Facility for Over-the-Air Research and Testing FORTEFacility for Over-the-Air Research and Testing FORTE

Facility for Over-the-Air Research and Testing (FORTE)

At our Facility for Over-the-Air Research and Testing  (FORTE) we conduct far field tests for mobile satellite terminals, measure 5G phased-array antennas, deploy an over-the-air test environment for communication and navigation systems and emulate virtual electromagnetic environments using wave-field synthesis and wireless cable.

The facility hosts the three research platforms SatCom, 5G-mmWave and MIMO-OTA.

TU Ilmenau
TU Ilmenau

Research Platform SatCom

For type approvals and industrial projects, we test SatCom On The Move (SOTM) Terminals in collaboration with terminal manufacturers and satellite providers. Tests are conducted for land mobile and maritime applications. The platform enables synchronized realistic rendering via satellite, motion, channel and GPS emulators. It features a motion emulator and is complemented by a 50m high antenna tower to mount satellite payload emulators with 80 MHz bandwidth.

Our collaborators are:

  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Global VSAT Forum
  • Eutelsat

Components of our research platform:

  • Motion Emulator
    • Inclination: ±45º
    • Speed: 300 º/s, Acceleration: 1000 º/s2
  • 50m antenna tower to mount satellites of 16º or 24º
TU Ilmenau
Over-the-Air-Tests in virtueller elektromagnetischer UmgebungTU Ilmenau
Over-the-Air-Tests in virtueller elektromagnetischer Umgebung

Research Platform MIMO-OTA

With wave-field synthesis and wireless cable we test transceivers up to 6 GHz for mobile broadband (LTE, 5G), GNSS, industrial communications, V2V and V2I using Up to 384 Channels at a frequency range of 70 MHz to 6 GHz (80 MHz bandwith). To generate the signals we have a Spirent GNS9000 and a Rohde & Schwarz CMW 500 and for the channel modelling we use geometry-based stochastic models, raytracing and measured channels.

Technical key parameters

  • Frequency range: 350 MHz – 6 GHz
  • Bandwidth: 80 MHz
  • RF Output: +10 dBm
  • Connectivity: 12 Inputs x 32 Outputs=384 Channels
TU Ilmenau
5G mmWave Research Platform

Research Platform 5G mmWave

The research platform enables us to measure antenna characteristics in far field (antenna patterns, gains, HPBW, SLL), beamforming and null-steering abilities. We test 5G beamforming antennas (frequency range FR2) in industrial projects (Anokiwave, Alcan, Kymeta) and develop the platform through public projects.