomous, closed-loop, and intelligent motor drive systems for reliable positioning and ease of use. The rotational platforms (turntables) and gears support high load, high resolution, and repeatable accuracy.

We use a calibrated laser device for initial alignment. Furthermore, we have added quality homing sensors to allow accurate measurements after cold boot-up without going through the manual realignment procedure.

The DUO5 positioner

DUO5 is for wide-beam and narrow-beam antenna measurements, and it offers 100% material transparency in the upper arms to reduce stray reflections effectively. All metal and motors are located low. All screws are in polymer plastics with fiberglass, and the mechanical structures are CNC-machined in polymer plastics (PET, POM/Delrin) for high rigidity and strength. Even the AUT/DUT arm bearings are in POM/Acetal instead of steel.

Our azimuth platform is an instrument-grade high-accuracy turntable. It is paired with a dual-motor setup, one for each of the elevation arms and single-stage gears for the highest accuracy and lowest backlash. We use intelligent closed-loop motor systems to secure that slip/stall errors will not occur.

The metal-free upper arm design will perform well in all applications but is especially well suited for sensitive wide beam applications due to the metal-free arm construction.

The DUO5 holds AUTs / DUTs up to 14 kg (31 lb) and up to an impressive 50 cm (20″) in width. It fits in the AC1120 and AC1224 chambers.

The DUO5.5 positioner (NEW)

The new DUO 5.5 offers a total 83 cm (32 ”) DUT width and a DUT weight of 18 kg (40 lb), making it the largest 3D antenna positioner from mmWave Test Solutions to date.

It is ideal for testing antennas in large mechanical enclosures such as automotive side-view mirrors with radar sensors, vRAN / OpenRAN base station antennas, or gNodeB units with non-centered antenna placements.

DUO5.5 sports the same qualities as the DUO5, such as material transparency, the low placement of all metal parts, and all mechanical structures in PET and  POM/Acetal. Our chosen azimuth turntable offers impressive precision, and paired with the dual-motor setup for the arms, the DUO5.5 will provide you highest quality and accuracy for your OTA antenna test environment.

The DUO5.5 is available with either a 3-axis or a 6-axis controller as the other DUO positioners. Both controllers offer an intelligent, high-level command set that makes any application control code uncomplicated to implement. MmWaveTest provides a reference application implemented in Python and Matlab for the DUO controllers.

The DUO4 positioner

The DUO4 design uses the same rigid construction that optimizes the DUO5 for narrow-beam measurements in applications like automotive radar sensors needing very high resolution and accuracy.

The elevation platform has a pair of high-accuracy rotational platforms mounted in the elevation axis in each of the positioner’s arms. These high-precision CNC-machined platforms deliver extreme resolution and repeatable accuracy.

The DUO4 also uses intelligent closed-loop motor systems for all three rotational devices so that slip/stall errors will not occur.

The DUO4 is currently the largest 3D antenna positioner from mmWave Test Solutions that uses the triple-rotational platform design. It holds AUTs / DUTs up to 4 kg (9 lb), and up to 35 cm (14″) in width. It fits in all our test chambers; AC888, AC1120 and AC1224.

The DUO3 positioner

The DUO3 design is a scaled-down version of the DUO5 design and is a compact but highly robust design rated for 8 kg (18 lb.) payload and DUT/AUTs up to 25 cm width. It uses the same mechanical design principles as our other positioners with CNC-machined thermoplastic to keep stray reflections minimal.

The 100% metal-free implementation of the upper arms makes the DUO3 ideal for mm-wave, microwave, automotive radar antenna development, general high-load, high-precision, angular positioning tasks in optics, telecom, scanning, and tracking applications.

It uses a closed-loop feedback motor system, two for elevation and one for azimuth, with built-in stall detection and conveniently simple communication through our reference software and intelligent controller. It provides uncomplicated programming even if you choose to bypass the controller and program ‘close to the metal.’

 Similar to our other positioners, different arm lengths are available. The DUT/AUT mounting plate can have a custom hole pattern too, and if you provide a model of your mechanical enclosure, we will simulate that you have the clearance you need.

The DUO3.5 positioner (NEW)  

The DUO3.5 is an evolution of the DUO3. Like its origin, it is a highly accurate 3D positioner, but in contrast to the DUO3, it offers a sliding, adjustable DUT arm configuration and can host DUT/AUTs up to 30 cm width.

The adjustable arm has a wide span: It can bring the DUT mount plate up to the elevation axis center, ideal for thinner devices like bare patch antennas or evaluation PCBs for radar applications. From there, the DUT arm can slide out to support DUT depths of up to 15 cm without using offset adapters. If you regularly test many different DUTs with varying depths, this may be a good reason to choose the DUO 3.5 over the DUO3. Also, you get an extra 5 cm DUT width at your disposal at the same time.

Like all other DUO positioners, the DUO 3.5 delivers reliable precision and rigidity for all communication and radar systems in the GHz and THz domains. This product quality requires sturdy mechanical structures CNC-milled from PET or Acetal/Delrin stock material. No 3D printed parts are allowed in the structural design.

Quick comparison: Multiple models with different objectives

The DUO antenna positioners share the same hardware and software controller platform but have distinct differences:

The DUO5 and  DUO3, plus the new DUO3.5 and DUO5.5, suits all wide-beam and narrow-beam antenna test applications. The upper arms are 100% metal-free to minimize all stray reflections effectively. They use high-precision, quality components and high torque to handle heavy payloads. A short arm set (add-on option) on the DUO5 and DUO5.5 makes them exceptionally powerful and will handle much higher loads than their rated values.

The DUO4’s ultra-high precision meets all requirements for demanding ultra-narrow beam antenna tests. The DUO4 uses two aluminum rotational platforms to achieve the highest possible repeatable precision in the upper arms. The arm base is wide enough to mask off the two rotational platforms with mmWave absorbers.

  DUO3 DUO3.5 DUO4 DUO5 DUO5.5
 
3D Positioner dimensions

W 40 cm (15.5”)

H 39 cm (15”)

D 24 cm (9.5”)

W 46 cm (18“)

H 39 cm (15”)

D 24 cm (9.5”)

W 53 cm (21”)

H 58  cm (23”)

D 24 cm (9.5”)

W 70 cm (28″)

H 58 cm (23“)

D 36 cm (14“)

W 105 cm (41”)

H 66 cm (26”)

D 36 cm (14”)

Max AUT /DUT width

Weight

24 cm (9.5”)

8 kg (18 lb.)

30 cm (12”)

8 kg (18 lb.)

35 cm (14”)

4 kg (9 lb.)

50 cm (20″)

14 kg (31 lb.)

83 cm (33”)

18 kg (40 lb.)

Full step native resolution (H,V)

Micro step resolution (H,V)

Repeatable Precision

0.01°, 0.1°

0.005°, 0.05°

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0.01°, 0.1°

0.005°, 0.05°

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0.01°, 0.02°

0.005°, 0.005°

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0.01°, 0.1°

0.005°, 0.05°

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0.01°, 0.1°

0.005°, 0.05°

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Mechanical customization  Option Option Option Option Option
12-ch azimuth slipring included (5-channels free) No No No Yes Yes
Calibrated laser included Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Homing sensor system included Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cradle arm length (DUT depth), one set included

15 cm (8″) depth

Full custom arm set upon quote

0-15 cm (8″) depth,

floating adjustment

10 cm (4″) or 30 cm (12″) depth

Full custom arm set upon quote

10 cm (4″) or 25 cm (10″) depth

Full custom arm set upon quote

10 cm (4”) depth

Full custom arm set upon quote

Custom DUT adapters Full custom upon quote Full custom upon quote Full custom upon quote Full custom upon quote Full custom upon quote
Software control system

Serial-over-USB 1.1

Python UI (source)

MATLAB UI (source)

Serial-over-USB 1.1

Python UI (source)

MATLAB UI (source)

Serial-over-USB 1.1

Python UI (source)

MATLAB UI (source)

Serial-over-USB 1.1

Python UI (source)

MATLAB UI (source)

Serial-over-USB 1.1

Python UI (source)

MATLAB UI (source)

Contact us for more information: info@mmwavetest.com
Software

Control software reference implementation for MATLAB and Python are included in the system. Applications are delivered in source code and provided with clear, inline documentation to allow an easy adaptation to any other software environment.

The hardware controller system is chosen for its simplicity and native instruction designed for controlling multi-axis positioners. It makes it uncomplicated to develop a new application in any other software language you may prefer.

DUO positioners + AC1120 anechoic chamber

The DUO positioners are designed to fit in the mmWave Test Solution AC1120 modular antenna test chamber. The AC1120’s internal 89 cm x 89 cm x 220 (or 160) cm dimension leaves a comfortable clearance to a rotating DUO positioner, even when it holds a large AUT/DUT.

The DUO + AC1120 is an excellent solution for antenna test and development in larger applications incl. 5G CPE, 5G gNodeB and mmWave 5G Small Cells.

Contact us for more information about test solutions: info@mmwavetest.com

New! The compact AC888 test chamber

 

Learn more about the AC1120 test chamber

 

AC1224 - a modular walk-in sized test range

Easy-to-use spectrum analyzers for millimeter-wave and microwave frequencies.

Low loss, high sensitivity, and low noise floor give consistently high performance from the SAF series of spectrum analyzers.

The “Spectrum Compact” spectrum analyzers from SAF Tehnika fit perfectly with the AC888 and AC1120 chambers.

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