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Iteration of a MEMS-based, Ka-band, 16-element sub-array

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7 Author(s)
Evans, E. ; Aviation & Missile Res., Dev., & Eng. Center, U.S. Army, Redstone Arsenal, AL, USA ; Rock, J.C. ; Hudson, T. ; Chaffin, M.
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The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center has been involved in a research and development program aimed at furthering phased arrays for both tactical seekers and communication links. The program has been pursuing both MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) and MMIC-based phase shifters with an overall goal of affordability traded against performance. In a collaborative effort with the Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), the AMRDEC has worked to improve the maturity of Radio Frequency (RF) MEMS devices for use in phase shifters for phased arrays. This paper will present an iteration of the microwave antenna consisting of a 16-element phased sub-array with RF MEMS-based phase shifters, which was developed and tested on a previous task. On this task, the microwave Transmit/Receive (T/R) circuitry was added to the slat assembly to provide amplification on both transmit and receive. This paper will present the lessons learned and actions to be addressed before MEMS is a viable option for phase shifting. Some of the items of significance in this design are the MEMS phase shifters, the 16-way Taylor weighted power divider, the Vivaldi antennas and the microwave T/R circuitry. Resulting antenna patterns at different frequencies and multiple steering angles will be presented. A discussion of the results of the test and future plans will be explored. The background work for this paper was presented at the 2010 IEEE Aerospace Conference. This paper includes that information along with complete documentation of the laboratory evaluation.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2011