|Weiss, Steven J.
The Army is interested in the development and analysis of electrically scanned antenna arrays in the millimeter region of the spectrum. Opportunities exist for research on low-profile antenna arrays, novel beamforming lens concepts (i.e., Rotman lens), and true-time delay phase shifters (i.e., ferroelectrics, MEMS).
We are investigating aperture-fed planar antenna arrays to transmit and receive energy. Many challenging issues need to be addressed. Polarization diversity is an essential requirement for the array(s) because they must be able to accommodate horizontal, vertical, and circular polarization. Each array element must exhibit wide bandwidth while minimizing mutual coupling. A Rotman lens is used as a beamformer for azimuth scans. For the Rotman lens, we are addressing issues such as bandwidth, phase integrity, and minimizing loss. Ferroelectric delay lines are being considered for phase shifting in elevation. It is critical to optimize a coupling method that will preserve the desired phase shift over a specified bandwidth. We are considering MEMS-based phase shifting concepts as well as a variety of other low-loss switching technologies. Interconnections between all of the components of the ESA are an important concern.
Our goal is to produce a low profile, low-cost, lightweight millimeter-wave antenna array that rapidly scans in azimuth and elevation. Much research is needed to resolve issues of each component of the antenna as well as the interconnections. We are interested in candidates that would work on either part of the system (e.g., the aperture design, the Rotman lens) or on the system as a whole.