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Microstrip Antennas with Polarization Diversity across a Wide Frequency Range and Phased Array Antennas for Radar and Satellite Communications


The thesis comprises of 3 projects; an L-band microstrip antenna with frequency agility and polarization diversity, X-band phased array antennas incorporating commercially packaged RFIC phased array chips, and studies for Ku/Ka- band shared aperture antenna array. The first project features the use of commercially packaged RF-MEMS SPDT switches, that boasts of high reliability, high linearity, low losses, hermetically packaged and fully compatible for SMTA processes for mass-assembly and production. Using the switches in a novel manner for the feed network, microstrip antennas with polarization diversity are presented. Frequency agility is achieved with the use of tuning diodes to provide capacitive loading to the antenna element. Additional inductance effects from surface- mounted capacitors, and its impact, is introduced. Theoretical cross-polarization of probe-fed antenna elements is presented for both linear and circular polarized microstrip antennas. Designs and measurements are presented, for microstrip antennas with polarization diversity, wide frequency tuning range, and both features. Replacement of the tuning diodes with commercially- packaged high Q RF MEMS tunable capacitors will allow for significant improvements to the radiation efficiency. In another project, multi-channel CMOS RFIC phased-array receiver chips are assembled in QFN packages and directly integrated on the same multi-layered PCB stack-up with the antenna arrays. Problems of isolation from the PCB-QFN interface, and potential performance degradation on antenna array from the use of commercial-grade laminates for assembly requirements, namely potential scan blindness and radiation efficiency, are presented. Causes for apparent drift of dielectric constant for microstrip circuits, and high conductor losses observed in measurements, are introduced. Finally, studies are performed for the design of a Ku/Ka-Band shared aperture array. Different approaches for developing dual-band shared apertures are considered. Design for single-fed circular-polarized dual-band antenna element operating at 20 GHz and 30 GHz is presented. Designs for dual-band quadrature and differential phased 3dB couplers are presented. Studies are performed on cross-polarization performances of circularly-polarized microstrip antenna arrays resulting from performance limitations of individual antenna elements. Results of the pattern studies and designs of the dual-band components can be combined to evaluate practical performance of dual-band array implementation and required component specifications and bandwidth constraints

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