After the integration of the MAGICA antenna in the SEAT vehicle, it was needed to characterise the performance of the antenna under the influence of the car structure. The facilities of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Italy, allows the testing of the performance of the antenna integrated in the car directly inside its enormous anechoic chamber.
It was a great opportunity for the MAGICA project to characterize the antenna performance in a car environment for the first time in the development of the project.
Last July, the car itself arrived at JRC facilities with the antenna already integrated inside the spoiler. During the first day, the tests were carried out with the car in the middle of the impressive anechoic chamber.
The second day was aimed to test the antenna aisle outside the car, so it was placed in the middle of the anechoic chamber to be measured. The last of the days of the testing campaign the idea was to place the antenna in the same relative position as where it was when integrated in the car, and to measure the performance. This was useful to compare the antenna behaviour in a direct way with the performance inside the car.
With the test finalized, the car was sent back from Italy to Nextium by Idneo facilities and the measurements results could be analyzed.
One of the outcomes of these tests is the radiation pattern, which has been compared with the already available free space radiation pattern.
The main conclusion of the test at JRC is that the car structure has a low impact on the overall performance of the antenna. The field testing should confirm that the set up had no impact on the measurement results of the tests.
The MAGICA antenna has a high-precision behavior that will enable the achievement of a high-accuracy positioning needed for the autonomous vehicle.