Iceland's first anechoic chamber
The first radio-frequency anechoic chamber in Iceland can now be found in the basement of the RU University Campus. The chamber has been customized for the needs (and budget) of the Engineering Optimization & Modeling Center (EOMC) at RU. It is about 7m x 4m x 3m in size, electrically shielded, and covered inside with aborbers that suppress reflections of electromagnetic waves within it.
The primary purpose of the chamber is measurements of antennas and antenna arrays, in particular, their radiation patterns; however, the chamber can also be used for other purposes such as measurements of electromagnetic compatibility. The chamber will be used by EOMC led by Dr. Slawomir Koziel, professor at RU School of Science and Engineering (SSE). The chamber as well as necessary gear and measurement equipment (e.g., vector network analyzer) has been co-funded by Rannís and SSE, and assembled by Dr. Koziel and his research group members. Parts of the chamber, in particular measurement towers and controls for them, have been designed within RU.
Dr. Slawomir Koziel in the chamber
Anechoic chamber is a facility that is necessary for conducting any serious research in antenna engineering, specifically, for experimental validation of antenna prototypes. It can be found in many universities and research institutes all over the world. “Until now we have had to outsource experimental validation of our antenna designs.
Having the testing facilities here will help us immensely in our research,” Slawomir explains. The chamber emulates (electromagnetically) open space environment which is critical for reliable radiation field measurements. Inside the chamber there are two towers, one containing a reference antenna and the other the antenna under test. The position (rotation angles) of both towers can be controlled from outside to allow fully automated 2D and 3D radiation pattern scans.
The measurements can be conducted in the frequency range from 1 GHz (limited by the physical size of the chamber) to around 20 GHz (currently limited by available measurement equipment, cables, etc.), which covers most of the current needs of Dr. Koziel‘s group.