Extending the capabilities of the centre for electromagnetism
The Compact Antenna Test Range
With an eye to industrys continued access to quality research and to the expertise available at the University of Pretoria, BE at UP has contributed financially towards the upgrading of a network analyser at the Centre for Electromagnetism to ensure the long-term viability of the facility. A hand-over ceremony took place at the Engineering Building I on 23 March 2010 to officially donate R200 000 for the upgrading of the facility.
The Centre for Electromagnetism, which operates under the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT), is working towards the replacement of the obsolete 18 GHz network analyser in the Compact Antenna Test Range. Funds were raised towards this goal with the support of Prof. Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the EBIT faculty. From a strategic point of view, extending the frequency range of the facility up to 40 GHz presents an opportunity for further exploration.
The high quality of research done by the experts at the Centre enables us not only to service industry but also to train future engineers to ensure the sustainability of the facility. A number of research outputs can be directly attributed to the consultation work performed by members of the Centre. This places emphasis on the importance to continue with collaborative efforts that encompass education, research and service, says Prof. Sandenbergh.
The Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) is primarily a research facility that is used extensively by researchers in the Centre for Electromagnetism (Profs J Joubert, JW Odendaal, JAG Malherbe and Dr JP Jacobs). It is used to measure antenna characteristics such as beam width, gain, side lobe levels and the polarisation of various sized antennas or antenna subsystems over a frequency range from 750 MHz to 40 GHz. Due to the facilitys unique capabilities, the Centre for Electromagnetism is providing RF and microwave free-field traceability to the local industrial community in partnership with the National Metrology Institute of South Africa. The CATR is ISO 17025:2005 accredited and is therefore able to perform calibrations of power density meters or radiation hazard monitors and antennas.
The transfer of knowledge to industry remains our top priority and also one of the main objectives of the University. The relationship between BE at UP and the Centre for Electromagnetism focuses on high quality knowledge transfer, which is why BE at UP takes pleasure in making a contribution towards the upgrading of the research facility. We are positive that it will further improve the quality of our service delivery to clients, says Deon Herbst, CEO of BE at UP.
From left Cilliers van der Merwe, BE at UP (General Manager); Deon Herbst, BE at UP (CEO); Prof. Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, BE at UP (Chairman of the Board); Prof. Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment & IT; Dr Pieter Jacobs, Member of the Electromagnetism Research Group; Prof. Johan Joubert, Head of Electromagnetism Research Group; Prof. Wimpie Odendaal, Director of the Centre for Electromagnetism.