Southwest Antennas performs in-house testing in addition to partnering with certified third-party antenna test and measurement labs to independently validate the performance of our antenna designs.

Every Southwest Antennas design starts with comprehensive modeling and analysis in Altair FEKO, our RF and EM simulation software environment. Using custom simulation models refined from years of design experience and customer feedback, our RF engineers can test multiple iterations of a design in a digital environment that closely mirrors real-world performance expectations.

After the antenna design has passed the initial simulation benchmarks, prototype units are built and tested to ensure conformance to planned electrical, mechanical, and environmental specifications for the finished product. Southwest Antennas maintains its own rapid prototyping department and machine shop in order to provide our engineering and production staff the ability to test new antenna designs quickly.

 

Antenna Environmental and Mechanical Testing

In-house environmental and mechanical testing is performed by our internal product testing and qualification department to ensure our products meet the specifications expected by our customers and outlined on our datasheets. Testing performed at Southwest Antennas includes:

  • Wind-load testing
  • Torque testing
  • Bend and flex testing for springs and goosenecks
  • Temperature testing
  • Pressure testing
  • Submersion testing
  • IP rating tests for water and dust

Additional MIL-SPEC testing can be performed by certified third-party partners to meet specific customer / program requirements on an as-needed basis.

 

Antenna Electrical Performance Testing

To validate the electrical performance of new antenna designs, Southwest Antennas performs the following tests:

  • Return loss and VSWR measurements across operational frequency bands on our Vector Network Analyzers
  • Gain beamwidth, and axial ratio testing at our in-house test range
  • Antenna pattern and additional gain measurement at an outside test facility to independently verify antenna performance. The third-party test lab holds the following certifications:
    • ISO 17025 accredited
    • A2LA accredited
    • CTIA certified
    • Verizon certified

Antenna electrical performance is used to ensure the antenna design is operating to its stated specifications and is retained on file in order to provide design validation and traceability.

 

Antenna return loss measurement on Vector Network Analyzer

Antenna return loss measurement on Vector Network Analyzer

 

Anechoic chamber interior

Southwest Antennas Omni-Directional Antenna positioned in an anechoic chamber for radiation pattern and gain testing

 

Southwest Antennas Omni-Directional Antenna positioned in an anechoic chamber for radiation pattern and gain testing