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In this paper, we present the design, optimization, fabrication, and measurement of a negative index metamaterial (NIM) buckyball shell lens to steer phased array antenna (PAA) beams to the horizon. The conformal mapping technique of transformation optics is utilized in the design process to facilitate with lens fabrication. A new dual polarization unit cell is designed to avoid the issues associated with short cut wires, were a split ring resonator (SRR) and wire design to be used. The lens is measured using an actual PAA and it demonstrates to-the-horizon scanning as designed, although the material loss is high. An improved unit cell design is proposed to reduce several known loss mechanisms. A new lens design methodology using Bezier curves as seed surfaces is also described.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011