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A Fabry-Perot cavity (FPC) between a ground plane and a partially reflective surface (PRS) is used here to design array antennas with large distance between the radiating elements. This configuration provides some advantages: i) a reduction of the number of array elements to achieve high directivity; ii) large space between contiguous elements that may host a bulky feeding network as required for dual polarization or active antennas; iii) small coupling and easy feeding network designs because of the smaller number of elements with larger inter-element distance. We show that when designing the FPC antenna a frequency shift of the gain maximum may occur, especially in this sparse array configuration. We also show the existence of preferred distances between elements that controls both the directivity and the side lobe level, and how the presence of the FPC and the relaxed requirement of the interelement distance result in a lower interelement coupling. The presented dual polarized antenna comprises two interleaved 2 × 2 arrays placed in a 2-layer FPC, and exhibits a 19 dBi gain and 30 dB of isolation between the two ports over an operating bandwidth of approximately 5.7%, i.e., typical for patch antennas.
Date of Publication: July 2006