Simple antenna characterisation using multiple VNAs: Page 7 of 7

May 25, 2017 //By Ing. C. Culotta-Lopez, Dipl.-Ing. T. Dallmann, IHF RWTH, Aachen, Germany and Dipl.-Ing. F. Gerhardes, Anritsu, Germany
This article shows how a set of two single-port vector network analysers (VNAs) that can be remotely operated via a LAN interface can be used for low-cost scalar transmission measurements for simple antenna characterisation. Practical results are included to show how antenna pattern and antenna gain measurements can be carried out with a very limited investment.


The aim of this measurement campaign was to prove the viability of free-space antenna measurements “on the lawn” using Anritsu ShockLine single-port USB VNA MS46121A modules that are linked over a long distance using an active USB-to-LAN converter.

The planned result was a qualitative comparison between the suppliers’ USLP 9143 specification and measured results of the antenna’s radiation pattern and realised gain. It has been possible to show that a limited investment in test & measurement hardware can deliver reasonably accurate results even in an environment that is far from optimal for antenna characterisation. The experimental setup is ideally suited to VHF and UHF applications where engineers are interested in quick results in order to prove antenna designs.



The content of this article is based on a student work at RWTH Aachen University’s Institute of High Frequency Technology that was supported by Anritsu GmbH. A full version of the original White Paper is available from Anritsu.



  1. Anritsu, ShockLine™ 1-Port USB VNA MS46121A, Available online at
  2. Jeffrey A. Fordham: “An introduction to antenna test ranges, measurements and instrumentation”, Microwave Instrumentation Technologies, LLC:
  3. S. Burgos, M. Sierra-Castañer: “Introduction to antenna measurement systems”, Technical University of Madrid:
  4. N.K. Nikolova, “Lecture 8: Basic Methods in Antenna Measurements”, Canada Research Chair in High-frequency Electromagnetics, 2014:
  5. Sergiy Pivnenko, “Antenna Measurements - Fundamentals and Advanced Techniques”, 24th International Travelling Summer School on Microwaves and Lightwaves, Technical University of Denmark, 2014:
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