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A new method for reducing mutual coupling in a smart antenna array using patch antenna elements is proposed. In a recently introduced smart antenna architecture, the spatial multiplexing of local elements (SMILE) scheme, the newly proposed array feed network affects mutual coupling. It is demonstrated that proper design of the feed network may reduce mutual coupling significantly, yielding nearly ideal radiation characteristics. Numerical solutions are used to study and optimize the currents on the surface of a four-element C-band patch antenna array and feed network. Radiation patterns of the same array with different feed networks are also computed. Results show a reduction in sidelobe level of several decibels, increased accuracy in beam pointing during scan, and improved depth and placement.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2004