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A four-element phased array antenna prototype with varactor tuning has been constructed. The design employs aperture-fed quarter-wave patch elements and loaded-line phase shifters, having a phase adjustment range of about 50/spl deg/, which enables beam steering up to 13/spl deg/ from the array boresight. The system is suitable as a building block for larger arrays and shows as such a maximum gain of 7.7 dBi and an impedance bandwidth of 1 GHz. The sidelobe level is better than -13 dB. Problems encountered include parasitic resonances which disturb matching, and partially deteriorate the radiation pattern. Additionally, mechanical manufacturing tolerances of the microstrip boards were not always adequate, whereby a 6% shift in the center frequency, some impedance errors, and phasing inaccuracies were observed.