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A MEMS based TDU phasor design for a K-band quasi-active aperture phased array airborne communications antenna

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4 Author(s)
Lee, E.K. ; Div. of Electron. Sensors & Syst., Northrop Grumman Corp., Baltimore, MD, USA ; Myers, B.R. ; Colter, K.C. ; Witmer, R.B.

A compact MEMS TDU has been designed, built, and tested in cooperation with the AFRL/IFGC to demonstrate the feasibility of using MEMS switches in a K-band application in which the low loss advantages of MEMS switches enable the efficient design of a quasi-active aperture phased array receive antenna for airborne communications. The design had to conform to a compact footprint in order to accommodate the tight antenna element spacing requirements at K-band frequencies. The design meets the low insertion loss requirements while successfully addressing the problem of increased parasitic effects due to the elevated frequency of operation and circuit crowding associated with a compact package. In this application the MEMS are used to control the phase change elements which provide the beam steering in a quasi-active aperture antenna. The phase change elements in this application were implemented through the use of time delay units (TDU's) in order to optimize accurate antenna-beam-steering over frequency.

Published in:

Phased Array Systems and Technology, 2003. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

14-17 Oct. 2003