DIATOOL: Speed up the antenna development cycle
After designing and fabricating an antenna for a specific purpose, it is crucial to measure how the antenna radiates. Sometimes, the measured radiation pattern does not agree with the pattern simulated in the design phase. When this is the case, it can be difficult to identify the root cause of the problem.
This is where antenna diagnostics software comes into play: such a software can reconstruct from the measured radiated field the currents or the field very close to the antenna under test. These can be inspected by an antenna engineer, like doctors do with x-ray images, to find the reasons of the anomalies in the measured pattern.
From 2004 to 2007, Cecilia Cappellin worked on her PhD project entitled Antenna Diagnostics for Spherical Near-Field Antenna Measurements at TICRA and the Technical University of Denmark. During the project, she developed an antenna diagnostics technique which took as input the radiated field of the antenna measured on a full sphere and transformed it to a plane just in front of the antenna. This allowed to reconstruct the field in the immediate vicinity of the antenna with an extremely high spatial resolution.
Shortly after this, Erik Jørgensen and Peter Meincke at TICRA developed an alternative method for antenna diagnostics based on an inverse Method of Moments formulation: the technique was able to compute fields on arbitrary surfaces enclosing the antenna under test, starting from a measured field acquired on arbitrary acquisition surfaces.
Together, these two methods constitute the core of DIATOOL, the antenna diagnostics software tool from TICRA released in 2011 and used since then around the world for diagnostics and post-processing of measured antenna fields.