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Low-cost, high-efficiency quasi-planar array of waveguide-fed circularly polarized microstrip antennas

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4 Author(s)
Shahabadi, M. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Tehran, Iran ; Busuioc, D. ; Borji, A. ; Safavi-Naeini, S.

A low-cost quasiplanar Ku-band array of circularly polarized microstrip antennas benefiting from a low-loss waveguide feed network is demonstrated (patent pending). The 32 elements of the array which are arranged in a 2-by-16 configuration are subdivided into four two-by-four subarrays. To maintain feed losses and thus the overall noise temperature at a minimum, the subarrays are excited using a one-by-four corporate feed network of hollow metallic waveguides. This network is composed of E-plane components such as Tee-junctions and bends and is manufactured out of only two metallic pieces that accommodate the feed network in the form of milled grooves. Because of insensitivity of the exploited E-plane components to air gaps or slight misalignments, the pieces are secured together with only four screws without welding, braising, or conducting adhesives. Owing to a low-loss foam substrate, the array elements show high circular polarization gain of 9 dBic and wide relative bandwidth of 4%. To achieve circular polarization, use is made of circular patches with two nearly perpendicular perturbations. Using sequential rotation of the elements along with quadrature phase shifting, the axial ratio of the array is reduced to 1 dB over 4% of bandwidth. The measured circular polarization gain of the array amounts to 23 dBic with an aperture efficiency of 63% in the Ku-band of frequencies. The achieved efficiency, which is higher than the reported efficiency for comparable planar arrays with microstrip feed networks, can be credited to the low losses of only 0.2 dB in its waveguide corporate feed. The paper also presents measurement results for an arrangement of two inclined single arrays mounted in parallel. This configuration which has a measured circular polarization gain of 25.7 dBic with an axial ratio of 1 dB is desirable for mobile low-profile antenna systems.

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Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 6 )