Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed nonreciprocal and reconfigurable phased-array antennas with demonstrated advantages over competing, current technologies.
A phased-array antenna is a device that generates radiation patterns whose shape and direction can be electronically controlled. These antennas are associated with everyday technologies that include radio and optical frequencies, and find wide applications in military radar systems and tracking platforms, automotive radar, and satellite, wireless, and optical communications. To date, these devices are reciprocal and thus provide identical response during the transmission and reception of signals. Such behavior limits the performance of certain communication, radar, and sensing systems and hinders the handling of unwanted interferences and jamming signals that might block the device.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed nonreciprocal and reconfigurable phased-array antennas based on time-modulation. This technology permits to construct antennas able to independently control their transmission and radiation patterns at the same operation frequency without requiring any magnetic component. Such response opens new opportunities to enhance the channel capacity in wireless systems, mitigate cross-talking and mutual-coupling effects in electromagnetically crowded environments such as roof of building, ships, and aircraft, and boost the performance of sensors and radar systems. The resulting devices are very efficient and require relatively minor modifications on standard phased-array systems.