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Harmonic radar transceiver design: miniature tags for insect tracking

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2 Author(s)
Colpitts, B.G. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada ; Boiteau, G.

The design and operation along with verifying measurements of a harmonic radar transceiver, or tag, developed for insect tracking are presented. A short length of wire formed the antenna while a beam lead Schottky diode across a resonant loop formed the frequency doubler circuit yielding a total tag mass of less than 3 mg. Simulators using the method-of-moments for the antenna, finite-integral time-domain for the loop, and harmonic balance for the nonlinear diode element were used to predict and optimize the transceiver performance. This performance is compared to the ideal case and to measurements performed using a pulsed magnetron source within an anechoic chamber. A method for analysis of the tag is presented and used to optimize the design by creating the largest possible return signal at the second harmonic frequency for a particular incident power density. These methods were verified through measurement of tags both in isolation and mounted on insects. For excitation at 9.41 GHz the optimum tag in isolation had an antenna length of 12 mm with a loop diameter of 1 mm which yielded a harmonic cross-section of 40 mm2. For tags mounted on Colorado potato beetles, optimum performance was achieved with an 8 mm dipole fed 2 mm from the beetle attached end. A theory is developed that describes harmonic radar in a fashion similar to the conventional radar range equation but with harmonic cross-section replacing the conventional radar cross-section. This method provides a straightforward description of harmonic radar system performance as well as provides a means to describe harmonic radar tag performance.

Published in:

Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 11 )