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About Us

The MESA Antenna test facility provides cost competitive, rapid access, high accuracy antenna RF performance certification and calibration services for JPL spacecraft telecommunications systems and flight instruments such as Radars and Radiometers. The facility also supports developmental RF testing and characterization in support of JPL research and technology tasks. Measurement capabilities include antenna patterns and peak gain, polarization characteristics, Impedance and bandwidth, multipaction and ionization breakdown testing.

Key advantages the MESA test facility provides to JPL and NASA include:

  • Cost (lower facilities usage cost, no travel cost, H/W transportation cost)
  • High Accuracy Measurements
  • JPL measurement expertise
  • Ranges adaptable to specific project needs
  • Convenient location
  • Range availability
  • In-house prioritization
  • Quick response
  • 24-7 measurements available

The MESA Antenna Test Facility was originated by JPL in 1960 to support antenna testing for the Ranger program and has undergone numerous facilities upgrades and additions over its 50+ years of service. Highlights of the investments made in the MESA facility include:

Mariner 3 & 4 tested on West Range

Mariner 3 & 4 Mars Missions
Tested on West Range
Launched November 1964

  • Original Building 212 construction (1961)
  • Building 212 expansion (1964)
    • 60-ft chamber
    • 40-ft chamber
    • Upstairs office space
  • Model range upgrade (1965)
  • High power vacuum chamber facility (1966)
  • Additions in the 1970-1980 time-frame:
    • West Range Control room (circa 1970)
    • 60-ft and 40-ft chamber ante rooms
    • 3000-ft range control rooms
  • Plane polar nearfield range (circa 1985)
  • Cylindrical nearfield range (circa 1994)
  • 94-GHz cylindrical nearfield upgrade (circa 2000)
  • NSI Planar Nearfield Scanner (ESTO - 2008)
  • Spherical nearfield measurements (2010)

Surveyor 1-7 tested on West Range   Mars Mariners 8 & 9 tested on West Range

Surveyor 1 - 7 Lunar Landers
Tested on West Range
Launched 1966 - 1968


Mars Mariners 8 & 9
Tested on West Range
Launched May 1971