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Planning and Scheduling

Antenna Test Range Planning and Scheduling

The Indoor and Outdoor antenna pattern test facilities can be reserved by contacting Joseph Vacchioni or Richard Hodges (see Technical Support page).  Some other specifics for using these facilities are as follows:

1. Facility Cost:

The following Table summarizes the cost for each range

Range Units / Day
243 10
212 East 10
212 West 10
256 East 10
40-ft Chamber 14
60-ft Chamber 14
1200-ft Range 12
3300-ft Aux. Range 14
3000-ft Range

14
Outdoor Test Space 2 (1st month)

Service Center Unit Cost Model

The antenna and high power test facility daily facilities usage rates are calculated by the following formula:

            Daily rate (unburdened dollars) = [Unit Rate] * [Units / Day]

The Unit Rate is periodically reviewed and revised to reflect current range usage and operating costs. As is the case with all JPL Service Centers, it is possible to incur a fiscal year end “retro” cost adjustment. This adjustment can either be positive (funds returned to customer account) or negative (additional test cost). The MESA budget is carefully planned to minimize the chance of any significant retro cost. For information on the current unit rate, please call Dr. Joseph Vacchione (x4-7253).

Due to funding limitations, several ranges are not maintained in a state of operational readiness and may incur an additional setup charge to verify proper operation and/or repair equipment. These ranges include but are not limited to: the outdoor farfield ranges, the 60-ft chamber indoor farfield rannge and any spherical nearfield measurement setup. For details please contact Dr. Joseph Vacchione (x4-7253).

2. Facility Usage:

  1. Given the unique characteristics of antenna pattern and gain measurements, customers are encouraged to employ the services of the trained MESA staff as an antenna test lead.  The MESA can provide a cost estimate for turnkey antenna measurement services as described below and the customer should include these costs as LABOR or SERVICE line items in their project budgeting process. This staff will work with the customer to develop a test plan, setup and run the test, provide test data, and generate the final test report.  The customer is responsible for the labor cost of the antenna test lead, including the time to develop, write and get approval of the test procedures and final report. Additional labor costs may include test technicians, test monitors required by project, “buddy system” labor if required for off-hours test campaigns, mechanical technicians for mounting large antennas, etc. Other potential costs include SERVICES such as laser metrology needed to perform range equipment alignment and determine antenna electrical to mechanical boresight.
  2. Antenna ranges are available for use by qualified antenna test engineers and technicians to perform their own test campaigns. Facility usage charges apply. Additional costs may be incurred for special range setups, facility use training, test equipment or test equipment damaged during testing.


3. Required Equipment:
  1. Service Center Provided Equipment: The service center charges include the use of the antenna range. Special tests may require purchase of additional test equipment or equipment rental that is subject to additional EIC usage charges. Unique test equipment purchased for an antenna test becomes property of the MESA unless otherwise stipulated in the Test Plan.
  2. Loan Pool Provided Equipment: The customer is responsible for the cost of Loan Pool provided equipment and calibration of this equipment. Depending on the test procedure developed and approved by the Customer, the antenna test lead, and MESA Management, there may be additional calibrated loan pool equipment items (e.g. power meter, network analyzer, etc.).  The customer is responsible for the service cost of the loan pool equipment and should include this as a SERVICE line item in their project budgeting process.  

High Power Vacuum Test Planning and Scheduling

The Small Bell Jar Test Facility and Mesa High Power Bell jar test facilities can be reserved by contacting Joseph Vacchioni or Richard Hodges (see Technical Support page).  Some other specifics for using these facilities are as follows:

  1. Facility Cost:
    1. Mesa High Power Bell Jar: 14 units per day.
    2. Small Bell Jar Test Facility: 7 units per day.
  2. Facility Usage: Given the complexity of using the vacuum chambers and high power equipment used in these test facilities, customers must employ the services of trained Section 337 staff as a high power test lead. This staff will setup the test, work with the customer to develop a test plan, run the test, provide test data, and generate the final test report.  The customer is responsible for the labor cost of the high power test lead and any required support personnel, including the time to develop, write and get approval of the test procedure, and should include this as a LABOR line item in their project budgeting process.
  3. Required Equipment:
    1. Service Center Provided Equipment: The service center charges include the use of the vacuum chambers. Additional high power test sources are available for use, though several are also subject to additional EIC usage charges. You should consult with the high power test lead to see if a source exists for your operating power and frequency, and if there are any applicable EIC usage charges. If an amplifier is not available from the JPL inventory, the customer will have to supply the appropriate source. Required consumables costs, such as nitrogen, are also the responsibilities of the customer and should be included as a SERVICE line item in their project budgeting process.
    2. Loan Pool Provided Equipment: The customer is responsible for the cost of Loan Pool provided equipment and calibration of this equipment. Depending on the test procedure developed and approved by the Customer, the high power test lead, and Section 337, there may be several calibrated loan pool equipment items.  These may include high power meters, Spectrum analyzers, digital oscilloscope, network analyzer, and signal synthesizer items.  The customer is responsible for the service cost of the loan pool equipment and should include this as a SERVICE line item in their project budgeting process.