National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Microwave Systems Laboratory (MSL)



The MSL houses five antenna measurement ranges which support the research and development of communication systems. Although used primarily to characterize the performance of microwave antennas, the ranges can be used for communication system studies and to study other types of electromagnetic phenomena such as scattering.

These ranges have been used to accelerate development of novel, low TRL large aperture deployable and steerable antennas, antenna phased array feeds for primary aperture shape compensation, miniaturized antennas for Bio-medical applications and superconducting/cryogenically cooled antennas.


  • Frequency range: 2-50 GHz, with unique laser radar surface metrology
  • Max. Antenna Size: 6 meters, with unique 7×7 m scan plane
  • Near Field and Far Field Measurements, with unique dynamic BER capabilities
  • Bridge Cranes and Loading Ramp Assist Setup with 15 ton Capacity AZ/EL Positioner
  • Radar Cross Section Measurements (Compact Range)
  • Up to 40′x40′x60′ Test Volume (Near Field Measurements)
  • 18’x12’x30’ Anechoic Chamber Test Volume (Far Field Measurements)

Research Projects

  • Satellite communication antennas for space and ground segment terminals
  • Evaluation of aeronautical terminal antennas
  • Evaluation of phased array antennas, reflectarray antennas
  • Large aperture inflatable antenna characterization
  • Electromagnetic scattering measurements
  • Evaluation of multi-beam antennas AND mobile antennas
  • Bit Error Rate performance measurements of scanning antennas
  • Characterization of miniaturized antennas

Potential Uses

  • Measurement of mechanically large microwave antennas
  • Measurement of electrically small microwave antennas
  • Antenna and Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements

Point of Contact: Dr. Félix Miranda, 216-433-6589