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Printed wideband antenna array element with air cavity

Keywords:

A. R. Vilenskiy – Ph.D. (Eng.), Associate Professor of Bauman Moscow State Technical University; Senior Research Scientist of Bauman Moscow State Technical University Research Institute of Radio Electronic Technology
V. I. Litun – Senior Lecturer of Bauman Moscow State Technical University; Senior Research Scientist of Bauman Moscow State Technical University Research Institute of Radio Electronic Technology
E-mail: v.i.litun@bmstu.ru
K. V. Lyulyukin – Post-graduate Student, Bauman Moscow State Technical University; Junior Research Scientist of Bauman Moscow State Technical University Research Institute of Radio Electronic Technology
V. N. Mitrokhin – Dr.Sc. (Eng.), Professor of Bauman Moscow State Technical University; Chief Research Scientist of Bauman Moscow State Technical University Research Institute of Radio Electronic Technology


The presented paper concerns some results of wideband low-profile antenna array element development. The radiating element is in-tended for operation in C-band phased antenna array with relative bandwidth of more than 10% and beam steering conical sector of 80°. Usually, requirements on wideband performance and wide angular beam steering sector are contradictory for planar printed array elements. This phenomenon is caused by the fact that wideband printed patch antennas on electrically thick dielectric substrates inevitably possess high level of mutual coupling. As a result, it is complicated to achieve a wide angular beam steering performance. In this paper, we propose a dual-resonant printed patch radiator as an element for such wideband phased antenna array. The element is performed on a single layer dielectric substrate with additional rectangular air cavity in a metal base underneath the patch. Element’s structure is optimized during full-wave electromagnetic simulation inside Floquet channel for isosceles triangular array grid, with grid structure being rationally chosen on a basis of Floquet modes analysis. Simulation results predict 12% relative bandwidth by magnitude of input reflection coefficient level below 0,35 for 80° conical beam steering sector. It is also shown that array co-polarized scan blindness arises for H-plane beam steering nearby the appearance of the first propagating higher order Floquet mode. In the same time, a high level of cross-polarized radiation occurs. To verify the computed performance an antenna array fragment comprising of 7x6 elements was manufactured and measured. The experimental study pursued the target to measure elements mutual coupling. The discussion on the problem of correct coupling coefficients measurement between elements inside a finite size array fragment is given, with measurement and post-processing techniques being proposed. The highest measured coupling was observed between adjacent elements in E-plane, with coupling coefficient magnitude being lower than minus 20 dB. Next, active element input reflection coefficient was calculated using superposition principle concerning three surrounding rings of elements. The processed data demonstrates maximal level of averaged over 12% bandwidth input reflection coefficient magnitude of 0,35 for 60° conical beam steering sector. While for 80° conical beam steering sector the highest values of input reflection coefficient magnitude do not overcome 0,45 value. The simulation and measured results are in good agreement and both satisfy the requirements imposed on antenna array performance. Thus, we can conclude that the proposed element structure is suitable for wideband low-profile phased antenna array design with wide angular beam steering performance.

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