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REALIZATION OF A PLANAR LOW-PROFILE

BROADBAND PHASED ARRAY ANTENNA

DISSERTATION

Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for


the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the

Graduate School of The Ohio State University

By

Justin A. Kasemodel, M.S., B.S.

Graduate Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Ohio State University

2010

Dissertation Committee:
John L.Volakis, Co-Adviser
Chi-Chih Chen, Co-Adviser
Joel T. Johnson
ABSTRACT

With space at a premium, there is strong interest to develop a single ultra wide-

band (UWB) conformal phased array aperture capable of supporting communications,

electronic warfare and radar functions. However, typical wideband designs transform

into narrowband or multiband apertures when placed over a ground plane. There-

fore, it is not surprising that considerable attention has been devoted to electromag-

netic bandgap (EBG) surfaces to mitigate the ground planes destructive interference.

However, EBGs and other periodic ground planes are narrowband and not suited for

wideband applications. As a result, developing low-cost planar phased array aper-

tures, which are concurrently broadband and low-profile over a ground plane, remains

a challenge.

The array design presented herein is based on the infinite current sheet array

(CSA) concept and uses tightly coupled dipole elements for wideband conformal op-

eration. An important aspect of tightly coupled dipole arrays (TCDAs) is the capac-

itive coupling that enables the following: (1) allows field propagation to neighboring

elements, (2) reduces dipole resonant frequency, (3) cancels ground plane inductance,

yielding a low-profile, ultra wideband phased array aperture without using lossy ma-

terials or EBGs on the ground plane. The latter, is of course, critical for retaining

the apertures wideband behavior under conformal installations.

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This dissertation focuses on the realization of wideband phased array apertures

using tightly coupled dipole arrays. A methodology for designing planar apertures is

presented including: element selection, material loading, and unbalanced to balanced

conversion for wideband feeding. Multiple solutions and practical design examples are

presented to increase bandwidth, reduce height, avoid common mode excitation and

retain low-cost planar PCB manufacturability. Using one of these designs, a 64 ele-

ment low-profile X-band array prototype is fabricated and measured. The conformal

array is capable of scanning up to 70 and 60 in the E- and H-planes, respectively.

The active VSWR is less than 2 from 8 to 12.5 GHz (1.6:1) and the array height is

only /7 at the lowest frequency of operation. A unique feature of the proposed array

is its planar layered PCB construction. Specifically, a single microwave laminate is

used for the aperture while another supports all associated baluns and matching net-

works. Good agreement between simulations and measurements confirm the proposed

concepts.

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Dedicated to my family.

iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my advisor, Professor John

L. Volakis, for his guidance and advice. Not only has he taught me the academic

side of electromagnetics and engineering, but also the importance of communication

about what it takes be a successful professional and leader. His guidance and support

led me to present at conferences, publish papers and write proposals. I would also

like to sincerely thank my Co-Advisor Dr. Chi-Chih Chen for interesting discussions

and insight on antenna design, research methodology and measurement techniques.

He has been a great friend, mentor and truly is an antenna and electromagnetics

expert. Dr. Chen showed me different ways to approach a research problem and

the steps necessary to accomplish any goal. His honesty, intelligence and open door

policy has made the ElectroScience Lab a wonderful workplace and home for the

last four years. I want to thank the other students in the Volakis antenna group for

their challenging questions, interesting discussions and sharing their research during

our weekly meetings. In addition, I want to specifically thank my colleges and close

friends; Kenneth E. Browne, Mustafa Kuloglu, Brandan T. Strojny and Orbay Tuncay

for their collaboration, proof reading, support and suggestions.

v
VITA

September 2, 1984 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Born - Gillette, Wyoming

May, 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B.S. Electrical and Computer Eng.,


South Dakota School of Mines and
Technology, Rapid City, SD
August, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M.S. Electrical and Computer Eng.,
The Ohio State University, Columbus,
OH
September, 2006 - present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graduate Research Fellow,
The Ohio State University, Columbus,
OH

PUBLICATIONS

Journal Publications

1. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., Wideband Planar Array with
Integrated Feed and Matching Network for Wide-Angle Scanning, Under review:
Trans. Antennas and Propagation, IEEE.

2. Kasemodel, J.A.; OBrien, A.; Gupta, I.J.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., Small,
Conformal Adaptive Antenna of Spiral Elements for GNSS Receivers, Under review:
Trans. Antennas and Propagation, IEEE.

3. Kasemodel, J.A.; Volakis, J.L., A Planar Dual Linear Polarized Antenna with
Integrated Balun, To appear in Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, IEEE.

4. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Gupta, I.J.; Volakis, J.L., Miniature Continuous
Coverage Antenna Array for GNSS Receivers, Antennas and Wireless Propagation
Letters, IEEE, vol.7, no., pp.592-595, 2008.

vi
Conference Publications

1. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., Low-profile Wideband Phased


Array Antenna with Integrated Balun, Submitted to: Phased Array Symposium,
IEEE, Baltimore, MD, Nov., 2010.

2. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., Low-Cost, Planar and Wideband
Phased Array with Integrated Balun and Matching Network for Wide-Angle Scan-
ning, in Proc. Antenna and Propagation International Symposium, IEEE, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada, July 2010.

3. Volakis, J.L.; Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Sertel, K.; Tzanidis, I., Wideband
Conformal Metamaterial Apertures, in Proc. Antenna Technology (iWAT), 2010
International Workshop on , vol., no., pp.1-4, 1-3 March 2010.

4. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., Wideband Conformal Array with
Integrated Feed and Matching Network for Wide-angle Scanning, in Proc. URSI
National Radio Science Meeting, Boulder, CO, January, 2010.

5. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., A Novel Non-symmetric Tightly


Coupled Element for Wideband Phased Array Apertures, in Proc. Antennas Appli-
cations Symposium, Allerton, IL, Sept. 2009.

6. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Volakis, J.L., A Miniaturization Technique


for Wideband Tightly Coupled Phased Arrays, in Proc. Antennas and Propagation
Society International Symposium, Charleston, SC, June 2009.

7. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C., A Measurement Setup for Characterizing An-


tenna on an Infinite Ground Plane from 1 to 18 GHz, in Proc. Antenna Measurement
Technique Association Symposium, Boston, MA, November 2008.

8. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Gupta, I.J.; Volakis, J.L., Miniature Continu-
ous Coverage Wideband GPS Antenna Array, in Proc. Antennas and Propagation
Society International Symposium, San Diego, CA, July 2008.

9. Kasemodel, J.A.; Chen, C.-C.; Gupta, I.J.; Volakis, J.L., Compact Wideband
Antenna Array for GNSS Receivers, in Proc. Antenna Measurement Technique As-
sociation Symposium, St. Louis, MO, November 2007.

FIELDS OF STUDY
vii
Major Field: Electrical Engineering

Studies in:
Applied Electromagnetics
Antenna Design and Measurement Techniques

viii
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii

Dedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

Vita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

List of Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii

Chapters:

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.1 Motivation, Challenges and Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Broadband Phased Array Aperture using Tightly Coupled Dipoles . . . . 5

2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Planar Phased Array Antenna Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.2.1 Input Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.2 Scan Element Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.3 Equivalent Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.4 Linear and Dual Linear Polarization Properties . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.5 Feeding Network Consideration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
2.5.1 External 180 Hybrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.5.2 Low Cost Partially Balanced Coaxial Cable Feed . . . . . . 31
2.5.3 Impedance Matching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

ix
3. Broadband Phased Array Antenna Miniaturization . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.2 Antenna Miniaturization Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.3 Inductive Loading via Volumetric Meandering . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.4 Ferrite Substrate Loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.5 Capacitive Loading using a Non-Symmetric Element . . . . . . . . 45
3.6 Dielectric Superstrate Loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.7 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

4. Realization of Non-Symmetric Tightly Coupled Dipole Arrays . . . . . . 61

4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4.2 Wideband Balun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
4.3 Integration of Aperture and Feed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.4 Single Feed Demonstration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
4.5 64 Element Array Demonstration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.5.1 Scan Element Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.5.2 Mutual Coupling and Scan Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.5.3 Fully Excited Radiation Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
4.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

5. Conclusion and Future Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

x
LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

3.1 Miniaturized element performance comparison summary . . . . . . . 41

3.2 Ferrite resonant frequency comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

3.3 Dielectric constant for superstrate matching using Rogers TMM series
array PCB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

xi
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

2.1 (a) Infinite current sheet over a ground plane, (b) tightly coupled dipole
array implementation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

2.2 Planar phased array antenna elements under investigation inside unit
cell; (a) wire or connected dipoles, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot. . . 8

2.3 Active resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) for various antenna ele-
ments in free space scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2.4 Active reflection coefficient for different system impedances (Zo ) of


each antenna element in free space scanned to o = 0 ; (a) wire or
connected dipoles, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot. . . . . . . . . . . . 11

2.5 Active reflection coefficient for various antenna elements in free space
scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

2.6 Active resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) for various antenna ele-
ments when placed 8 mm over ground plane scanned to o = 0 . . . . 12

2.7 Active reflection coefficient for various antenna elements when placed
8 mm over ground plane scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

2.8 Active reflection coefficient for different system impedances (Zo ) of


each antenna element when placed 8 mm over a ground plane scanned
to o = 0 ; (a) wire or connected dipoles, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot. 14

2.9 E-Plane scan element pattern for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot array
when placed 8 mm over ground plane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

2.10 H-Plane scan element pattern for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot
array when placed 8 mm over ground plane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

xii
2.11 Simulated TCDA and calculated unit cell directivity. . . . . . . . . . 17

2.12 Surface current at 10 GHz; (a) wire, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot. . 18

2.13 Tightly coupled dipole array equivalent circuit in free space scanned
to broadside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

2.14 Equivalent circuit for infinite array in free space. . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

2.15 Equivalent circuit for ground plane backed infinite array. . . . . . . . 21

2.16 (a) Array impedance transformation for equivalent circuit. (b) Return
loss comparison for the ideal array in free space and with ground plane. 22

2.17 (a) Periodic unit cell dipole geometry. (b) Full wave array simulation
vs. equivalent circuit for different ground plane heights. . . . . . . . . 23

2.18 TCDA active reflection coefficient in free space and when placed 8 mm
over ground plane scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

2.19 Dipole scan element pattern at 10 GHz in the E-Plane ( = 0 ), D-


Plane ( = 45 ) and H-Plane ( = 90 ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

2.20 Dipole cross-polarization ratio over the upper hemisphere at 10 GHz. 26

2.21 Dipole cross-polarization ratio as a function of frequency when scan-


ning towards o = 30 , 45 , 60 in the diagonal plane ( = 45 ). . . . . 26

2.22 Tightly coupled dipole elements; (a) single polarization, (b) dual po-
larization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

2.23 Boresight directivity of the single and dual polarized TCDA. . . . . . 28

2.24 S-parameters of the dual polarized TCDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

2.25 Typical planar phased array antenna unit cell depicting the aperture,
interconnects and ground plane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

2.26 UWB balun using a 180 hybrid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

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2.27 (a) Tapered coaxial cable feed with external 180 hybrid (not shown).
(b) Broadside gain and realized gain using external hybrid. . . . . . . 31

2.28 Single coaxial cable balun with integrated matching circuit. The ground
plane and unit cell outline are not shown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

2.29 Single coaxial cable tapered balun active reflection coefficient with and
without ferrite bead choke. Note the common mode at 7.3 GHz. . . . 33

2.30 Single cable tapered balun depicting common mode electric field distri-
bution (left) and common mode suppression using a ferrite bead choke
(right). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

2.31 Wideband impedance matching using a single transmission line with


characteristic impedance Zm of length lm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.32 TCDA matching network example without matching (200 ) and with
matching network connected to a 100 system impedance. . . . . . . 36

3.1 Dipole unit cell with inductive miniaturization implemented using ver-
tical meandering and a 200 system impedance. . . . . . . . . . . . 40

3.2 Dipole unit cell with inductive miniaturization implemented using ver-
tical meandering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

3.3 TCDA ferrite substrate loading; (a) unit cell geometry, (b) active
VSWR, (c) resistance, (d) reactance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

3.4 TCDA ferrite substrate loading while maintaining ground plane elec-
trical separation; (a) unit cell geometry depicting reduced thickness
with r = 5, (b) active VSWR, (c) resistance, (d) reactance. . . . . . 44

3.5 Ferrite substrate electric field distribution; (a) rectangular cavity model,
(b) side view in x-z plane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

3.6 Dual polarized array with non-symmetric elements; (a) unit cell ge-
ometry, (b) infinite array reflection coefficient, Zo = 200,scanned to
o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

xiv
3.7 Baseline non-symmetric TCDA; (a) unit cell geometry for parameter
study, (b) input impedance with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm,
g = 10 mil, = 180 with the array placed 8 mm above the ground
plane scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

3.8 Baseline TCDA scan element pattern; (a) E-plane, (b) H-plane. . . . 48

3.9 Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t1 = 2 and 5 mm, (b) input
impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash)
with t1 varied, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil, = 180 , scanned
to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

3.10 Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t2 = 0.25 and 3 mm, (b)
input impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance
(dash) with t1 = t2 + g + 0.25 mm, t2 varied, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10
mil, = 180 , scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

3.11 Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t3 = 0.5 and 3 mm, (b)
input impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance
(dash) with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 varied, g = 10 mil, = 180 ,
scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

3.12 (a) TCDA input impedance, (b) corresponding resistance (solid) and
reactance (dash) with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g varied,
= 180 , scanned to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

3.13 Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with = 45 and = 275 , (b)


input impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance
(dash) with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil, scanned
to o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

3.14 Ground plane backed TCDA printed on a PCB with a single layer
dielectric superstrate of thickness t1 , and dielectric constant 1 . . . . . 55

3.15 (a) TCDA unit cell geometry printed on 20 mil thick TMM3 . (b)
Input impedance for different ground plane heights. . . . . . . . . . . 57

3.16 TCDA reactance for different ground plane heights. . . . . . . . . . . 57

xv
3.17 TCDA with single dielectric superstrate with 1 = 1.8 of varying thick-
ness, t1 , scanned to o = 0 ; (a) input impedance and (b) corresponding
resistance (solid) and reactance (dash). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

3.18 TCDA with two-layer dielectric superstrate with 1 = 2.2 of c,g /4


thickness and 2 = 1.4 of varying thickness, t2 , scanned to o = 0 ; (a)
input impedance and (b) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance
(dash). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

4.1 Proposed wideband microstrip coupled line ring hybrid with balanced
twin-wire output, a = 0.64516 mm, D = 0.88 mm, w1 = 38 mil, w2 =
20 mil, w3 = 17 mil, g2 = 3 mil, d = 5 mm; (a) geometry and (b) S
parameters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

4.2 Non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array unit cell with radome, in-
tegrated feed and matching network, the dimensions are: t1 = 1.75
mm, t2 = 0.75 mm, t3 = 1 mm, g = 7 mil, = 85 , a = 0.8128 mm,
D = 1.4 mm, w1 = 30 mil, w2 = 20 mil, w3 = 17 mil, w4 = 24 mil,
g2 = 3 mil, s = 1.7; (a) geometry and (b) active reflection coefficient
at broadside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

4.3 Performance of the array unit cell in Fig. 4.2(a); (a) broadside radia-
tion, (b) active VSWR over multiple principal plane scan angles. . . . 65

4.4 Non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array prototype (radome re-


moved); (a) fabricated 8 8 array, (b) center element reflection coef-
ficient with single and multiple elements excitations. . . . . . . . . . . 66

4.5 Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -)


scan element pattern when the center element is excited and all others
are terminated using 100 resistors; (a) E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane
at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at 10 GHz, (d) H-plane at 10 GHz, (e) E-plane
at 12 GHz, (f) H-plane at 12 GHz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

4.6 Array (8x8) broadside gain vs. frequency when the center element is
excited and all others are terminated using 100 resistors; (a) E-plane,
(b) H-plane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

4.7 Electric field magnitude; (a) probe location with strong coupling and
(b) improved probe location with minimal coupling. . . . . . . . . . . 69

xvi
4.8 Non-symmetric TCDA unit cell geometry with WAIM superstrate, in-
tegrated microstrip balun and twin wire matching network intercon-
nects, t1 = 1.75 mm, t2 = 0.75 mm, t3 = 1 mm, g = 7 mil, = 85 , a
= 0.8128 mm, D = 1.4 mm, w1 = 48 mil, w2 = 20 mil, w3 = 17 mil,
w4 = 14 mil, g2 = 3mil, s = 1.7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

4.9 Performance of the array unit cell in Fig. 4.8; (a) broadside radiation,
(b) active VSWR over multiple E-plane and H-plane scan angles. . . 70

4.10 X-band 64 element linearly polarized array prototype; (a) with radome,
(b) radome removed, (c) aperture removed displaying balun and twin-
wire interconnects, (d) SMP input connects underneath ground plane. 72

4.11 Radiation pattern measurement setup with fiberglass support. . . . . 73

4.12 Finite array broadside realized gain with element 29 excited and re-
maining elements terminated in 50 loads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

4.13 E-plane scan element pattern at 10 GHz with element 29 excited and
remaining elements terminated in 50 loads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

4.14 H-plane scan element pattern at 10 GHz with element 29 excited and
remaining elements terminated in 50 loads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

4.15 Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -)


average scan element pattern and standard deviation error bars for all
elements; (a) E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at
10 GHz, (d) H-plane at 10 GHz, (e) E-plane at 12.5 GHz, (f) H-plane
at 12.5 GHz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

4.16 SMA cable assembly with adapters and SMP cable. The original cal-
ibration plane is denoted (I), where the desired calibration plane is
depicted as III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

4.17 Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) fre-
quency domain, (b) time-domain, (c) time-gated time-domain. . . . . 78

4.18 Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) Smith
chart format to manually determine port extension delay, (b) copper
tape short circuited manual amplitude port extension. . . . . . . . . . 80

xvii
4.19 Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) SMA
calibration, (b) proposed calibration procedure using time-gating and
port extension, (c) 64 element phased array mutual coupling measure-
ment setup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

4.20 Mutual coupling across aperture with element 29 excited; (a) simulated
8 GHz, (b) measured 8 GHz, (c) simulated 10 GHz, (d) measured 10
GHz, (e) simulated 12.5 GHz, (f) measured at 12.5 GHz. . . . . . . . 84

4.21 Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element
29 excited; (a) element 1 - 4, (b) element 5 - 8, (c) element 9 - 12, (d)
element 13 - 16, (e) element 17 - 20, (f) element 21 - 24. . . . . . . . 85

4.22 Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element
29 excited; (a) element 25 - 28, (b) element 29 - 32, (c) element 33 -
36, (d) element 37 - 40, (e) element 41 - 44, (f) element 45 - 48. . . . 86

4.23 Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element
29 excited; (a) element 49 - 52, (b) element 53 - 56, (c) element 57 -
60, (d) element 61 - 64. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

4.24 Measured and simulated finite array element 29 active reflection coef-
ficient scanned to o = 0 , o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

4.25 Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -)


realized gain beam scanning performance from o = -60 to 60 in 10
increments; (a) E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at
10 GHz, (d) H-plane at 10 GHz, (e) E-plane at 12.5 GHz, (f) H-plane
at 12.5 GHz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

4.26 Finite array E-plane radiation pattern at 10 GHz scanned to o =


0 , 30 , 60 , o = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

4.27 Finite array H-plane radiation pattern at 10 GHz scanned to o =


0 , 30 , 60 , o = 90 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

4.28 Finite array broadside realized gain as a function of frequency with all
elements excited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

xviii
CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Motivation, Challenges and Objective

Traditional phased array designs are based on a single elements isolated perfor-

mance. It is of course well documented that mutual coupling in an array can cause

detrimental changes such as; element impedance variations, polarization degradation

and undesirable radiation patterns. In fact, mutual coupling is responsible for one

of the more difficult aspects of phased array design, that of uniform scan impedance.

However, in contrast to traditional array design, a fundamentally different approach

was recently proposed by Munk [2, 3]. Specifically, interelement capacitive mutual

coupling is used to cancel the ground plane inductance enabling wideband perfor-

mance. This is similar to frequency selective surfaces (FSS), another tightly coupled

periodic structure [4].

An important aspect of designing wideband phased arrays is element choice. Using

the traditional approach, an UWB array would require wideband elements such as;

transverse electromagnetic (TEM) horn [5], bunny-ear [6], tapered slot or Vivaldi [7]

and body-of-revolution (BOR) elements [8]. However, all these elements are three-

dimensional and require a large dimension normal to the aperture surface, typically a

1
depth on the order of 0.5 - 2 L , where L is the wavelength at the lowest operational

frequency. Further, due to the three-dimensional nature of these elements, they are

costly and often difficult to fabricate. In addition, depending on the element width,

arraying these elements close together to avoid grating lobes (commonly .5 H where

H is the wavelength at the highest frequency) is non-trivial.

In this dissertation, we expand on the concepts proposed by Munk and present a

new conformal array design that has several advantages; (1) inherently low-profile, (2)

conformal mounting on platforms (where a metallic ground plane is used), (3) simple

element geometry for simulation ease and (4) enables significant opportunity for cost

reduction using planar printed circuit board (PCB) technology to fabricate the array

aperture and feed circuitry. We also present practical realization and experimental

verification of a low-profile planar TCDA with an integrated balun capable of wide-

angle scanning. The key contributions of this dissertation are:

Developed a deeper understanding of tightly coupled dipole arrays and how

capacitive mutual coupling cancels the ground plane inductance and improves

bandwidth using equivalent circuits and full wave simulation.

Investigated, for the first time, multiple forms of phased array antenna minia-

turization using capacitive/inductive treatments and material loading. A new

non-symmetric element was developed to control mutual coupling and therefore

provide miniaturization and manipulate input impedance independently.

Developed multiple low-cost feed designs that incorporate balanced to unbal-

anced conversion and impedance matching while concurrently avoiding common

mode excitations and maintaining a low-profile.

2
Designed, fabricated and validated a wideband planar 64 element X-band array

capable of scanning up to 70 and 60 in E- and H-planes respectively, with

an active voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) < 2 from 8 - 12.5 GHz. The

conformal array is placed L /7 over a ground plane at the lowest frequency of

operation and fed using a microstrip hybrid. The latter, printed directly on the

ground plane, maintains the arrays low-profile and simple layered planar PCB

construction.

This dissertation is organized as follows:

Chapter 2 starts with an introduction to planar phased array antennas and demon-

strates the unique capability of tightly coupled dipole arrays to become increasingly

wideband in the presence of a ground plane. Specifically, we discuss how TCDAs op-

erate and why capacitive mutual coupling is beneficial. This is done using convenient

and easy to understand equivalent circuits validated with full wave simulations. Next,

specific TCDA designs and polarization properties are explored for single and dual

linear polarized apertures. Subsequently, feeding networks are discussed incorporat-

ing impedance matching, unbalanced to balanced conversion and avoiding common

modes.

In Chapter 3, antenna miniaturization using inductive and capacitive loading is

employed to design a wideband phased array antenna aperture. The specific aperture

is based on an infinite periodic array of dipoles geometrically modified to provide

additional design degrees of freedom to control mutual coupling. Specifically, each arm

on the dipole is different than the other, or non-symmetric, enabling efficient tuning of

inductance and capacitance, independently. The arms are identical near their center

feed portion, but change towards the ends, forming a ball-and-cup configuration.

3
Additionally, dielectric superstrates and magnetic substrates are presented to further

improve bandwidth, miniaturize and reduce height.

Chapter 4 presents an experimental demonstration of a 64 element (8 8) linear

polarized array prototype operating at X-band (8 - 12.5 GHz) [9]. Specifically, a

planar wideband feed providing impedance matching and unbalanced to balanced

conversion (while maintaining the arrays low-profile) is designed and integrated with

the antenna aperture. Practical realization challenges are identified and methods to

overcome such issues are proposed and verified experimentally. Agreement between

infinite and finite array simulations are confirmed over multiple scan angles. Indeed,

the wide-angle scanning (up to 70 with a VSWR < 2) over a 1.6:1 bandwidth is a

key feature given the low-profile of the array.

The dissertation is concluded with a summary of the important contributions and

discusses avenues for future wideband planar phased array antenna research.

4
CHAPTER 2

BROADBAND PHASED ARRAY APERTURE USING


TIGHTLY COUPLED DIPOLES

2.1 Introduction

A motivational concept for planar phased array apertures was first proposed by

Wheeler [1]. Wheeler showed an infinite planar current sheet as a simple phased array

aperture and detailed important phased array quantities such as scan impedance for

both E-plane (plane containing the electric field vector in the direction of maximum

radiation) and H-plane (plane containing the magnetic field vector in the direction

of maximum radiation). However, no specific antenna types were discussed. Fig. 2.1

illustrates the infinite current sheet concept and its implementation using a tightly

coupled dipole array.

In Section 2.2 we compare several planar phased array antennas performance in

an infinite array environment by examining their scan element pattern and input

impedance for free space and ground plane backed or conformal installations. The

tightly coupled dipole arrays unique capability to become increasingly wideband in

conformal installations is investigated in Section 2.3 using equivalent circuits vali-

dated with full wave simulation. In Section 2.4, the polarization purity of the TCDA

5
(a) (b)

Figure 2.1: (a) Infinite current sheet over a ground plane, (b) tightly coupled dipole
array implementation.

over the complete upper hemisphere is presented. Additionally, linear and dual linear

polarized TCDA apertures are shown to maintain low cross-polarization and high

isolation. Finally, balanced feeding techniques are investigated in Section 2.5 to sup-

press undesired common modes. An impedance matching circuit amendable to TCDA

realization is also presented.

2.2 Planar Phased Array Antenna Comparison

In this section, 4 commonly used planar phased array antennas are investigated.

These are:

(a) Periodically fed wire or connected dipole [1013]

(b) Connected self-complementary bowtie [1417]

(c) Tightly coupled dipole [2, 3, 18]

(d) Slot array [1925].

6
We remark that the tightly coupled dipole array is identical to the wire array, except

for a very small gap (in this case 0.2 mil) separates the elements. An interesting

wideband antenna omitted from this study is the fragmented aperture antenna [26

30]. Fragmented arrays are designed using genetic algorithms and commonly use

material loading to achieve large bandwidths. Instead, our goal here is to develop

wideband arrays without materials. Planar ground-plane-backed spiral arrays are

also wideband but suffer from element resonances [31, 32]. Therefore, they are not

considered. To evaluate the performance of the proposed elements a commercial finite

element software, Ansoft HFSS v11, is used with periodic boundary conditions [3335]

and Floquet ports to simulate an infinite array. A unit cell size of 11.5 mm was

used to suppress grating lobes below 13 GHz (H /2). Each element was modeled

as infinitely thin perfect electric conducting (PEC) sheets (grey) and excited using a

lumped port (red) as depicted in Fig. 2.2. Actual feeding structures will be considered

separately. In addition, the element study was not exhaustive. Specifically, the

antennas geometry was not optimized for maximum bandwidth.

2.2.1 Input Impedance

The free space infinite array scan impedance at broadside is shown in Fig. 2.3. Scan

impedance is the impedance observed at an antennas terminals when proper voltages

are applied to all array elements. Throughout this dissertation, a -10 dB active

reflection coefficient or VSWR < 2 will be used to determine operational bandwidth,

unless otherwise specified. Here, bandwidth is defined as fH /fL : 1, where fH and

fL are the highest and lowest frequencies where the active reflection coefficient is less

than -10 dB.

7
3 mm

z
y 0.5 mm 0.5 mm

x 1 mm 1 mm

11.5 mm 11.5 mm
Bowtie Dipole
(a) (b)

0.1
0.1mil
mil
3 mm

0.5 mm 0.5 mm
1 mm 1 mm

11.5 mm 11.5 mm
(c) (d)

Figure 2.2: Planar phased array antenna elements under investigation inside unit cell;
(a) wire or connected dipoles, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot.

8
Refereing to Fig. 2.3, we observe that the wire array reactance is inductive at

low frequencies (< 11 GHz) and becomes capacitive for higher frequencies. Also, as

expected, the connected complementary bowtie resistance is constant over the entire

bandwidth and equal to /2 with zero reactance (note that /2 = 60 , i.e. half the

free space wave impedance, ). The dipole array is heavily capacitive, then passes

through resonance at 8 GHz while maintaining fairly constant resistance. This is

desirable to cancel the inductive ground plane inductance in conformal applications.

After resonance, the dipole array is inductive and the resistance increases. In contrast,

the slot array resistance at 1 GHz is /2 with little reactance. For higher frequencies,

the impedance quickly becomes capacitive then passes though resonance and becomes

inductive while the resistance decreases significantly.

Free Space
400
350 Wire
Bowtie
300
Dipole
250 Slot
200
Impedance ()

150
100
50
0
50
100
150
200
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.3: Active resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) for various antenna elements
in free space scanned to o = 0 .

9
To determine the system impedance (Zo ) that maximizes each elements band-

width, a 2-D representation of the active reflection coefficient (at broadside) is plot-

ted for various system impedances in Fig. 2.4. The system impedances selected to

maximize bandwidth for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot element was 275 , /2

, 155 and 100 , respectively.

The corresponding free space active reflection coefficient for each element is shown

in Fig. 2.5. The connected bowtie maintains an impressive reflection coefficient < -20

dB from 1 - 16 GHz. That is, it delivers the very best performance. The wire antenna

maintains a reflection coefficient of -15 dB from 1 - 13 GHz and the slot array operates

from 1 - 9 GHz. The slot array has limited high frequency bandwidth due to excessive

inductance. Also, the dipole array has the smallest usable bandwidth from 5 - 16 GHz.

Concluding, the connected bowtie array has the largest instantaneous bandwidth

and maintains the smallest reflection coefficient of the studied element types and

is clearly the element of choice for free space UWB phased arrays. This is due

to the complementary geometry and therefore its impedance is /2 and frequency

independent.

To evaluate the arrays performance over a ground plane, each element was posi-

tioned 8 mm (0.35H ) over a PEC sheet. As Fig. 2.6 depicts, the wire and bowtie re-

sistance peak is above 400 and the reactance changes very rapidly versus frequency.

The slot antenna has little reactance variation over the band, but the resistance ap-

proaches 375 at 4 GHz and drops below 50 above 8 GHz. This is contrary to

the tightly coupled dipole arrays resistance which has less fluctuation. Further, the

TCDA reactance variation is less than the wire or bowtie and oscillates around 0 .

10
(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 2.4: Active reflection coefficient for different system impedances (Zo ) of each
antenna element in free space scanned to o = 0 ; (a) wire or connected dipoles, (b)
bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot.

11
0

10

|| (dB)
15

20 Wire: Free Space, Z = 275


o
Bowtie: Free Space, Z = /2
o o
25 Dipole: Free Space, Zo = 155
Slot: Free Space, Z = 100
o
30
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.5: Active reflection coefficient for various antenna elements in free space
scanned to o = 0 .

Ground Plane
400
350 Wire
Bowtie
300
Dipole
250 Slot
200
Impedance ()

150
100
50
0
50
100
150
200
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.6: Active resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) for various antenna elements
when placed 8 mm over ground plane scanned to o = 0 .

12
The ground-plane-backed reflection coefficient is shown in Fig. 2.7. Again, for

this comparison, the system impedance for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot array

was selected using Fig. 2.8 to be 275 , 350 , 165 , 310 , respectively. Therefore,

maximizing each elements bandwidth. The wire, bowtie, and slot array bandwidth

are significantly reduced in presence of the ground plane. However, the TCDA perfor-

mance improves when placed over a ground plane and maintains a 4.3:1 bandwidth.

It is therefore attractive for conformal applications. By comparison, the wire antenna

has an instantaneous bandwidth of 6 - 16 GHz (2.7:1), bowtie array 4.2 - 8.9 GHz

(2:1) and the slot array operates from 3.2 - 5.23 GHz (1.6:1).

10
|| (dB)

15

20 Wire: Ground Plane, Zo = 275


Bowtie: Ground Plane, Z = 350
o
25 Dipole: Ground Plane, Zo = 165
Slot: Ground Plane, Zo = 310
30
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.7: Active reflection coefficient for various antenna elements when placed 8
mm over ground plane scanned to o = 0 .

2.2.2 Scan Element Pattern

Having demonstrated that ground plane backed TCDAs provide more than double

the bandwidth of other planar apertures, we proceed to investigate each antennas

13
(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 2.8: Active reflection coefficient for different system impedances (Zo ) of each
antenna element when placed 8 mm over a ground plane scanned to o = 0 ; (a) wire
or connected dipoles, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot.

14
scan element pattern (SEP). Scan element pattern, formally called the active element

pattern [36], is the array pattern when only one element is fed while all others are

terminated in matched loads. The SEP includes the element pattern and all mutual

coupling effects as it was extracted from an infinite array analysis and depicts the

arrays scanning capability. In addition, the SEP is used to determine if the array

has blind spots, i.e. a null in the radiation pattern where the array gain would

drastically drop if scanned to that particular direction in space. The overall array

pattern (ignoring edge effects) can be computed using the scan element pattern and

array factor for a given finite array size and lattice [37].

Arrays operating in free space radiate bidirectionally and therefore have limited

applications. As such, wideband ground plane backed arrays are of considerable

interest and the SEP study was limited to ground plane backed arrays. The conformal

SEP for all elements is depicted in Fig. 2.9 and Fig. 2.10 for the E- and H-plane,

respectively. As each element is small (< H /2), they adequately sample the infinite

current sheet and have identical scan elements patterns. Therefore, no element has a

scanning advantage and only the elements input impedance is critical.

For simulation verification, we next consider the TCDA broadside directivity and

compare it to the theoretical maximum. Specifically, using (2.1), the maximum di-

rectivity of an aperture can be calculated assuming uniform illumination. Comparing

the boresight ( = 0 ) SEP to the maximum directivity (D) possible for the given

unit cell area (A), good agreement is observed, implying 100% aperture efficiency, see

Fig. 2.11. Hence, the periodic boundary conditions, radiation boundary and ground

plane are modeled correctly.


4A
D= (2.1)
2

15
EPlane SEP
10

0
Directivity (dBi)

2 GHz
10 4 GHz
6 GHz
8 GHz
15 10 GHz
12 GHz
14 GHz
20
90 60 30 0 30 60 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 2.9: E-Plane scan element pattern for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot array
when placed 8 mm over ground plane.

HPlane SEP
10

0
Directivity (dBi)

5
2 GHz
4 GHz
10
6 GHz
8 GHz
15 10 GHz
12 GHz
14 GHz
20
90 60 30 0 30 60 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 2.10: H-Plane scan element pattern for the wire, bowtie, dipole and slot array
when placed 8 mm over ground plane.

16
6
Theoretical Max
TCDA
4

Gain (dBi)
2

10

12
2 4 6 8 10 12 14
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.11: Simulated TCDA and calculated unit cell directivity.

Given the SEP uniformity among elements, the surface electric current distribu-

tion at 10 GHz is plotted in Fig. 2.12. The x-directed current contributes to radiation

and is similar among elements. The small gap between neighboring dipole elements

has a very strong current concentration and capacitively loads the antenna. As such,

the TCDA impedance is capacitive and cancels the ground planes inductive loading.

This is the key reason for its wideband performance when placed on a ground plane.

This is demonstrated using equivalent circuits discussed next.

2.3 Equivalent Circuit

As shown in the previous section, TCDAs bandwidth increases when placed above

a ground plane. This is profoundly different than electrically connected arrays whose

bandwidth reduces in the presence of the ground plane. In this section, we explain

the ground plane effect using simple and easy-to-understand equivalent circuits. The

motivating factor for capacitive versus inductive coupling is shown below in Fig. 2.13.

17
(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 2.12: Surface current at 10 GHz; (a) wire, (b) bowtie, (c) dipole, (d) slot.

18
One can think of a wire array as a dipole array connected with infinite capacitance

(Cmutual = ). As infinite capacitance is a short, a inductively coupled dipole array

is a wire array, which are extremely narrowband over a ground plane. Therefore,

planar wideband phased array antennas over a ground plane should be capacitively

coupled and not electrically shorted together.

Lwire Lwire Lwire Lwire

CMutual CMutual CMutual


CTip CTip

Lwire Lwire 2Lwire

CTip CTip + CMutual

R
CMutual

Figure 2.13: Tightly coupled dipole array equivalent circuit in free space scanned to
broadside.

The mutual capacitance (Cmutual ) is parallel to the dipole self tip-to-tip (Ctip )

capacitance. As the equivalent capacitance forms a serial RLC network, it can be

used to maintain resonance for low frequencies where the dipole wire self inductance

(Lwire ) is small, (2.2). We remark that the radiation resistance (R) was omitted from

the top and bottom-left sections in Fig. 2.13 for clarity.

19
1
fr = (2.2)
LC
To illustrate the ground planes impedance canceling capabilities, a simple ideal

numerical example is presented using a ground plane backed array equivalent circuit.

To explain the equivalent circuit formulation an array in free space was first exam-

ined, see Fig. 2.14. An ideal array is assumed to operate in free space, meeting all

the criteria in which the equivalent circuit is valid; namely, elements are electrically

small with no grating lobes [2]. The infinite planar 2D periodic array is positioned

between two free space half planes. Each half plane can be represented as a infinite

transmission line with characteristic impedance 2RAo . The input impedance of the

array in free space (denoted by the subscript o ), is defined as Za = RAo + jXAo . It

is calculated by the parallel combination of each half space transmission line in series

with the array reactance XAo as shown in Fig. 2.14.

jXAo
jXAo
Ho Ho 2RAo 2RAo 2RAo 2RAo ZA= RAo+jXAo

Array ZA ZA

Figure 2.14: Equivalent circuit for infinite array in free space.

The equivalent circuit in Fig. 2.14 was extended to include a ground plane. The

array is positioned a distance (d) above the ground plane as shown in Fig. 2.15. The

free space array resistance (RAo ) is assumed to be a constant 200 from 1 - 16

20
GHz. Furthermore, the free space array reactance (XAo ) is assumed to vary linearly

from -200j to +200j over the respective frequency range. The array impedance is

an idealized case used for illustrative purposes; however, for tightly coupled dipole

arrays the assumption of constant resistance and a capacitive to inductive reactance

variation is reasonable. The array is positioned /4 above the ground plane at the

center frequency (d = 8.8 mm at 8.5 GHz). The ground plane impedance is cal-

culated using the traditional short circuit transmission line equation, then moved a

distance (d) through a transmission line with characteristic impedance (2RAo ), to the

array plane (Zgp ) becoming parallel to twice the array resistance (2RAo ). The array

reactance (XAo ) is then added in series to obtain the final ground plane compensated

impedance. The ground plane inductive reactance partially cancel the dipole capaci-

tive reactance for frequencies below the center frequency, while for higher frequencies

the capacitive ground plane partially cancel with array inductive reactance. The

resultant impedance is effectively compressed and forms three resonances compared

to the single free space resonance. The return loss bandwidth improvement is also

illustrated in Fig. 2.16b, the array with ground plane has a 4:1 bandwidth compared

to the free space array bandwidth of 1.8:1.

d d d
jXAo
Ho Ho jXAo
2RAo 2RAo 2RAo 2RAo

Array ZA ZA

Figure 2.15: Equivalent circuit for ground plane backed infinite array.

21
j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 116 GHz
Z
gp
j0.5 j2 R
Ao
+ jX
Ao 0
2RAo || Zgp
Free Space: RAo + jXAo, Zo=200
(2R || Z ) + jX
Ao gp Ao
With Ground Plane: (2RAo || Zgp) + jXAo, Zo=210

j0.2 5

|| (dB)
0 10
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2 15

j0.5 j2
20
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
j1 Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 2.16: (a) Array impedance transformation for equivalent circuit. (b) Return
loss comparison for the ideal array in free space and with ground plane.

To verify the equivalent circuit and ground plane impedance compensation ef-

fectiveness, a physically realizable tightly coupled dipole array was examined. To

construct the equivalent circuit, the free space array input impedance was first found

using HFSS, for the unit cell dipole geometry in Fig. 2.17(a). The element to el-

ement spacing was 11.5 mm (H /2 at 13 GHz), ensuring no grating lobes and the

dipole length was 11.25 mm, yielding a 0.125 mm gap between adjacent dipoles. The

array was then positioned over a ground plane and simulated while the separation

distance was varied from 4 - 10 mm (in 2 mm steps). The simulated conformal array

impedance was then compared to the equivalent circuit calculated impedance. As

seen in Fig. 2.17, the equivalent circuit impedance curves are in good agreement with

full wave simulations (for all ground plane heights). The calculated resistance is typ-

ically lower than that of full wave simulation, but follows the simulated impedance

curves and provides the reader with an intuitive feel for ground plane spacing effects

22
and verifies the equivalent circuit which was introduced to demonstrate impedance

cancelation ability of capacitive coupled dipole arrays above a ground plane.

j1
Z = 100, Freq: 116 GHz
o
Sim: R + jX
Ao Ao
j0.5 Calc: d=4mm
j2 Sim: d=4mm
Calc: d=6mm
Sim: d=6mm
Calc: d=8mm
Sim: d=8mm
Calc: d=1cm
Sim: d=1cm
j0.2

0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2

j0.5 j2

j1

(a) (b)

Figure 2.17: (a) Periodic unit cell dipole geometry. (b) Full wave array simulation
vs. equivalent circuit for different ground plane heights.

After verifying the equivalent circuit model, the simulated TCDA (with 8 mm

ground plane separation) reflection coefficient was calculated using a system impedance

of 150 . Fig. 2.18 shows similar conformal performance improvement as the ideal

equivalent circuit demonstration in Fig. 2.16.

2.4 Linear and Dual Linear Polarization Properties

After analyzing the principal plane SEP and impedance properties of each an-

tenna element, next we considered polarization purity. This study is limited to

tightly coupled dipole arrays as they have the largest conformal bandwidth. Using

the antenna in Fig. 2.12(d), we examined the E-, H- and D-plane co-polarization and

23
0
Free Space: Zo=100
With Ground Plane: Zo=150

|| (dB)
10

15

20
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.18: TCDA active reflection coefficient in free space and when placed 8 mm
over ground plane scanned to o = 0 .

cross-polarization level. The D-plane is defined as the diagonal plane ( = 45 ). The

Ludwig third definition of polarization was used [38], as they are the field components

typically measured in a far-field antenna range. As such, the co-polarized component

(Ex ) and cross-polarized component (Ey ) is calculate using (2.3) and (2.4).

Ex = E cos E sin (2.3)

Ey = E sin + E cos (2.4)

From Fig. 2.19, the principal plane cross-polarization level is > 60 dB below the

co-polarized component at 10 GHz. The cross-polarization level is -21.5 dB at = 30

and the co-polarized directivity is 1 dB, yielding a cross-polarization ratio of -22.5 dB.

24
The cross-polarization level over the complete upper hemisphere at 10 GHz is shown

in Fig. 2.20. Similar to Vivaldi [39, 40] and slot arrays [41], the diagonal plane has

the highest cross-polarization level. A -25 dB cross-polarization ratio is maintained

for conical scanning up to 25 and increases quickly outside of the principal planes.

10 GHz SEP
10

10

20
Directivity (dBi)

30 EPlane: CoPol
DPlane: CoPol
40 HPlane: CoPol
EPlane: CrossPol
50 DPlane: CrossPol
HPlane: CrossPol
60

70

80
90 60 30 0 30 60 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 2.19: Dipole scan element pattern at 10 GHz in the E-Plane ( = 0 ), D-Plane
( = 45 ) and H-Plane ( = 90 ).

It can be seen from Fig. 2.21, the cross-polarization ratio at o = 30 , 45 , 60 is

constant vs. frequency. We remark that this is an optimistic cross-polarization ratio

as any vertical (or z-directed) currents will typically increase the cross-polarization

level. Furthermore, as no vertical feed lines are used in the simulation, the cross-

polarization ratio is approximately 10 dB to 15 dB lower than 3D Vivaldi elements

which support vertical currents.

We also examined the cross-polarization and mutual coupling for a dual linear po-

larized TCDA with co-incident phase center as depicted in Fig. 2.22. Fig. 2.23 shows

25
Figure 2.20: Dipole cross-polarization ratio over the upper hemisphere at 10 GHz.

= 45
0

2.5 = 30
= 45
5
Crosspolarization ratio (dB)

= 60
7.5

10

12.5

15

17.5

20

22.5

25
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.21: Dipole cross-polarization ratio as a function of frequency when scanning


towards o = 30 , 45 , 60 in the diagonal plane ( = 45 ).

26
the co- and cross-polarization level at boresight for linear and dual linear polarized

TCDAs. As expected, both have identical co-polarized directivity and the cross-

polarization level is minimally effected and greater than 60 dB below the co-polarized

component. Referring to Fig. 2.24, the input refection coefficient |S11 | remains un-

changed and the mutual coupling |S21 | between orthogonal polarizations is less than

-70 dB. Again, we remark that this is an optimistic result, as no balun and feeding

circuit was modeled. This will be addressed in the next section.

0.1 mil 0.1 mil


3 mm 3 mm
2 mm 2 mm
0.5 mm 0.5 mm
1 mm 1 mm

11.5 mm 11.5 mm
(a) (b)

Figure 2.22: Tightly coupled dipole elements; (a) single polarization, (b) dual polar-
ization.

2.5 Feeding Network Consideration

Until now, the phased array antennas under investigation were excited in HFSS

using an ideal lumped port on the aperture surface. This allowed important concepts

and impedance properties to be demonstrated without including feeding effects. The

purpose of this section is to discuss feeding network considerations necessary for

27
10
0
10
20

Directivity (dBi)
30
Single: CoPol
40 Single: CrossPol
50 Dual: CoPol
Dual: CrossPol
60
70
80
90
100
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.23: Boresight directivity of the single and dual polarized TCDA.

10

20

30
S11
Magnitude (dB)

40
S21
50

60

70

80

90

100
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.24: S-parameters of the dual polarized TCDA.

28
TCDA realization. This is depicted in Fig. 2.25, where a planar phased array antenna

over a ground plane requires interconnects between the aperture and ground plane.

In addition, typical unit cell dimensions are shown with a ground plane separation

< 0.4H . This is necessary to avoid boresight radiation cancelation from the ground

plane image current when a 0.5 ground plane separation is used. A wideband TCDA

requires a wideband balanced feed as each element is a balanced dipole. Therefor,

this section will present several ways to achieve unbalanced to balanced (balun) feed

conversion for planar phased array antennas. Furthermore, typical TCDAs have an

input impedance 150 - 300 depending on element geometry. As a result, a

matching circuit must be used to connect the array to 50 system impedances.

Figure 2.25: Typical planar phased array antenna unit cell depicting the aperture,
interconnects and ground plane.

29
2.5.1 External 180 Hybrid

A commonly used balun employs a external 180 hybrid where the two outer

coaxial shields are soldered together and the remaining center conductors form a

100 balanced transmission line as shown in Fig. 2.26. The hybrid serves to make

the center conductors of the output cables opposite in polarity whereas the outer

conductor provides a means for shielding. This type of feed arrangement has been

used to feed wideband spiral antennas [42] and for the TCDA prototype development

by Harris et al. [3]. Shielding is critical because an unshielded feed line, such as

twin-wire or co-planar strip can excite a common mode [13, 43] when the feed line

and antenna are 1 long. Common mode excitation and suppression is addressed in

the next section.

Figure 2.26: UWB balun using a 180 hybrid.

Using a external hybrid, the TCDA antenna can be fed through the ground plane

using coaxial cables as depicted in Fig. 2.27(a). In addition, the coaxial cables were

tapered for improved balun performance. The linear taper controls the current on the

outer conductor by forcing it to flow on one side, thus, canceling the adjacent cable

shield current. Fig. 2.27(b) displays the unit cell realized gain, which is within 0.25

30
dB of the directivity from 5 - 15 GHz, demonstrating a 100 balanced impedance

match. Although the hybrid and coaxial lines are bulky and expensive it serves as a

baseline using commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts. Furthermore, depending on the

frequency range a wideband 180 hybrid with 4:1 or 10:1 bandwidth can be multiple

wavelengths long and therefore troublesome to fit inside the array lattice which is

typically on the order of H /2.

1.15cm=O/2
Gain
@ 13GHz Realized Gain, Zo=100:

.7cm above ground

(a) (b)

Figure 2.27: (a) Tapered coaxial cable feed with external 180 hybrid (not shown).
(b) Broadside gain and realized gain using external hybrid.

2.5.2 Low Cost Partially Balanced Coaxial Cable Feed

A first attempt to remove the costly 180 hybrid is shown in Fig. 2.28. It consists of

a single coaxial cable (standard semi-rigid 0.046 diameter) with the outer conductor

linearly tapered forming a narrow strip. The narrow outer strip and center conductor

have a characteristic impedance of approximately 130 . The tapering is necessary

for impedance matching the antenna to 50 and will be discussed in the next section.

31
(a) Coaxial cable
a Teflon
(b) Outer shield
b removed for 130:
parallel plate line

c (c) Taper section


for partial balun and
d impedance taper
(d) Ferrite bead

Figure 2.28: Single coaxial cable balun with integrated matching circuit. The ground
plane and unit cell outline are not shown.

Due to tight size constraints, the tapered section is small (/17 at 4 GHz) ef-

fectively limiting balun performance. For proper operation the taper should be at

least /2 at the lowest operating frequency [44]. An impedance anomaly is observed

in Fig. 2.29 where the unbalanced current forms a common mode at 7.3 GHz. To

circumvent the problem, a lossless ferrite bead with r = 200 was added around the

base of the coaxial cable, effectively choking the unbalanced current. Ferrite beads at

X-band are not currently available, but can be used for TCDA arrays operating at L-

band and below. The reflection coefficient is shown in Fig. 2.29, clearly demonstrating

the ferrite beads effectiveness. In addition, the vector electric field at 7.3 GHz with

and without ferrite bead is shown in Fig. 2.30. We observe that the common mode

(or monopole mode) has a strong electric field between the dipole arms and ground

plane. The common mode frequency occurs when the dipole length (ld ) and round

trip feed length (2lf ) is 1 long (denoted as in Fig. 2.30). Therefore, the common

mode frequency (in GHz) can be predicted using

300 mm
fcm . (2.5)

32
Where is defined as

= ld + 2lf . (2.6)

Substituting (2.6) into (2.5) gives (2.7). Substituting the element geometry and

material parameters, the common mode is predicted at 7.3 GHz. We remark that pcb

is the PCB board permittivity the array is printed on (in this case TMM3, pcb = 3)

and cable is the coaxial cable dielectric constant of 2.4. The taper length and dipole

geometry was not optimized to minimize the reflection coefficient. However, the feed

concept is demonstrated.

300 mm
fcm q 7.3 GHz (2.7)
pcb +1
11.5 mm 2
+ 2(8 mm) cable

5
|| (dB)

10

15

No Ferrite Bead
With Ferrite Bead
20
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 2.29: Single coaxial cable tapered balun active reflection coefficient with and
without ferrite bead choke. Note the common mode at 7.3 GHz.

33
11.5 mm

8 mm

Figure 2.30: Single cable tapered balun depicting common mode electric field distri-
bution (left) and common mode suppression using a ferrite bead choke (right).

2.5.3 Impedance Matching

Typical TCDAs have a large input impedance (Za 150 - 300 ). As a re-

sult, a matching circuit must be used to connect the array to common 50 system

impedances. A matching circuit for TCDAs is shown in Fig. 2.31, where the antenna

is connected to a small transmission line of length, lm , with characteristic impedance

Zm . The matching impedance is bound by the following relationship, Zin < Zm < Za ,

for 50 and 100 system impedances. Concurrently, to maintain the arrays inherent

low-profile, the matching circuit length should approximately equal the array ground

plane separation distance, d. This is critical, as a balun circuit can be printed be-

hind or on the ground plane. Interconnects between the TCDA aperture and balun

circuitry are necessary and can be concurrently used for impedance matching.

34
lm

Zm Za

Zin

Figure 2.31: Wideband impedance matching using a single transmission line with
characteristic impedance Zm of length lm .

As an example, consider a TCDA with impedance (Za ) depicted in Fig. 2.32.

The antenna impedance locus is centered around 200 and has an active VSWR <

2 from 3.5 - 13.5 GHz. However, as mentioned earlier, dipole elements are commonly

feed using external commercial of the self (COTS) 180 hybrids having a 100

impedance. Therefore, we used the matching circuit from Fig. 2.31 with lm = 9.25

mm and characteristic impedance of 145 . The resultant input impedance and

corresponding VSWR is shown as the red dash trace, demonstrating the TCDA is

well matched to a system impedance of 100 over a 4.5:1 bandwidth.

2.6 Summary

In this chapter, we presented, for the first time a direct comparison of the scan

element pattern and input impedance of 4 common planar wideband phased array

antennas found in literature. We demonstrated that a tightly coupled dipole array

offers superior conformal performance compared to a periodically fed wire, connected

bowtie and slot array. A unique feature of TCDAs is the capacitive mutual coupling

35
j1 Zo= 100:, Freq: 1-16 GHz 5
Za, no matching, Zo=200:
j0.5 j2 4.5 Zin, with matching, Zo=100:

j0.2
3.5

VSWR
3
0
0.2 0.5 1 2
2.5

2
-j0.2

1.5

-j0.5 -j2 1
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Za, no matching
-j1 Frequency (GHz)
Zin, Zoline=145: , l=0.925cm

Figure 2.32: TCDA matching network example without matching (200 ) and with
matching network connected to a 100 system impedance.

which was demonstrated in Section 2.3 to cancel the ground plane inductive loading

using equivalent circuits and full wave simulation. This is contrary to arrays operating

in free space where the dipole antenna has the smallest bandwidth. Connected bowtie

apertures in free space were shown to maintain greater than 16:1 bandwidth with a

reflection coefficient below -20 dB. However, the array became extremely narrowband

when placed over a ground plane.

As conformal installations is the focus of this dissertation, the polarization prop-

erties of conformal linear and dual linear polarized TCDA apertures were shown to

maintain low cross-polarization levels. We also discussed important feed considera-

tions such as unbalanced to balanced conversion, shielding for common mode suppres-

sion and impedance matching. The next chapter discusses how antenna miniaturiza-

tion can be used to extend the lower operating frequency and increase instantaneous

bandwidth of TCDAs.

36
CHAPTER 3

BROADBAND PHASED ARRAY ANTENNA


MINIATURIZATION

3.1 Introduction

In this chapter, we use established broadband miniaturization techniques to lower

the frequency of operation, increase instantaneous bandwidth and reduce height of

phased array antennas. We focus specifically on TCDAs, but the concepts can be

extended to other planar phased array antennas as well. The chapter starts by briefly

discussing broadband miniaturization concepts in Section 3.2. In Section 3.3, we

present multiple inductive loading techniques and apply them to TCDAs. Initially,

the dipole inductance is increased via volumetric meandering. Subsequently, ferrite

materials between the antenna and ground plane are presented in Section 3.4 to re-

duce height and improved bandwidth. In Section 3.5, capacitive reactive loading is

implemented using a novel element with additional degrees of freedom to cancel the

ground plane inductance and achieve wider bandwidths in conformal settings. Each

dipole arm is different than the other (or non-symmetric), enabling better indepen-

dent control of the elements self inductance and mutual capacitance. As such, input

37
impedance and wave velocity can be controlled independently. To further miniatur-

ize and provide environmental protection, we study single and two-layer dielectric

superstrates in Section 3.6.

3.2 Antenna Miniaturization Concept

The goal of this section is to develop an intuitive understanding of antenna minia-

turization. The basic concept of miniaturization is reducing the phase velocity of the

wave guided by the antenna. The phase velocity vp and characteristic impedance Zo

of a TEM wave is determined by


r r
1 1 L
vp = = , Zo = G =G . (3.1)
LC C

Where L is the series inductance per unit length, C is the shunt capacitance per

unit length and G is a geometrical scaling factor. Therefore, an antenna can be

miniaturized by increasing the serial inductance and/or shunt capacitance in the

form of material or reactive loading [45,46]. Reactive loading is defined by modifying

the antenna geometry in such a way that the local stored electric or magnetic energy

density is increased or decreased. Similarly, lumped inductors and capacitors can

be used although they are typically narrowband, lossy and restrict the arrays power

handling capability. The main issue with reactive loading is its implementation and

integration into the antenna structure. For some antennas, it can be very difficult,

if not impossible, to implement capacitive and/or inductive loading. In this chapter,

we will demonstrate broadband inductive and capacitive loading by modifying the

antenna geometry and using materials.

38
3.3 Inductive Loading via Volumetric Meandering

Several inductive meandering techniques were investigated to explore miniatur-

ization. Namely, we considered planar [4749] and volumetric meandering [50, 51] to

increase the dipole inductance (Lwire ). However, planar meandering adds minimal in-

ductance, while vertical meandering increases the inductance significantly. Due to the

close proximity to the ground plane and relatively fat dipoles, the majority of electric

field is normal to the printed dipole. This approach is similar to using corrugations

to realize a inductive surfaces [52, 53].

Volumetric meandering was implemented using a constant vertical depth of 0.508

mm as depicted in Fig. 3.1. In this case, the depth was chosen to be equal to the

PCB thickness (standard Rogers 3003 microwave laminate) for easy and low cost

implementation using standard plated via technology. The associated dipole is 1.8

mm wide with nine meander segments (each 0.45 mm long) per arm leaving a 0.2 mm

gap between each dipole. Using more segments provides diminishing returns due to

increased serial capacitance between meandering sections. The miniaturized dipole

arrays simulated active VSWR is shown in Fig. 3.2, when the element is positioned

9 mm above a ground plane. As seen, the input impedance is well matched to 200 .

It is of interest to compare the performance of our inductively loaded array [54]

to the CSA demonstrated by Munk [3]. As depicted in Table 3.1, our design shows

significant improvement in terms of usable bandwidth, elements size at the lowest

operating frequency and ground plane separation. It should be noted that dielectric

sheets (as used in [3]) above the dipole array can further improve scan impedance and

increase impedance bandwidth [24]. This will be considered later in this chapter.

39
Figure 3.1: Dipole unit cell with inductive miniaturization implemented using vertical
meandering and a 200 system impedance.

4.5

3.5
VSWR

2.5

1.5

1
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 3.2: Dipole unit cell with inductive miniaturization implemented using vertical
meandering.

40
Table 3.1: Miniaturized element performance comparison summary
Vertical Meander Munk CSA [3]
VSWR < 3 2.6 - 13.3 GHz (5:1) 4 - 18 GHz (4.5:1)
Element Size fhigh 0.5o 0.65o
Element Size flow 0.1o 0.15o
Ground Plane Separation o /12.8 o /10

3.4 Ferrite Substrate Loading

Having presented inductive reactive loading, now inductive material loading is

considered using ferrites. In this study, we use ideal ferrite materials to demonstrate

miniaturization. Specifically, loss-less ferrite materials with constant permeability vs.

frequency and r = 1 are implemented and simulations are used to study the effect

of magnetic materials between the ground plane and antenna.

Fig. 3.3 depicts the element geometry and input impedance for broadside scan

while varying the substrate r . We remark that the frequency range and element

geometry is same TCDA element presented in Chapter 2 to maintain continuity. As

such, the frequency range is above current ferrite materials availability. However, the

concepts presented can be easily scaled to VHF/UHF apertures where commercial

ferrite materials are available. As expected, increasing the substrate permeability

lowers the frequency of operation and increases the resistance below 4 GHz, however,

several impedance anomalies are observed. Examining the r = 3 case, the instan-

taneous bandwidth is 1.85 - 9.6 GHz (5.2:1). The resistance approaches zero at 10.5

GHz due to the g /2 guided wavelength ground plane separation where the image

current cancels radiation. As expected, when the permeability is further increased

41
the cancelation occurs at lower frequencies. In addition, an undesired ferrite material

mode is excited.

5
No ferrite
4.5 =3
r
r=5
Ferrite 4
r=7

3.5

VSWR
3

8 mm 2.5

1.5

1
Ground Plane 11.5 mm 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)
500 500
No ferrite No ferrite
450 =3 400
r =3
r
400 =5 300 r=5
r
=7 r=7
350 r 200
Resistance ()

Reactance ()

300 100
250 0
200 100
150 200

100 300

50 400

0 500
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(c) (d)

Figure 3.3: TCDA ferrite substrate loading; (a) unit cell geometry, (b) active VSWR,
(c) resistance, (d) reactance.

To isolate and remove the ground plane cancelation problem, we repeated the

study while maintaining the ferrite electrical thickness. Fig. 3.4 depicts the perfor-

mance when scaling the thickness and subsequent ground plane separation by 1/ r .

42
Significant miniaturization is achieved using r = 3 and the impedance anomaly at

10.5 GHz is removed. The array height is 4.6 mm or L /30 and provides an instan-

taneous bandwidth from 2.2 - 15.7 GHz (7:1). Ferrite loading with r = 5 and 7

provides more miniaturization by reducing the low frequency cutoff to 1.93 and 1.7

GHz, respectively. However, similar to the previous study an undesired ferrite mate-

rial mode is excited. The mode limits the high frequency operation of the array to 12

GHz and 10.3 GHz and thus reduces the bandwidth to 6.2:1 and 5.8:1, respectively.

The electric field inside the ferrite material is shown in Fig. 3.5 and resembles a

TM210 rectangular resonant cavity. As such, the impedance anomaly can be predicted

using rectangular resonant cavity model. The rectangular resonant cavity frequency

is determined using (3.2) [55]. Substituting the number of variations in the x, y, z

directions, the TM210 ferrite mode resonant frequency is determined using the ferrite

r and unit cell width (a, b) in (3.3).

s 2
c m 2 n 2 l
fmnl = + + (3.2)
2 r r a b d

s 2
c 2 2
f210 = + . (3.3)
2 r a b

Table 3.2 compares the HFSS simulated impedance anomaly and the predicted

TM210 resonant frequency using (3.3). The calculated resonant frequency is within

6.3% and improves to 1.8% with r = 7. The improved accuracy for higher r is due

to an increased y-directed field variation as opposed to slightly less variation with

lower r values. If the TM210 mode is suppressed, the r = 7 loaded TCDA operates

from 1.76 - 14.4 GHz (8.2:1) and is extremely low-profile, L /56.

43
5
No ferrite
4.5 =3
r
r=5
4
r=7

3.5
Pr = 5

VSWR
3

2.5
8 mm
Pr
2

1.5

Ground Plane 11.5 mm 1


1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)
500 500
No ferrite No ferrite
450 =3 400
r =3
r
400 =5 300 r=5
r
=7 r=7
350 r 200
Resistance ()

300 Reactance ()
100
250 0
200 100
150 200

100 300

50 400

0 500
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(c) (d)

Figure 3.4: TCDA ferrite substrate loading while maintaining ground plane electrical
separation; (a) unit cell geometry depicting reduced thickness with r = 5, (b) active
VSWR, (c) resistance, (d) reactance.

Table 3.2: Ferrite resonant frequency comparison


HFSS TM210
r GHz GHz % difference
3 15.8 16.8 6.3
5 12.6 13.0 3.2
7 10.8 11.0 1.8

44
z
z
d

a y
b
x
x y
(a) (b)

Figure 3.5: Ferrite substrate electric field distribution; (a) rectangular cavity model,
(b) side view in x-z plane.

3.5 Capacitive Loading using a Non-Symmetric Element

To capacitively miniaturize the dipole antenna for use in tightly coupled arrays,

the dipole tip-to-tip capacitance can be increased to lower the arrays operating fre-

quency. A larger tip capacitance can be realized by enlarging the dipole width near

the end of the element. As the mutual capacitance is in parallel with the dipole tip ca-

pacitance and dominates, one can more effectively miniaturize by increasing Cmutual

as in [2], where interdigitated capacitors were used. Similarly, lumped or discrete

SMD capacitors can be used, but insertion loss limits the frequency range and the

arrays power handing capability is significantly reduced. An alternate approach to

increase mutual coupling and control radiation resistance is developed using a novel

non-symmetric element. Specific design parameters are presented via parametric

studies to achieve miniaturization and control input impedance.

In this section, we introduce a novel non-symmetric dipole element depicted in

Fig. 3.6(a) [56]. Each arm on the dipole is different than the other or non-symmetric.

45
This allows one to better control the elements self inductance and mutual capacitance

independently. In this case, the arms are similar near the center feed portion but

change shape towards the end of the dipole, forming a ball-and-cup.

The results shown in Fig. 3.6(b) are a proof of concept. It demonstrates that non-

symmetric elements are broadband and justifies a more rigorous study. In particular,

each elements non-symmetric qualities can be exaggerated for improved UWB perfor-

mance (typically 4:1) or perhaps optimizing the bandwidth for a specific application.

Due to the periodic structure of the array, one can think of the aperture as a trans-

mission line with series inductance and shunt capacitance. The non-symmetric arms

can be used to create radically different designs than the symmetric ones currently

found in literature.

Unit Cell

1.15 cm=O/2 @ 13 GHz

0.8 cm above ground plane


(a) (b)

Figure 3.6: Dual polarized array with non-symmetric elements; (a) unit cell geometry,
(b) infinite array reflection coefficient, Zo = 200,scanned to o = 0 .

46
To characterize the non-symmetric TCDA, it was parameterized with the following

five variables; t1 (cup width), t2 (ball width), t3 (arm width), g (element separation

gap) and (cup opening angle). For conformal realization, the associated array was

placed 8 mm above a ground plane and remains fixed during parametric analysis.

The broadside scan input impedance is shown in Fig. 3.7(b). The corresponding

principal plane scan element pattern is shown in Fig. 3.8. We observe the E-plane

SEP is similar to the H-plane pattern for 45 45 and fairly constant over a

broad range of frequencies. However, at low elevation angles (towards grazing) the E

and H-plane patterns deviate substantially. The E-plane pattern has sharper nulls,

while the H-plane pattern vanishes at = 90 . The latter is associated by radiation

cancelation at horizon from the ground plane image current. Although the element

is non-symmetric in the E-plane, the SEP is symmetric around = 0 due to strong

mutual coupling. For all parameter sweeps, the SEP remains constant (within 1 dB

of Fig. 3.8) and thus are omitted. It is therefore only necessary to study the input

or scan impedance of each non-symmetric TCDA design.

The first parameter studied was t1. As t1 is increased, the resistance is signifi-

cantly reduced, while the low frequency reactance is reduced. Furthermore, the high

frequency reactance increases, effectively shifting the input impedance on the smith

chart and increasing the loop diameter as shown in Fig. 3.9. This is due to an in-

creased tip-to-tip capacitance formed by the large cup size. Frequencies below 5 GHz

are minimally effected.

To facilitate sweeping t2, while not shorting the element to its neighbor, t1 had

to also increase accordingly. In an effort to separate the effects, t1 was increased

to maintain the same cup trace width, namely, 0.25 mm for all values of t2. As t2

47
j1
Z = 200, Freq: 216 GHz
o

j0.5
t1 j2
g

0.5 mm
j0.2

0.5 mm 0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2
t3

j2
t2 j0.5

11.5 mm
j1

(a) (b)

Figure 3.7: Baseline non-symmetric TCDA; (a) unit cell geometry for parameter
study, (b) input impedance with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil,
= 180 with the array placed 8 mm above the ground plane scanned to o = 0 .

10 10

5 5

0 0
Gain (dB)

Gain (dB)

5 5
2GHz 2GHz
4GHz 4GHz
6GHz 6GHz
10 8GHz 10 8GHz
10GHz 10GHz
12GHz 12GHz
14GHz 14GHz
15 15
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degree) Theta (degree)

(a) (b)

Figure 3.8: Baseline TCDA scan element pattern; (a) E-plane, (b) H-plane.

48
j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 216 GHz

t1=2mm
j0.5 j2 t1=3mm

2mm 5mm
t1=4mm
t1=5mm

j0.2
j0.2

0
0.2 0.5 1 2

-j0.2
j0.2

j0.5 j2

j1

(a) (b)
400

300

200
Impdance ()

100

0
t1=2mm
t1=3mm
100 t1=4mm
t1=5mm

200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(c)

Figure 3.9: Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t1 = 2 and 5 mm, (b) input
impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) with t1 varied,
t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil, = 180 , scanned to o = 0 .

49
increases, the resistance increases over the entire frequency range. In a similar fashion,

the reactance is substantially reduced for low frequencies, becoming less capacitive.

For a small ball width (t2 = 0.25 mm) the first resonance occurs at 12 GHz, but

for larger sizes the first resonance occurs much lower, for example 2.2 GHz when t2

= 3 mm. When t2 is increased, the element is effectively miniaturized, a result of

increased mutual coupling. For larger t2 values, the ball and cup capacitive junction

area increases, resulting in a larger mutual and tip-to-tip capacitance, see Fig. 3.10.

The next parameter studied was the arm width or t3. To accommodate large

t3 values, t1 and t2 had to be increased to 3 mm and 2 mm respectively, otherwise

the element would be electrically connected to is neighbor. As t3 increases, the loop

size on the smith chart also increases and shifts to the left, implying a reduction of

resistance and a larger reactance variation over the band, see Fig. 3.11. Below 5 GHz

the resistance is constant while for higher frequencies the resistance is halved when

increasing t3 to 3 mm from 0.5 mm. The decrease in resistance is attributed to a

reduction of the wire inductance shown by a increased capacitive reactance over the

entire frequency range.

The next parameter of interest is the gap separating the ball and cup, g. When

the separation gap is small, a significant increase in mutual coupling effectively minia-

turizes the antenna. This is observed by a resistance increase for all frequencies, while

simultaneously decreasing the low frequency capacitive reactance and high frequency

inductance as shown in Fig. 3.12. The gap separation should be as small as possi-

ble (within manufacturing tolerances) to ensure strong mutual coupling, enabling the

array to operate to lower frequencies.

50
0.25mm 3mm j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 216 GHz

t2=0.25mm
j0.5 j2 t2=0.5mm
t2=1mm
t2=2mm
t2=3mm

j0.2

0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2

j0.5 j2

j1

(a) (b)
400

300

200
Impdance ()

t2=0.25mm
100 t2=0.5mm
t2=1mm
t2=2mm
t2=3mm
0

100

200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(c)

Figure 3.10: Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t2 = 0.25 and 3 mm, (b) input
impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) with t1 = t2 +
g + 0.25 mm, t2 varied, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil, = 180 , scanned to o = 0 .

51
j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 216 GHz

t3=0.5mm

0.5mm 3mm j0.5 j2 t3=1mm


t3=2mm
t3=3mm

j0.2

0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2

j0.5 j2

j1

(a) (b)
400

300

200
Impdance ()

100

t3=0.5mm
t3=1mm
100
t3=2mm
t3=3mm

200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(c)

Figure 3.11: Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with t3 = 0.5 and 3 mm, (b) input
impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) with t1 = 2 mm,
t2 = 1 mm, t3 varied, g = 10 mil, = 180 , scanned to o = 0 .

52
400

j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 216 GHz

g=5mil
g=15mil
300
j0.5 j2
g=25mil
g=35mil

200

Impdance ()
j0.2
g=5mil
g=15mil
100
g=25mil
0
g=35mil
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2
100

j0.5 j2
200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
j1 Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 3.12: (a) TCDA input impedance, (b) corresponding resistance (solid) and
reactance (dash) with t1 = 2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g varied, = 180 ,
scanned to o = 0 .

The final parameter investigated is the cup opening angle . The values investi-

gated were 45 - 275 in 60 steps. When decreases a similar performance trend

is observed when g is reduced. Specifically, as is reduced, the amount of mutual

coupling increases due to a larger capacitive area. For all cases the anti-resonance

point (6.5 GHz) stays the same, while the first resonance point is miniaturized up to

100% when decreases from 275 to 45 . Based on the performance of this novel

element we integrate the antenna with a balun and fabricate a 64 element prototype

in Chapter 4 to demonstrate its wideband performance.

3.6 Dielectric Superstrate Loading

Another way to capacitively load the aperture is using dielectric materials. To

determine the superstrate dielectric constant a linearly polarized plane wave at normal

incidence is considered. The plane wave is assumed to propagate in an infinite medium

53
j1
Zo= 200, Freq: 216 GHz

=45
j0.5 j2 =105
=165
=225
=275

j0.2

= 45 = 275
0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2

j0.5 j2

j1

(a) (b)
400

300

200
=45
Impdance ()

=105
100 =165
=225
=275
0

100

200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

(c)

Figure 3.13: Non-symmetric TCDA; (a) geometry with = 45 and = 275 , (b)
input impedance, (c) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash) with t1 =
2 mm, t2 = 1 mm, t3 = 0.5 mm, g = 10 mil, scanned to o = 0 .

54
with a dielectric constant equal to the array PCB permittivity with thickness h. A

dielectric superstrate of thickness, t1 , and dielectric constant 1 is then positioned

between it and free space, as shown in Fig. 3.14.

h
t1 d

H1
Superstrate
Array PCB

Figure 3.14: Ground plane backed TCDA printed on a PCB with a single layer
dielectric superstrate of thickness t1 , and dielectric constant 1 .

The reflection coefficient at each material interface is given by

i i+1
i,i+1 = (3.4)
i + i+1

where the wave impedance in the dielectric medium can be written as

0
i = . (3.5)
i

Simplifying (3.4) using (3.5) gives



i+1 i
i,i+1 = . (3.6)
i + i+1

To solve for the required superstrate dielectric constant, (3.6) is used to form a sys-

tem of equations to match the PCB dielectric constant to free space using single or

double dielectric superstrate(s). Finding the minimum reflection coefficient and req-

uisite dielectric constants was performed using MATLAB. Table 3.3 summarizes the

55
minimum reflection coefficient (given single and dual layer loading) using commercial

Rogers TMM series high frequency laminates as the array PCB.

Table 3.3: Dielectric constant for superstrate matching using Rogers TMM series
array PCB
Single Double
PCB P CB i (dB) i i+1 (dB)
TMM3 3.27 1.80 -16.7 2.20 1.48 -20.1
TMM4 4.5 2.12 -14.6 2.73 1.65 -18.1
TMM6 6 2.45 -13.7 3.30 1.82 -16.5
TMM10 9.2 3.03 -11.4 4.39 2.10 -14.8

Based on [2], the superstrate thickness should be c,g /4 at the center frequency

of the operational bandwidth. Assuming the array has constant resistance and the

reactance is assumed to vary linearly from capacitive to inductive and resonate at

fc . However, typical TCDAs are generally more capacitive and less inductive as

indicated in Fig. 3.15(b). Furthermore, resonance is significantly altered by ground

plane separation as depicted in Fig. 3.16 and not related to the traditional /2 dipole

length.

Due to the ambiguity of resonance, initially c /4 was assumed to equal the ground

plane separation (d = 8 mm) yielding fc = 9.375 GHz. Using (3.7), a superstrate

thickness was calculated to be 6.58 mm (c,g /4 at 9.375 GHz). Several thicknesses

were then simulated, varying from c,g /10 to c,g /3.

c,g c
t= = (3.7)
4 4 r

56
j1
Z = 200, Freq: 116 GHz
o

j0.5 j2

j0.2

0
0.2 0.5 1 2

j0.2

j2 d=4mm
j0.5
d=6mm
d=8mm
j1 d=1cm

(a) (b)

Figure 3.15: (a) TCDA unit cell geometry printed on 20 mil thick TMM3 . (b) Input
impedance for different ground plane heights.

300

d=4mm
d=6mm
200 d=8cm
d=1cm

100
Reactance ()

100

200

300
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 3.16: TCDA reactance for different ground plane heights.

57
j1
Z = 200, Freq: 116 GHz
o

t1=0
j0.5 j2 t1=c,g\10
200
t1=c,g\6
t1=c,g\4 150
t1=c,g\3

j0.2 100

50

Impdance ()
0 0
0.2 0.5 1 2

50
t1=0
j0.2 t = \10
100 1 c,g
t = \6
1 c,g
150 t = \4
1 c,g

j2
t1=c,g\3
j0.5
200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
j1 Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 3.17: TCDA with single dielectric superstrate with 1 = 1.8 of varying thick-
ness, t1 , scanned to o = 0 ; (a) input impedance and (b) corresponding resistance
(solid) and reactance (dash).

When the superstrate thickness increases, the peak resistance is reduced and

shifted from 7 GHz to 4.75 GHz. As the thickness approaches g /4, a second loop on

the smith chart is formed, see Fig. 3.17 which increases the resistance at 12 GHz to

170 from 100 . Furthermore, the reactance increases and remains fairly constant

from 9 - 14 GHz. As the superstrate thickness becomes larger than g /4, the second

high frequency resistance peak increases at the expense of reducing the first resistance

peak at 5 GHz. There is little reactance change below 4 GHz, however, the resistance

increases substantially from 2 - 4 GHz as the superstrate thickness is increased. Gen-

erally, as the superstrate thickness increases the high frequency impedance rotates

clockwise on the smith chart as shown in Fig. 3.17(a). When the thickness is approx-

imately g /4 a second loop of similar size is formed. For thicker substrates the low

frequency loop is pulled or compressed while the second loop expands.

58
A similar thickness analysis was performed using a two-layer dielectric superstrate.

The same TCDA, PCB, and ground plane separation was used was used as before.

The first superstrate was c,g /4 thick at 9.375 GHz and had 1 = 2.2. The second

superstrate had a dielectric constant (2 ) of 1.4 and thickness (t2 ) was varied from

c,g /10 to c,g /3 (see Fig. 3.18). The second superstrate provides little miniaturiza-

tion, but rather improves the mid band impedance fluctuation. The first resonance

peak frequency is constant for all t2 values while the second peak is reduced and

shifted lower in frequency. For t2 c,g /4, the reactance variation is reduced from 4

- 14 GHz. Given the minor improvements the second superstrate offers, care should

be primarily focused on the first superstrate as it dominates.

j1
Z = 200, Freq: 116 GHz
o

t2=0
j0.5 j2 t = \10
200
2 c,g
t2=c,g\6
t =
2 c,g
\4 150
t = \3
2 c,g

j0.2 100

50
Impdance ()

0 0
0.2 0.5 1 2

50
t2=0
j0.2 t2=c,g\10
100
t2=c,g\6
150 t = \4
2 c,g

j2
t2=c,g\3
j0.5
200
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
j1 Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 3.18: TCDA with two-layer dielectric superstrate with 1 = 2.2 of c,g /4 thick-
ness and 2 = 1.4 of varying thickness, t2 , scanned to o = 0 ; (a) input impedance
and (b) corresponding resistance (solid) and reactance (dash).

59
3.7 Summary

In this chapter, general miniaturization methods were discussed and multiple

TCDA implementations were presented. Specifically, in Section 3.2 we used equiva-

lent transmission line concepts such as phase velocity slow down to describe antenna

miniaturization. As such, this chapter presented multiple methods of increasing serial

inductance and shunt capacitance using reactive and material treatments. Inductive

reactive loading was implemented using volumetric meandering in Section 3.3. The

meandering improves bandwidth approximately 15%, and can be implemented using

plated vias and traditional PCB manufacturing maintaining the arrays low-cost and

planar assembly.

Inductive material loading using ferrites was presented in Section 3.4 and improves

TCDA bandwidth up to 7:1 while reducing the array thickness to L /30 using an

r = 3. For r > 3 an undesired TM210 ferrite material mode is excited and can

be predicted using rectangular resonant cavity analysis. Moreover, suppressing the

mode results in extremely large bandwidth (8.2:1) and is very low-profile (L /56).

Capacitive loading was achieved by controlling the mutual capacitance between

neighboring elements using a novel non-symmetric element. Multiple parameter

sweeps were presented in Section 3.5 to control input impedance and miniaturize the

element. The non-symmetric element has similar bandwidths to properly designed

symmetric TCDAs while providing the ability to control the elements resistance and

reactance more independently. Finally, single and dual dielectric superstrate loading

was presented in Section 3.6. A guideline for determining the substrate dielectric

constant and thickness was developed and shown to increase low frequency resistance

and reduce impedance variation vs. frequency.

60
CHAPTER 4

REALIZATION OF NON-SYMMETRIC TIGHTLY


COUPLED DIPOLE ARRAYS

4.1 Introduction

In this chapter, we design, fabricate and experimentally verify a new wide-scanning

conformal array with integrated balun and matching network. The developed antenna

is based on the non-symmetric element presented in Section 3.5. The non-symmetric

qualities can be manipulated for UWB performance or improved operation over a

specific bandwidth using the additional degrees of freedom to cancel the ground plane

inductance. A design example for the latter is developed to operate at X-band (8 - 12.5

GHz). A unique feature of the proposed array is the planar layered PCB construction.

Specifically, a single microwave laminate is used for the array aperture while another

supports all associated baluns and matching networks.

This chapter is organized as follows: a wideband hybrid feed providing unbalanced

to balanced conversion while maintaining the arrays low-profile is presented in Section

4.2. The balun is printed on the array ground plane and connects to the array

aperture using small twin-wire transmission lines. In Section 4.3, the aperture is

integrated with the balun and radome. Furthermore, wide-angle scanning up to 75 is

61
shown. Experimental demonstration of a 64 element (8 8) X-band array prototype

with a single driven element is presented in Section 4.4. The prototype is used to

verify numerical simulation and addresses fabrication difficulties. An improved feed

to enhance scanning performance and reduce cross-polarization is designed, fabricated

and measured in Section 4.5. Measurements and simulation are in good agreement

and 60 scanning is verified experimentally.

4.2 Wideband Balun

A wideband tightly coupled dipole array requires a wideband feed. As such, in

this section we propose a modified planar wideband ring hybrid printed on the array

ground plane. The hybrid employs coupled microstrip lines for bandwidth improve-

ment [57]. The required even (Zeven ) and odd (Zodd ) mode coupled line impedances

are 176.2 and 30.2 , respectively. However, the required coupled line separation

g required is < 1 mil for a 25 mil thick Rogers 3206 microwave laminate. The small

coupled line separation is beyond traditional fabrication capabilities and limits re-

alization of the maximum 2:1 theoretical ring bandwidth. As a 1.7:1 bandwidth is

necessary for the desired frequency range, the coupled line gap was increased to 3

mil. Using a microstrip trace width (w3) of 15 mil, the corresponding impedances

are Zeven = 104.6 and Zodd = 39.7 . The ring was then optimized to provide a

return loss > 10 dB from 7.5 - 13 GHz or > 15 dB from 9 - 12.8 GHz and maintained

a balanced output transmission |S21 | > -0.75 dB from 8 - 12.5 GHz. See Fig. 4.1

for the final design layout and performance. Concurrently, the insertion loss is <

0.5 dB. The ring hybrid has a 50 SMA coaxial cable input and two output ports

that extend inside the ring, 180 out-of-phase from each other. As a result, the fields

62
add in series forming a 100 balanced line. Unlike the design in [57], the unused

terminated sum (or in-phase) port was removed, reducing complexity and cost. In

addition, the insertion loss was improved by approximately 0.25 dB.

D 5
S11
Port 2
5mm S21

|S| (dB)
a
10
w3
25mil
w2 g2
15
Port 1
w1
RO3206

20
Ground Plane 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 4.1: Proposed wideband microstrip coupled line ring hybrid with balanced
twin-wire output, a = 0.64516 mm, D = 0.88 mm, w1 = 38 mil, w2 = 20 mil, w3 =
17 mil, g2 = 3 mil, d = 5 mm; (a) geometry and (b) S parameters.

4.3 Integration of Aperture and Feed

Due to the large array input resistance (Za 200 to 300 ), the element

cannot be directly connected to the ring hybrid. Instead, a small transmission line

(of characteristic impedance 136 ) is used to match the array to the hybrid. As

depicted in Fig. 4.2(a), a twin-wire (diameter: a = 0.8128 mm, separation: D = 1.4

mm) was employed. The array and balun is printed on standard Rogers 3203 and

3206 microwave laminates respectively, maintaining the arrays low-cost. To facilitate

a wider scanning range and provide protection, a 6.35 mm thick wide-angle impedance

63
matching (WAIM) superstrate [58] having a dielectric constant (s ) of 1.7 was added.

The non-symmetric TCDA unit cell with integrated balun and impedance matching

interconnects is shown in Fig. 4.2(a). The broadside active reflection coefficient is <

-10 dB from 7.5 - 13 GHz, as illustrated in Fig. 4.2(b).

|| (dB) 10

15

20
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 4.2: Non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array unit cell with radome, inte-
grated feed and matching network, the dimensions are: t1 = 1.75 mm, t2 = 0.75 mm,
t3 = 1 mm, g = 7 mil, = 85 , a = 0.8128 mm, D = 1.4 mm, w1 = 30 mil, w2 =
20 mil, w3 = 17 mil, w4 = 24 mil, g2 = 3 mil, s = 1.7; (a) geometry and (b) active
reflection coefficient at broadside.

The boresight directivity and realized gain is shown in Fig. 4.3(a). As indicated,

the realized gain approaches the maximum aperture directivity from 8 - 12.5 GHz

(within 0.3 dB). Furthermore, the radiation efficiency is greater than 93% including

all dielectric and copper conductor losses. Of importance is the remarkable scanning

64
performance of this array, as depicted in Fig. 4.3(b). It maintains an active VSWR <

2.5 from 7.5 GHz to 13 GHz for scanning up to 75 in the E-plane and 60 in H-plane.

4 4
Boresight
2 3.5 E30
H30
E60
0 3 H60
E75

VSWR
2
4A/
dBi

2 2.5
Realized Gain

4 2

6 1.5

8 1
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 4.3: Performance of the array unit cell in Fig. 4.2(a); (a) broadside radiation,
(b) active VSWR over multiple principal plane scan angles.

4.4 Single Feed Demonstration

To verify the proposed design, a small finite (8 8) array was simulated, fabricated

and measured. For simulation and measurement, the array was mounted on a 12"

square aluminum ground plane. As depicted in Fig. 4.4(a), the array and balun

circuitry are completely planar. A solder mask was employed on the array and balun

PCBs to enable soldering ease. In addition, each board was extended 0.5 around

the array aperture to facilitate 4 nylon bolts. The finite array prototype was also

simulated using HFSS. The simulation mesh is 1.83 million tetrahedral with a memory

usage of 61.1 GB and takes approximately 4 hours for each frequency point using

a Dual Xeon 2.5 GHz Quad Core workstation. We note that the only difference

65
between fabricated and simulated geometries is the solder mask and spray adhesive

for assembly.

Fig. 4.4(b) depicts the reflection coefficient for a single excited element near the

center, while the remaining elements are terminated with 100 resistors at the array

surface. The agreement between simulation and measurement are reasonable and

show similar resonances at 8.75 GHz and 11.5 GHz. Simulations also verified that

the center elements active reflection coefficient (inside the 8 8 array) approaches

that of the infinite array performance at broadside. As a result, we conclude that the

prototype array is large enough to emulate the input impedance of an infinite array

while scanning to broadside and verifies unit cell simulations.

0
Measured: 1 excited
Simulation: 1 excited
Infinite Simulation
5
Simulation: 64 excited
Active || (dB)

10

Excited 15

20

25
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 4.4: Non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array prototype (radome removed);
(a) fabricated 8 8 array, (b) center element reflection coefficient with single and
multiple elements excitations.

Fig. 4.5 shows the E- and H-plane scan element patterns, which are in excellent

agreement with simulation. The main beam 5 dB gain fluctuation is due to finite array

66
truncation and the resistive termination at the array surface. Specifically, the surface

mount 100 resistors are not matched loads to the antenna terminal impedance,

therefore neighboring elements re-radiate destructively and constructively. We note

that the E-plane null at = 60 is due to the 12 finite ground plane used in mea-

surements. The cross-polarization is approximately -10 to -15 dB over the principal

plane scanning range.

Further efforts discovered the microstrip probe input was coupling directly to

the ring hybrid and contributed to the cross-polarized field component. The probe

location was then relocated to minimize probe-ring coupling as depicted in Fig. 4.7.

We remark the array aperture without feed maintains a cross-polarized level 60 dB

below co-polarized gain in the principal planes. The reduced cross-polarization unit

cell geometry is depicted in Fig. 4.8.

The boresight directivity and realized gain using the reduced cross-polarization

probe location is shown in Fig. 4.9(a). We observe that the realized gain approaches

the directivity from 8 - 12.5 GHz and cross polarization is < -20 dB, a 10 - 15 dB

improvement over the previous probe location. Furthermore, the realized gain is

within 0.3 dB of the maximum aperture directivity. With reduced probe coupling the

array maintains an active VSWR < 2 for scanning up to 70 in the E-plane and 60 for

H-plane as depicted in Fig. 4.9(b). These results are believed to be the best reported

in terms of array height and wide-angle scanning over a wide bandwidth (1.6:1 with

a VSWR < 2) fed with 50 unbalanced inputs. In contrast, other wideband arrays

can provide more bandwidth (3:1 and higher) but are thick and typically are limited

to 45 scanning [5963].

67
Freq=8 GHz Freq=8 GHz
5 5

0 0

5 5

Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


10 10

15 15

20 20

Measured:CoPol Measured:CoPol
25 Measured:CrossPol 25 Measured:CrossPol
Simulated:CoPol Simulated:CoPol
Simulated:CrossPol Simulated:CrossPol
30 30
180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(a) (b)
Freq=10 GHz Freq=10 GHz
5 5

0 0

5 5
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


10 10

15 15

20 20

Measured:CoPol Measured:CoPol
25 Measured:CrossPol 25 Measured:CrossPol
Simulated:CoPol Simulated:CoPol
Simulated:CrossPol Simulated:CrossPol
30 30
180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(c) (d)
Freq=12 GHz Freq=12 GHz
5 5

0 0

5 5
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)

10 10

15 15

20 20

Measured:CoPol Measured:CoPol
25 Measured:CrossPol 25 Measured:CrossPol
Simulated:CoPol Simulated:CoPol
Simulated:CrossPol Simulated:CrossPol
30 30
180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 180 150 120 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 180
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.5: Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -) scan


element pattern when the center element is excited and all others are terminated using
100 resistors; (a) E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at 10 GHz,
(d) H-plane at 10 GHz, (e) E-plane at 12 GHz, (f) H-plane at 12 GHz.

68
5

Realized Gain (dBi)


10

15

20

Measured:CoPol
25 Measured:CrossPol
Simulated:CoPol
Simulated:CrossPol
30
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
] Frequency (GHz)

Figure 4.6: Array (8x8) broadside gain vs. frequency when the center element is
excited and all others are terminated using 100 resistors; (a) E-plane, (b) H-plane.

(a) (b)

Figure 4.7: Electric field magnitude; (a) probe location with strong coupling and (b)
improved probe location with minimal coupling.

69
Figure 4.8: Non-symmetric TCDA unit cell geometry with WAIM superstrate, in-
tegrated microstrip balun and twin wire matching network interconnects, t1 = 1.75
mm, t2 = 0.75 mm, t3 = 1 mm, g = 7 mil, = 85 , a = 0.8128 mm, D = 1.4 mm,
w1 = 48 mil, w2 = 20 mil, w3 = 17 mil, w4 = 14 mil, g2 = 3mil, s = 1.7.

5 4
Boresight
0
3.5 E45
2 H45
5 4A/ E60
Realized Gain: CoPol 3 H60
Active VSWR

10 Realized Gain: CrossPol E70


Realized Gain: CrossPol [8]
dBi

2.5
15
2
20

25 1.5

30 1
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)

Figure 4.9: Performance of the array unit cell in Fig. 4.8; (a) broadside radiation, (b)
active VSWR over multiple E-plane and H-plane scan angles.

70
4.5 64 Element Array Demonstration

Similar to the previous section, an 8 8 array for fabrication and measurement

verification was developed using the reduced probe coupling feed from Fig. 4.8. The

ground plane size was reduced to 3.5" (the same size as the feed board) removing the

E-plane SEP null using the previous 12 ground plane setup (Fig. 4.5). In addition,

64 SMP (or GPO) connectors were used as the array interface as depicted in Fig. 4.10

4.5.1 Scan Element Pattern

The array was mounted on a fiberglass pylon in the ElectroScience Laboratory

compact range as depicted in Fig. 4.11. Fig. 4.12 displays the measured and simulated

realized gain vs. frequency for a single element (number 29) excited with all others

terminated using 50 SMP loads. The measured and simulated results are in good

agreement. Especially considering the finite array simulation size including multiple

dielectric layers and detailed feed geometries.

The E- and H-plane SEP for element 29 at 10 GHz is shown in Fig. 4.13 and

Fig. 4.14, respectively. The cross-polarization is approximately -20 dB or lower over

most of the principal plane scanning range, a 10 dB improvement. Due to the relative

small size of the test array, edge effects dominate. Therefore, the SEP and active

impedance of each element varies considerably [64]. As such, the increased level of

cross-polarization near = 20 is not representative of the cross-polarization level

while scanning.

To illustrate the scan element pattern variation from truncation, the measured

average SEP and standard deviation from each element is shown in Fig. 4.15. The

error bars indicate the amount of pattern variation across the aperture and would

71
Element 8 Element 64

z
y
x

Radome
0.5 Array PCB Element 1
Foam
Balun PCB

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 4.10: X-band 64 element linearly polarized array prototype; (a) with radome,
(b) radome removed, (c) aperture removed displaying balun and twin-wire intercon-
nects, (d) SMP input connects underneath ground plane.

72
y

Figure 4.11: Radiation pattern measurement setup with fiberglass support.

Element 29 Excited at Broadside


5

0
Realized Gain (dBi)

5
Measured:CoPol
10 Measured:CrossPol
Simulated:CoPol
15 Simulated:CrossPol

20

25

30
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 4.12: Finite array broadside realized gain with element 29 excited and remain-
ing elements terminated in 50 loads.

73
Freq=10 GHz, EPlane
5

Realized Gain (dBi)


5

10 Measured: CoPol
Measured: CrossPol
Simulated: CoPol
15 Simulated: CrossPol

20

25

30
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 4.13: E-plane scan element pattern at 10 GHz with element 29 excited and
remaining elements terminated in 50 loads.

Freq=10 GHz, HPlane


5

0
Realized Gain (dBi)

10 Measured: CoPol
Measured: CrossPol
Simulated: CoPol
15 Simulated: CrossPol

20

25

30
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 4.14: H-plane scan element pattern at 10 GHz with element 29 excited and
remaining elements terminated in 50 loads.

74
be zero if the array was infinite implying no truncation. As expected, the H-plane

average SEP and standard deviation is symmetric around = 0 . However, the

E-plane co-polarized gain has a large variation at = 15 , a result of edge effects

from strong E-plane mutual coupling. This is demonstrated in the next section by

examination of the element to element mutual coupling.

4.5.2 Mutual Coupling and Scan Impedance

Measuring the scan impedance of a UWB phased array is a challenging and te-

dious microwave measurement. Specifically, the full mutual coupling or scattering

matrix [S], over a large range of frequencies is required with accurate amplitude and

phase information. The problem is further exacerbated at higher frequencies (X-band

and above) where standard SMA connectors are too large to fit within the array lat-

tice. Therefore, non-SMA connectors, such as SMP or GPO are often used to excite

each antenna. As SMP connectors were used in the array prototype, an in-situ

calibration procedure was developed to accurately measure the mutual coupling be-

tween elements over a large frequency range without an SMP calibration kit. The

calibration plane is determined using a port extension and time gating procedure.

To illustrate the measurement procedure, an Agilent Technologies N5242A PNA-X

Network Analyzer with a frequency span from 10 MHz to 18 GHz, IF bandwidth

of 10 kHz and 3201 points was used. Fig. 4.16 shows the network analyzer SMA

cable with a SMP semi-rigid cable attached. Initially, calibration was performed at

plane (I) using traditional SMA mechanical calibration standards (open, short, load).

Transitioning from plane I to II is a SMA-F to SMA-F bullet connector allowing a 6"

semi-rigid SMP cable to be attached. The SMP connector interface which connects

75
Freq=8 GHz, EPlane Freq=8 GHz, HPlane
5 5

0 0

Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20

25 25

30 30
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(a) (b)
Freq=10 GHz, EPlane Freq=10 GHz, HPlane
5 5

0 0
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20

25 25

30 30
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(c) (d)
Freq=12.5 GHz, EPlane Freq=12.5 GHz, HPlane
5 5

0 0
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)

5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20

25 25

30 30
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.15: Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -)


average scan element pattern and standard deviation error bars for all elements; (a)
E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at 10 GHz, (d) H-plane at 10
GHz, (e) E-plane at 12.5 GHz, (f) H-plane at 12.5 GHz.
76
to the array is denoted as III. As no SMP calibration kit was available, a time-gating

and port extension technique was developed to compensate for the loss and electrical

delay in the semi-rigid cable as well as remove reflections from each connector.

III II I

Figure 4.16: SMA cable assembly with adapters and SMP cable. The original cali-
bration plane is denoted (I), where the desired calibration plane is depicted as III.

Fig. 4.17(a) displays the reflection coefficient of the connector assembly in Fig. 4.16

when the end of the SMP cable is shorted using copper tape. The associated time

domain response is shown in Fig. 4.17(b). It is important to note that the proposed

calibration process uses a short circuit at the end of the SMP cable reducing the

potential for spurious radiation. We note that the short circuit was implemented

with copper tape (instead of a SMP short connector) ensuring the correct phase

reference plane.

A 1.25 dB ripple is observed in Fig. 4.17(a). The ripple is due to multiple reflec-

tions seen at planes I, II and III. Each reflection is readily identified in Fig. 4.17(b).

Label A shows the reflections from the SMA bullet connector (plane I and II). Label

B is the desired short circuit reflection seen at the end of the SMP cable (plane III).

Multiple reflections between the SMP cable and SMA connectors are identified as

labels C - F. To remove the unwanted reflections, time-gating was implemented as

77
B
A C

D
E F

(a) (a) (b)


(b)

(c)
(c)

Figure 4.17: Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) fre-
quency domain, (b) time-domain, (c) time-gated time-domain.

78
shown in Fig. 4.17(c). At this point, the ripples from Fig. 4.17(a) are diminished.

However, the phase delay and insertion loss of the SMP cable and SMA connectors

have not been removed. This is remedied using the network analyzers auto port ex-

tension capability using the copper tape short. The VNA auto port extension yields

a low frequency (4.508 GHz) and high frequency (13.503 GHz) insertion loss of 237.32

mdB and 450.32 mdB, respectively. In addition, the delay through the cable and con-

nectors was determined to be 804.956 psec. The algorithm for auto port extension

is not perfect. Subsequently, a more accurate phase delay is manually determined

by manually adjusting the phase delay to center the trace on the short section of

the Smith chart. An 806.5 psec delay was determined by compressing the impedance

trace as depicted in Fig. 4.18(a). The loss values are also manually fine tuned by

viewing the log-magnitude plot as shown in Fig. 4.18(b). The high and low band

insertion loss values are adjusted such that the short circuited reflection is centered

around the 0 dB line. The final insertion loss values was found to be 260 mdB and

485 mdB, respectively.

After port extension, the measurement plane has been successfully moved to the

desired SMP interface (plane III). For comparison, the original raw and calibrated

copper tape short circuited |S22 | responses are compared in Fig. 4.19. As shown,

there is a considerable difference between the two sets of data. Using time-gating and

port extension, more accurate measurements can be made at the correct reference

plane. Fig. 4.19(c) shows the application of the calibration procedure to measure the

prototype array mutual coupling. First, a full 2 port SMA calibration was performed.

Then, each port was further calibrated using the procedure outlined above. Finally,

a new time-gate is used to measure the full mutual coupling matrix of the 64 element

79
(a) (a)

(b) (b)

Figure 4.18: Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) Smith
chart format to manually determine port extension delay, (b) copper tape short cir-
cuited manual amplitude port extension.

80
array when element 29 is excited. The proposed calibration procedure ultimately leads

to very precise and accurate S parameter measurements (magnitude and phase) at

the correct SMP connector interface.

(a) (a) (b)


(b)

(c)
(c)

Figure 4.19: Measured reflection coefficient with the SMP cabled shorted; (a) SMA
calibration, (b) proposed calibration procedure using time-gating and port extension,
(c) 64 element phased array mutual coupling measurement setup.

81
Fig. 4.20 shows the simulated and measured mutual coupling across the aperture

with element 29 excited (|Sn,29 |, where n= 1:64) at 10 GHz. The E-plane mutual cou-

pling to the nearest element is approximately 12 dB stronger than H-plane coupling

at 10 GHz. Therefore, E-plane truncation is more severe than H-plane as discussed

in the previous section.

The simulated and measured mutual coupling vs. frequency for each element is

shown in Figs. 4.21-4.23. The agreement at 10 GHz is very good but diverges near

the operational band edges. This is explained by examining the driven elements

self reflection coefficient (|S29,29 |) in Fig. 4.23(b). The measured reflection is 3 dB

below simulation at 10 GHz and is larger than predicted over most of the frequency

range. Since the input reflection is larger, less energy is delivered to the antenna

and subsequently the measured mutual coupling is less than simulation. Further

investigations found that excess solder from the manufacturing process coated the

copper twin-wire transmission line near the feed board interface. As a result, a

large capacitance is formed by the enlarged twin-wire diameter which reduces the

characteristic impedance and de-tunes the antenna. We remark that if less solder

and uniform twin-wire separation gap was maintained, the measured impedances

would agree better with simulation. After the full S parameter matrix is known, the

active reflection coefficient was calculated using (4.1).

N
X
ii (o , o ) = Sij aj (4.1)
j=1

Where aj , kx and ky is defined as

aj = |aj |ej(xj kx +yj ky )

82
kx = ko sin(o ) cos(o )

ky = ko sin(o ) sin(o ).

As expected, the measured active reflection does not agree with simulation, a direct

result of the self impedance mismatch because of fabrication imperfections. However,

as each element reflection coefficient is within 3 dB of simulation and below -6 dB

over the desired frequency range, the realized gain SEP measurements presented in

the previous section and fully excited beam steering performance in the next section

is minimally affected.

4.5.3 Fully Excited Radiation Performance

Of particular interest is the fully excited array gain and polarization level while

scanning. To demonstrate the wide-angle scanning performance of the non-symmetric

TCDA prototype, the radiation pattern from each element was combined with uniform

weighting using MATLAB. We note that the simulated realized gain incorporates the

active (or scan) reflection coefficient mismatch for each element where the measured

patterns (and subsequently post-processed combined pattern) uses each elements self

reflection coefficient (S11 , S22 , etc.).

The measured principal plane beam scanning performance at low (8 GHz), middle

(10 GHz) and high (12.5 GHz) frequencies is displayed in Fig. 4.25. The aforemen-

tioned E-plane truncation is evident in Fig. 4.25(a) where the beam splits scanning

to o = 60 . The cross-polarization level while scanning is at least 15 dB below

the co-polarized component except at 8 GHz in the H-plane, again a result from

truncation. At 12.5 GHz (where the array is electrically larger) both planes show a

83
(a) (b)

(c) (d)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.20: Mutual coupling across aperture with element 29 excited; (a) simulated 8
GHz, (b) measured 8 GHz, (c) simulated 10 GHz, (d) measured 10 GHz, (e) simulated
12.5 GHz, (f) measured at 12.5 GHz.

84
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 1,29 10 5,29
Measured S2,29 Measured S6,29
|S| (dB) 15 Measured S3,29 15 Measured S7,29

|S| (dB)
Measured S4,29 Measured S8,29
20 20
Simulated S1,29 Simulated S5,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
2,29 6,29
Simulated S Simulated S
3,29 7,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
4,29 8,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 9,29 10 13,29
Measured S10,29 Measured S14,29
15 Measured S11,29 15 Measured S15,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)
Measured S Measured S
12,29 16,29
20 20
Simulated S9,29 Simulated S13,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
10,29 14,29
Simulated S Simulated S
11,29 15,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
12,29 16,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(c) (d)
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 17,29 10 21,29
Measured S18,29 Measured S22,29
15 Measured S19,29 15 Measured S23,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)

Measured S Measured S
20,29 24,29
20 20
Simulated S17,29 Simulated S21,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
18,29 22,29
Simulated S Simulated S
19,29 23,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
20,29 24,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.21: Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element 29
excited; (a) element 1 - 4, (b) element 5 - 8, (c) element 9 - 12, (d) element 13 - 16,
(e) element 17 - 20, (f) element 21 - 24.

85
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 25,29 10 29,29
Measured S26,29 Measured S30,29
|S| (dB) 15 Measured S27,29 15 Measured S31,29

|S| (dB)
Measured S28,29 Measured S32,29
20 20
Simulated S25,29 Simulated S29,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
26,29 30,29
Simulated S Simulated S
27,29 31,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
28,29 32,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 33,29 10 37,29
Measured S34,29 Measured S38,29
15 Measured S35,29 15 Measured S39,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)
Measured S Measured S
36,29 40,29
20 20
Simulated S33,29 Simulated S37,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
34,29 38,29
Simulated S Simulated S
35,29 39,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
36,29 40,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(c) (d)
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 41,29 10 45,29
Measured S42,29 Measured S46,29
15 Measured S43,29 15 Measured S47,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)

Measured S Measured S
44,29 48,29
20 20
Simulated S41,29 Simulated S45,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
42,29 46,29
Simulated S Simulated S
43,29 47,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
44,29 48,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.22: Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element 29
excited; (a) element 25 - 28, (b) element 29 - 32, (c) element 33 - 36, (d) element 37
- 40, (e) element 41 - 44, (f) element 45 - 48.

86
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 49,29 10 53,29
Measured S50,29 Measured S54,29
15 Measured S51,29 15 Measured S55,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)
Measured S52,29 Measured S56,29
20 20
Simulated S49,29 Simulated S53,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
50,29 54,29
Simulated S Simulated S
51,29 55,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
52,29 56,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(a) (b)
0 0

5 5
Measured S Measured S
10 57,29 10 61,29
Measured S58,29 Measured S62,29
15 Measured S59,29 15 Measured S63,29
|S| (dB)

|S| (dB)

Measured S Measured S
60,29 64,29
20 20
Simulated S57,29 Simulated S61,29

25 Simulated S 25 Simulated S
58,29 62,29
Simulated S Simulated S
59,29 63,29
30 Simulated S 30 Simulated S
60,29 64,29

35 35

40 40
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)

(c) (d)

Figure 4.23: Measured and simulated mutual coupling vs. frequency with element 29
excited; (a) element 49 - 52, (b) element 53 - 56, (c) element 57 - 60, (d) element 61
- 64.

87
Element 29, Scanned to = 0, = 0
0
Measured
Simulated
5

Active || (dB)
10

15

20

25
8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 4.24: Measured and simulated finite array element 29 active reflection coeffi-
cient scanned to o = 0 , o = 0 .

cross-polarization level nearly 20 dB below the co-polarized component while scanning

up to 60 .

The E-plane measured and simulated radiation pattern while scanning to broad-

side, 30 and 60 at 10 GHz is shown in Fig. 4.26. Similarly, the H-plane beam steering

performance is displayed in Fig. 4.27. Good agreement between simulated and mea-

sured scanning patterns in the principal planes and co-polarized and cross-polarized

gain are observed. However, the measured cross-polarized component is stronger

than simulation predicted, but remains 18 dB below the co-polarized component

when scanned to 60 in the H-plane. The H-plane cross-polarization disagreement is

a result of the fiberglass support which mounts to the H-plane sides (y-axis) of the

array as depicted in Fig. 4.11.

88
Freq=8 GHz, EPlane Freq=8 GHz, HPlane
25 25

20 20

15 15

Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


10 10

5 5

0 0

5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(a) (b)
Freq=10 GHz, EPlane Freq=10 GHz, HPlane
25 25

20 20

15 15
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)


10 10

5 5

0 0

5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(c) (d)
Freq=12.5 GHz, EPlane Freq=12.5 GHz, HPlane
25 25

20 20

15 15
Realized Gain (dBi)

Realized Gain (dBi)

10 10

5 5

0 0

5 5

10 10

15 15

20 20
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees) Theta (degrees)

(e) (f)

Figure 4.25: Measured principal plane co-polarized () and cross-polarized (- - -)


realized gain beam scanning performance from o = -60 to 60 in 10 increments; (a)
E-plane at 8 GHz, (b) H-plane at 8 GHz, (c) E-plane at 10 GHz, (d) H-plane at 10
GHz, (e) E-plane at 12.5 GHz, (f) H-plane at 12.5 GHz.
89
Freq=10 GHz, EPlane
30
Measured: CoPol
25 Measured: CrossPol
Simulated: CoPol
20
Simulated: CrossPol

Realized Gain (dBi)


15

10

10

15

20
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 4.26: Finite array E-plane radiation pattern at 10 GHz scanned to o =


0 , 30 , 60 , o = 0 .

Freq=10 GHz, HPlane


30
Measured: CoPol
25 Measured: CrossPol
Simulated: CoPol
20
Simulated: CrossPol
Realized Gain (dBi)

15

10

10

15

20
90 75 60 45 30 15 0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Theta (degrees)

Figure 4.27: Finite array H-plane radiation pattern at 10 GHz scanned to o =


0 , 30 , 60 , o = 90 .

90
The measured and simulated broadside array gain is compared to the maximum

theoretical directivity in Fig. 4.28. The simulated realized gain is higher than the

theoretical limit above 11 GHz due to the finite ground plane diffraction adding in

phase. Similarly, below 11 GHz the gain is slightly lower than the limit because the

diffraction combines destructively. Further, we remark the area used in calculation

was determined using the TCDA elements physical aperture area and not the PCB

area which extends past to accommodate mechanical mounting.

Fully Excited 8x8 Array at Broadside


25

20

15 2
4A/
Realized Gain (dBi)

10 Measured: CoPol
Measured: CrossPol
5 Simulated: CoPol
0 Simulated: CrossPol

10

15

20
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Frequency (GHz)

Figure 4.28: Finite array broadside realized gain as a function of frequency with all
elements excited.

4.6 Summary

A novel non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array with integrated balun and

matching network was presented. The conformal array is placed /7 over a ground

plane at the lowest frequency of operation (8 GHz). The array relied on a new non-

symmetric dipole element offering several degrees of freedom to allow cancelation of

91
the inductance caused by the ground plane. A wideband ring hybrid was proposed

for unbalanced to balanced conversion and is printed directly on the ground plane,

maintaining the arrays low-profile height and simple layered planar PCB construc-

tion. A impedance matching 136 twin wire transmission line connects the feed and

aperture. We remark that the actual array bandwidth is much larger, and at this time

is limited by the feed design. The developed conformal array is capable of scanning

up to 70 in E-plane and 60 in H-plane with an active VSWR < 2 from 8 - 12.5

GHz (1.6:1). A small finite 8 8 array was fabricated and verified experimentally.

Good agreement between simulation and measurement was confirmed over multiple

scan angles.

92
CHAPTER 5

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK

Wideband, low-profile and planar phased arrays have recently been the subject

of extensive research. In this dissertation, we focused on the development and real-

ization of a wideband, wide-angle scanning and low-profile conformal aperture using

a TCDA. Specifically, in Chapter 2 we investigated various phased array antennas

and demonstrated that TCDAs become increasingly wideband when placed above a

ground plane. Key to achieving wideband performance is cancelation of the ground

plane inductance using interelement capacitive mutual coupling. Further, realistic

TCDA balun feed arrangements were presented and important design considerations

were discussed such as size restriction, impedance matching, and common mode sup-

pression.

Multiple methods for increasing series inductance and shunt capacitance using

reactive and material treatments were presented in Chapter 3. Initially, inductive

loading was examined using volumetric meandering. Such meandering can be im-

plemented using plated vias and traditional PCB manufacturing, thus maintaining

the arrays low-cost and planar assembly. For additional inductive loading, ferrite

substrates (between the array and ground plane) were examined to improve TCDA

bandwidth (up to 7:1). Concurrently, ferrites reduce array thickness to L /30 with

93
r = 3. However, aggressive miniaturization (r > 3) excites an undesired ferrite

resonant mode. As such, rectangular resonant cavity analysis was used to model and

predict the TM210 ferrite mode frequency. If the mode is suppressed, TCDAs become

extremely wideband (8.2:1) and very low-profile (L /56) using a ferrite substrate with

r = 7. In addition, we also studied capacitive reactive loading by controlling the

mutual capacitance between neighboring elements using a novel non-symmetric ele-

ment. The additional degrees of freedom provided by the non-symmetric element were

presented to control input impedance and miniaturize the element. For practicality,

we next considered dielectric superstrates for array protection. In doing so, a design

guideline for determining single and dual layer dielectric substrates was developed to

increase low frequency resistance and reduce impedance variation over a broad range

of frequencies.

In Chapter 4, a novel non-symmetric tightly coupled dipole array with integrated

balun and matching network was presented and verified experimentally. The array is

capable of scanning up to 70 in E-plane and 60 in H-plane with an active VSWR <

2 from 8 - 12.5 GHz (1.6:1). A cross-polarization level 20 dB below the co-polarized

component over most of the scanning range is also maintained. The conformal array

is placed /7 over a ground plane at the lowest frequency of operation (8 GHz). The

array relied on a new non-symmetric dipole element fed using a modified wideband

ring hybrid. The ring hybrid uses microstrip coupled lines to improve bandwidth and

is printed directly on the ground plane, maintaining the arrays low-profile height and

simple layered planar PCB construction. A small finite 8 8 array was fabricated

and verified experimentally. Good agreement between simulation and measurement

was confirmed over multiple scan angles.

94
This dissertation presented conceptually new broadband inductive and capacitive

miniaturization techniques, as well as polarization properties of linear and dual linear

polarized TCDAs. Further, practical balanced feed approaches were investigated and

a small 64 element X-band array with wide-angle scanning and low cross-polarization

was designed and experimentally demonstrated to verify the presented concepts. The

key contributions of this dissertation are:

Demonstrated using equivalent circuits and full wave simulations that tightly

coupled dipole arrays exhibit capacitive mutual coupling that cancels the in-

ductive ground plane loading over large bandwidths.

Introduced a new non-symmetric element to independently control TCDA in-

put impedance. The additional design parameters offered by the non-symmetric

element were used to achieve miniaturization and increase bandwidth. In addi-

tion, magnetic and dielectric materials were shown to improve bandwidth and

reduce the array profile.

Proposed multiple wideband feed designs incorporating unbalanced to balanced

conversion. This critical achievement allowed for impedance matching while

concurrently avoiding common mode excitations and maintaining the arrays

low-profile.

Designed, fabricated and experimentally verified a wideband planar 64 element

X-band. The array was shown to scan up to a remarkable 70 in E-plane and

60 in H-plane with an active VSWR < 2 from 8 - 12.5 GHz (1.6:1 or 44%).

These results are believed to be the best reported in terms of array height and

wide-angle scanning over a wide bandwidth fed using unbalanced 50 inputs.

95
This is a significant achievement compared to other arrays which typically scan

up 45 . The extreme low-profile nature of the proposed array and layered PCB

construction is certainly a key feature to maintain low-cost and reduce weight.

Continued efforts are necessary for improved performance and functionality. First,

the hybrid ring currently limits the arrays bandwidth and is suitable only for linear

polarization. Wideband unbalanced to balanced conversion is always challenging,

especially if one does not want to increase the array height or limit power handling

capability. Furthermore, interconnect design with shielding amendable to layered

PCB fabrication is important to suppress or shift the common mode above the arrays

operating frequency range and maintain low-cost. The array presented in Chapter 4

avoided common modes by reducing the unit cell size to 8 mm or .33H . Therefore,

the required number of transmit/receive modules to populate a given aperture size

is increased and subsequently the cost. This is a serious limitation of the current

design and further work is needed to remove common modes while maintaining a

H /2 unit cell size, provide dual linear polarization and retain wide-angle scanning

over extremely large bandwidths (4:1 and above).

In this dissertation, the ferrite loading study was not comprehensive in scope or

practicality. Only ideal lossless ferrite material with constant permeability versus

frequency were presented as a proof of concept. In addition, suppression of the

undesired TM210 ferrite resonant cavity mode was not performed. Therefore, a more

rigorous analysis using realistic frequency varying ferrite properties over multiple scan

angles and mode suppression or mitigation is necessary.

96
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