The Radio Anechoic Chamber/DTU-ESA facility at DTU Elektro (Photo: Torben Nielsen)

DTU invests in advanced electromagnetic test centre

Wednesday 12 Dec 18
New centre will strengthen the University’s position as an international leader in the research and testing of electromagnetic systems.

DTU has decided to significantly expand its existing facilities for testing electromagnetic systems through the construction of a brand new building, which will house more new anechoic chambers as well as classrooms.

The new centre will mean that, in the future, DTU will be able to perform more types of readings of antennas and circuits in the entire spectrum of microwaves, from 300 MHz to 300 GHz, which is unique in an international context.

DTU already holds a unique position within electromagnetic systems, including microwave technology for wireless communication and remote sensing, which is used in mobile phones, radar, satellites, medical equipment, security systems, and much more. This is due to a special test method developed at DTU that ensures a very high level of accuracy in the readings. This high level of accuracy is of crucial importance to the European space organization ESA, which uses the current anechoic chamber at DTU for testing satellite antennas.

Increased business collaboration
“The new DTU Electromagnetic Test Centre will enable us to further develop the existing high-precision antenna readings for ESA satellites as well as opening up the possibility for advanced readings of other microwave technologies used, for example, in 5G mobile phones, wireless networks, and car radars,” says Professor Olav Breinbjerg, DTU Electrical Engineering, who will be in head of the Centre.

Olav Breinbjerg emphasizes that the new centre will not only strengthen DTU research, but also give more students access to the anechoic chambers and open up possibilities for increased business collaboration.

“Today, we often receive inquiries from companies in Denmark and other countries that we unfortunately have to refuse, as our current test facilities are often fully booked several months into the future. But the added anechoic chambers will highly increase our ability to participate in these types of collaboration and also to complete them much faster than in the current test facilities. We are talking minutes instead of hours,” says Olav Breinbjerg.

DTU’s expertise in testing electromagnetic systems is unique and forms the basis for the close collaboration with ESA. DTU’s status as a reference laboratory for the space organization will continue. 

This status means that companies providing antennas for ESA satellites are subject to critical testing in DTU’s facilities. In the coming years, it will thus be the new ESA meteorological satellites, MetOp Second Generation that will be tested in Lyngby.

The construction of the new DTU Electromagnetic Test Centre will commence in 2020 and will be completed in 2022.

The building will house a total of four new laboratories, three anechoic chambers for different types of antenna readings, and a shielded room for measuring millimetre wave components and circuits.

The building will also house a large teaching laboratory and a study environment for student group work, assignment work, etc. Through a corridor, the new building will be connected to the existing DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility, where the reception area for all antennas and circuits will be located.

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