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Smooth-Walled Light-Weight Ka-Band Shaped Horn Antennas in Metallized Foam

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5 Author(s)
Rolland, A. ; Inst. of Electron. & Telecommun. of Rennes (IETR), Univ. of Rennes 1, Rennes, France ; Ngoc Tinh Nguyen ; Sauleau, R. ; Person, Christian
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Several smooth-walled axis-symmetrical dielectric-loaded horn antennas with large flare angles have been designed and characterized in Ka-band. They have been optimized using an in-house CAD tool based on the BoR-FDTD technique and genetic algorithms. Two antenna configurations have been compared: in the first case, only the metallic profile of the horn is shaped and the radiating aperture remains flat, whereas in the second one, the shapes of the horn profile and the aperture are simultaneously optimized. The impact of both techniques in terms of antenna size and performance is discussed. An original fabrication process (metallized foam) has been developed to produce monolithic prototypes. Two prototypes with optimized shapes have been fabricated, and their main characteristics (radiation characteristics, bandwidth, compactness, weight) are compared to those of a standard conical horn used as a reference (same flare angle, same diameter, but without shaped profile). Our results show that the proposed design and fabrication procedures enable us to produce reduced-size horns with high radiation efficiency; the total loss, including the transition loss, is lower than 1 dB in average around 29.5 GHz.

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Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 3 )