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Low-cost antenna array and phased array architectures — Design concepts and prototypes

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2 Author(s)
Busuioc, D. ; Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada ; Safavi-Naeini, Safieddin

Recent telecommunications standards are requiring antenna technologies to evolve towards low-cost, high-integration packages. Furthermore, higher gain and radiation pattern constraints result in the need of steerable, versatile antenna arrays. One of the key requirements is the overall cost, including non-recurring engineering or designs costs should be reasonably low for consumer market applications. Additionally, an increasing number of applications planned in the near- to mid-term require flexible and/or conformal antennas. Previously developed antenna array technologies have found usage primarily in military-based applications, where design and development time, as well as size are of secondary importance to the antenna performance. As such, bulky phased array antennas have been implemented in the past where the constraints have been primarily on the high-performance of the overall system rather than a certain packaging technology or end-user low-cost application. This paper will discuss a new approach towards more compact integration, discussing initial design of a Ku-band, metallic-waveguide fed active/passive array, and the lead-in to a more cost-effective technology for array feeds. Additional discussion will be on the development of the new printed circuit board waveguide (PCB-WG) and applications at Ku-band, as well 18 GHz and 60 GHz with a variety of antenna elements. Versatility of the new technology is illustrated through the comprehensive design of a 36 GHz dielectric resonator array (DRA). Future development of technology is examined towards the end of the paper. Furthermore, this paper will illustrate how additional research goals and motivations in the field of array antennas can be addressed by the new technology. Such issues as packaging of antenna arrays and front end circuitry to increase the overall gain and reduce the noise figure (NF), as well as novel methods for developing front-end active circuitry will become evident from the core technol- - ogy development. This can lead to minimizing loss throughout the system, decrease cost, and reduce the overall size.

Published in:

Phased Array Systems and Technology (ARRAY), 2010 IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct. 2010