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The paper investigates the design of active phased arrays for communications satellites. In particular, consideration is given to the problems occurring when active arrays are required to produce multiple beams. There is a real need to keep the complexity of the array electronics to a minimum, but this conflicts with the desire to obtain the greatest possible freedom of control of the radiation pattern produced. The paper demonstrates a method of coping with the problem. Low-gain elements are used to provide design freedom and they are grouped into subarrays to limit the complexity of the rest of the system. With appropriate configurations of subarrays, greatly improved radiation pattern characteristics can be obtained and frequency reuse between multiple beams becomes feasible. A demonstration model of 108 microstrip patches grouped into 32 subarrays, operating at 12 GHz, has been constructed and verifies that the technique is effective.
Communications, Radar and Signal Processing, IEE Proceedings F (Volume:133 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: July 1986