Validation of electromagnetic compatibility chambers with a spherical wave expansion approach
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) radiated emissions measurements above 1 GHz are performed in a nominal free space environment as required by international standards, typically in an anechoic chamber. In an EMC chamber, the test zone consists of a circular region defined by a turn table, where an equipment under test is rotated and measured. The test zone is commonly referred to as quiet zone (QZ). Due to the non-ideal nature of absorbers, multiple reflections in the chamber affect the quality of the QZ. The constructive and destructive interferences from the reflections form standing waves in the QZ. The maximum value of the standing wave is used as the figure of merit for validation of testing facilities. Site Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (sVSWR) as specified in CISPR 16-1-4 is broadly used for the validation of test sites above 1 GHz. This method requires the measurement of six positions along a linear 40 cm transmission path at various locations in the QZ, with a frequency step of no greater than 50 MHz using an omnidirectional-like antenna (e.g. a dipole). Concerns have been raised that this method delivers an overly optimistic result due to both spatial and frequency domain undersampling. In this work, an alternative method to sVSWR for the validation of EMC chambers based on Spherical Mode Coefficients (SMC) is proposed. Two 90°-rotated measurement cuts of an omnidirectional-like antenna are acquired around the periphery of the circular QZ. The measured situation and cut is replicated by applying translation and rotation of spherical waves to the known SMCs of the used omnidirectional-like antenna and transforming using the spherical wave expansion. The generated and measured cut are compared and the characteristics of the chamber are extracted. The major advantage of this method is the relatively high measurement speed and reliability.