DLR Compact Test Range (DLR CTR)
Core Data
Hosting Legal Entity
German Aerospace Center
Legal Status
Research organisation
Münchener Straße 20, German Aerospace Center Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-HR), Weßling, PO: 82234 (Germany)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 2009
Scientific Description
Mission and objectives
The DLR Compact Test Range is fully equipped to perform antenna radiation measurements and RCS- (Radar Cross Section) characterisation.The facility is operated by the Microwaves and Radar Institute. The core component is a March Microwave Systems B.V. dual cylindrical parabolic reflector configuration. It provides far field conditions for accurate real time measurements. The reflectors are built of a precisely shaped aluminium layer that covers an aluminium-core honeycomb substructure. Their surface accuracy allows the reflectors to perform well from 1 GHz (30 cm wavelength) up to 100 GHz (3 mm wavelength). Their geometry results in a quiet zone diameter of up to 3.8 meters (in a height of about 5 meters above the ground floor level). They are set up in a 24 m x 11.7m x 9.7 m shielded anechoic chamber that is lined with pyramidal foam absorbers. Their design enhances the frequency range down to 300 MHz. A 6-axis model tower is used to handle the devices under test. Its first linear axis is a rail system that allows the model tower to completely roll out of the chamber. To perform radar cross section measurements, a Styrofoam tower can be erected on a second independent linear slide on the rails.

RI Keywords
RADAR, Antenna & RCS Measurments, Radar Cross Section, March Microwave Systems
RI Category
Aerospace and aerodynamics research facilities
Scientific Domain
Engineering and Energy
Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
ESFRI Domain
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Measurement Equipment

Control and measurement equipment is housed in an adjoining room close to the feed slide on the first floor level. A 4-port Rohde & Schwarz ZVA network analyser is used as RF-source and LO oscillator. The high measurement accuracy and fast sweep time enhance the capability of the CTR. It is placed in the control room close to the feed slide system. To change the feed antenna two stacked linear slides are available for comfortable feed antenna handling. The antenna itself is mounted on a polarisation turntable. Measurements are controlled by the control, post-processing and analysis software tool ARCS V3.5. The software is running on two identical quad-core personnel computers for reliability and data handling during data acquisition. The DLR TechLab building accomodates all hardware activities and all measurement chambers of the HR Institute. Specified by the Institute, the facility was assembled by March Microwave Systems B.V. into the “TechLab” building. in 2009 The ambient hall is designed to house the shielded, anechoic chamber. For the comfort of the user, the complete infrastructure facilities of the building are available. Owner of the system is the German Aerospace Center (DLR). System operations are under the responsibility of the Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-HR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.