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The Future of Antennas

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3 Author(s)
Adcock, M.D. ; American Systems Incorporated, Inglewood, Calif. ; Hiatt, R.E. ; Siegel, K.M.

Although the rate and direction of advancement of the antenna field depends to a large extent on new inventions and techniques, and on the discovery of new materials, it is possible to indicate some of the trends which may be expected. The major advances in the near future will probably come in the areas of data-processing antennas and dynamic antennas. In the data-processing antenna, increased information is obtained by processing the signals available at the antenna terminals; in dynamic antennas, antenna performance is enhanced by time-modulating the aperture transfer function. It is likely that the most significant applications of dataprocessing antennas will be in the fields of radio astronomy and communications. Electronic scanning, another well-known technique of beam pointing, should lend itself naturally to the data-processing antenna approach, particularly since, for other purposes, the arrays will be used with computers. Such antennas will supersede movable large reflector types, for communication with space vehicles. Very large electronic scanning antennas will probably be built on the ground or on a horizontal plane, for minimum wind resistance. It may be expected, further, that electronic scanning arrays will be built in various shapes for installation on missiles or satellites. In order to achieve larger antennas for increased tracking and communications capability, greater transmitted power, larger apertures, and natural geographic features may be used as foundation elements of the antenna. Canyons and cliffs, for example, could be used as reflecting surfaces if suitably coated.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 5 )