UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed an antenna design procedure that can realize large range continuous beam scanning at a fixed frequency on a single element antenna.
Beam steerable antennas have the ability to improve link quality by mitigating communication impairments, such as multipath fading and co-channel interference, making them ideal for communication systems. Most beam steerable antennas are guided by reflector antennas to mechanically steer the beam. Reflector antennas, however, have had limited communication application due to their bulky structures that require large mounting platforms. Recent alternatives include the use of electronically controlled phased arrays, which form the beam by manipulating the phase among multiple radiation elements, but they require complex signal processing and phase shifters to operate, resulting in high costs. There is a need for beam steerable antennas with cost-effective and space-effective beam guides to expand their application in communication systems.
UCLA researchers have developed a new design procedure to realize a large range continuous beam scanning at fixed frequency on a single-element antenna. The antenna designed by the procedure is reliable, robust, and compact. Tuning is accomplished with a single component, making it less expensive and easy to implement. Moreover, this procedure can be applied not only to different patch antenna shapes, but also to other on-board (on-chip) resonant antennas such as half-mode substrate integrated waveguide antennas. These antennas demonstrate main beam scanning in a large range while maintaining high gain and efficiency. Various frequency domains can also be readily achieved using this procedure.