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Anechoic Chamber Quiet Zone Calculation

(Rectangular Chamber)
The Quiet zone of an anechoic chamber describes a rectangular volume
where electromagnetic waves reflected from the walls, floor and ceiling are
stated to be below a certain specified minimum. There are two main
methods to calculate the quiet zone for a given chamber geometry. The first
is a detailed mathematical model, accounting for a volume of reflections
converging in the quiet zone, with a power gradient across them for how far
inside and outside the HPBW of the antenna the reflection is, and how many
times it reflects. The second method is to take the largest factor in this
calculation, and estimate based off of it. For the case of a rectangular
chamber, the largest factor in the detailed calculation is the wave that only
reflects once to reach the receiving antenna. There will be four such waves,
two from the sides, one from the ceiling, and one from the floor.
To calculate the quiet zone, first the chamber size must be decided. With the
chamber size selected, the size of the absorber cones must be decided. To
get a rough estimate of what to select a table for the specific material used
must be consulted. If a specific quiet zone is expected, but it requires large
cones, the large cones can be placed in key areas (such as the walls where
the bounce will take place, and the rear wall behind the DUT). Table 1 was
used for the case of the 8x8x12 chamber that will serve as an example for
the duration of this paper. For the example chamber the SFC-12 cones will be
used. The number denotes the height of the cones. The example chamber
will be used at 2-3 GHz, and the reflectivity for this frequency is
-40 dB.
Next the angle of incidence from the normal, that the wave will impact the
wall must be determined. For a rectangular chamber this is a simple
calculation. First the distance between the Tx and Rx antenna must be
determined. This is done by determining how far from the ends each antenna
will be. For the Tx 10 is selected since this is the length of the example
antenna that will be used. For the Rx, 16 is selected, since the cones at the
back wall are 12 and the platform requires 4 space to rotate a microstrip
DUT.
This leaves 910 between Tx and Rx:
12-14-10=910
(1)
Once this distance is determined, the height off the chamber floor of the
antennas must be determined. For the example chamber, half way up was

selected (4). Once these two distances are determined, a rectangle can be
drawn, for the example chamber this rectangle is 4x910. The rectangle is
then divided by two lines that meet in the middle of the rectangle at the top.
These represent the wave reflecting off the chamber wall then hitting the
receiving antenna. The angle that is needed is the angle this wave reflection
makes with the normal of the chamber wall. It is found by taking the
arctangent of the height of the rectangle divided by the length of the
rectangle. The result is then subtracted from 90. For the example chamber
the calculation was:
4 ' 10 } =50.9}
4'

90 tan 1

(2)

With the angle of incidence calculated, Table 2 can be used to look up the
multiplier used to calculate the off incidence reflectivity of the material. For
the example chamber 12 cones are 3 wavelengths tall, so the 2 wavelength
coefficient .82 and the 4 wavelength coefficient .95 are averaged together
for a coefficient of .885. This coefficient is then multiplied with the normal
incidence reflectivity of the absorber selected. For the example chamber this
works out to:
-40 dB * .885 = -35.4 dB

(3)

(3) is the adjusted reflectivity.


Next, the transmitting antennas radiation pattern is analyzed. 90 minus the
angle of incidence calculated previously is the angle from the normal of the
Tx antenna that the wave leaves from. Looking at the radiation pattern from
the Tx antenna, the angle from Txing normal is located, then the power at
that angle is read out. This power is subtracted from the maximum power of
the antenna. This value (in dB) is the how much less powerful the wave is
when it reflects off the wall. This number (positive) is subtracted into the
adjusted reflectivity (negative) to quantify the effect of a less powerful wave
interfering at the Rx DUT. For the example chamber and Tx antenna, the
power difference at the angle from transmitting normal was found to be -4
dB so the new adjusted reflectivity is:
-35.4 dB 4 dB= -39.4 dB
(4)

The last value needed to calculate the quiet zone is a random phase
correction. The waves reflecting off the chamber walls will be converging at
the Rx DUT with random phases. This will cause some random cancellation of
the main transmitted beam in the quiet zone. Therefore an industry standard
value of -6 dB is subtracted from the adjusted reflectivity (negative) thus
decreasing the magnitude of the reflectivity. In the example chamber this
works out to be:
-39.4 dB (-6 dB) = -33.4 dB.
(5)
This is the quiet zone reflectivity for the chamber being analyzed.

Chambe
r Size

4x4x8
4x4x8
4x4x8
6x6x12
6x6x12
8x8x12
8x8x12

Absorbe
r Height
flat
8
12
8
12
12
24

Distanc
e Tx-Rx
6'8"
6'2
5'10
10'2
9'10
910
8'10

Angle of
Incidence
59

Angle
from Tx
Normal
31

57
55.6
59.5
58.6
50.9
47.8

33
34.4
30.5
31.4
39.1
42.2

Absorber
Reflectivit
y
-15
-35
-40
-35
-40
-40
-50

Absorber
Coefficient
at
Effective
incidence Reflectivity
.31
-4.65
.7
-24.5
.8
-32
.66
-23.1
.705
-28.2
.885
-35.4
.999
-50

Table 3: Sample calculations for various chamber sizes


(no Tx antenna selected so calculations could not be
completed.)

Quiet
Zone

-33.4
-47