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A reflectarray element with electronic phase control implemented by ohmic MEMS switches is characterized and validated in the X-band. The proposed element is based on two patches aperture-coupled to a microstrip network with a common delay line, forming a sub-array, in order to reduce both cost and manufacturing complexity in large reflectarrays. The electrical length of the line can be modified through the inclusion of a series switch between different segments of the microstrip line. The ohmic electrostatic switch has been designed for RF applications and manufactured on a coplanar line. The transition between the coplanar line of the MEMS and the microstrip delay line has been implemented using gold wires which have been bonded to the printed pads. This connection leads to a high impedance line. The MEMS switches have been characterized using reflection and transmission measurements on microstrip lines for deducing an equivalent circuit, which has been used in the validation of the gathered element with electronic phase control measured using waveguide simulator. The same approach has been applied to evaluate a 2-bit reflectarray element.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012