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A High efciency Ku-band Printed Monopulse Array D R Jahagirdar*

Senior M ember IEEE ,

V G Borkar

Directorate of RF Systems, RCI, DRDO, Hyderabad, INDIA drj94r@zepler.net Abstract A Ku-band microstrip monopulse array design and performance is discussed in the following paper, wherein 32% antenna efciency is achieved at higher end Ku-band frequency. The printed array is realized on a single layer of low loss dielectric material. The monopulse comparator, series power divider and array design is described in brief. The design has been carried out using a combination of moment method in spectral domain and array theory. The measured results shows a very well dened azimuth and elevation difference patterns and the results are highly repeatable.

Introduction
Microstrip antennas are increasingly being used for airborne application since inception because of low prole and light weight [1]. At higher frequencies the ease of fabrication and repeatable performance also becomes attractive features. The only disadvantage is perhaps low to moderate power handling capacity [2]. In many radar and communication systems, monopulse antennas are widely used and there also the microstrip monopulse arrays have found appreciable use. A Ku-band high gain monopulse microstrip array with integrated comparator on a single layer is described in the following part of the paper.

Monopulse comparator
The preliminary design starts from the beam-width and gain requirement. An approximate physical size of the antenna is known from it. An elementary calculation for single radiating patch and progressive phase shift required (separation between patches) gives the total number elements of the array. A basic conguration of a monopulse comparator for narrow-band performance is shown in the Fig.1. It is a conventional four hybrid cascade. Each hybrid is a 90 hybrid preceded by an extra line length m /4. The line widths and lengths are calculated using full wave moment method formulation. Although the scheme is narrow-band in perception, the resonant array bandwidth is less or at most comparable to the comparators bandwidth. The isolation between the adjecent ports is expected to be 1825 dB while the isolation between distant ports is expected to be 30-50 dB. The monopulse comparator is fed by four quadrant arrays. In each quadrant, there is a series power divider feeding each branch.

Quadrant array
Each branch is a series fed patch array [3] as shown in g 2. Each such array is once again designed using standard procedure. The procedure is to start from a Taylors distribution, arrive at conductance distribution and then nd out widths of the patches to realize the conductance. Then the revised resonant lengths of each patch are calculated using moment

978-1-4244-4968-2/10/$25.00 2010 IEEE

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Figure 1: Single layer monopulse comparator

Figure 2: A series fed array branch

method [4] or cavity model [5]. The important dimensions are lengths, widths and a xed inter-element spacing m . For series-fed array, it is difcult to maintain equal spacing since each patch has a different resonant length. However it does not have any grave effect on nal radiation pattern. The input impedance can be calculated based on moment method in spectral domain [4]. The dimensions have been arrived at after iterating the design a few times. The height of the patch dielectric is chosen high in order to make sure that the required bandwidth is realized and also keeping in mind that smaller widths of feeding line means less damaging effect on radiation pattern. The calculations should also take into account the dielectric cover effects, if any. The entire procedure can be iterated for ner calculation. Two types of difculties are encountered in the design. One difculty is to realize the very high and very low values of radiation resistances. It is relatively easier is case of slots in waveguides. Another difculty is in taking into account the inter-element reections and mutual coupling effects. Once the two difculties are worked around, a nal optimum design is ready. It can then be realized. The array layout is shown in a photograph of a sample in Fig.3.

Test results and performance


Frequency (Ku-band) Gain Return loss Isolation Az El Sidelobe level (H-plane) (E-plane) Beamwidth (both planes) Null depth Null shift with freq. Cross-over Cross-talk Cross-pol fo 25 M Hz 33 dBi 23 dB min 35 dB min 18 dB rst (30 dB avg) 18 dB rst (28 dB avg) 3.0 0.1 28 dB (Both-planes) 0.05 H-plane 0.05 E-plane 4-dB (H-plane) 5-dB (E-plane) 28-dB 32-dB

Figure 3: The autocad sketch of array The electrical performance is very good. The return loss is very good at all the ports (better than 23 dB). The isolation between the co-located ports is also very good (better than 24 dB) while the isolation between Az and El difference ports is as high as 35 dB. The radiation pattern performance is also very good. The sum pattern sidelobe levels in E-plane are better than 20 dB while the sidelobe levels are better than 18 dB in H-plane. The branch current distribution is in H-plane and since branch current distribution is proportional to impedance ratio, it is very difcult to achieve desired branch current distribution. That is the reason why the H-plane patterns look bulged and the rst sidelobe level is poor in H-plane. The subsequent sidelobes are below 30 dB average. In case the array size is small, this problem wont be there and better side lobe level can be achieved. The difference patterns also shows a good symmetry and the null depths are better than 28 dB equal in both planes. The cross-talk between the Az and El plane is better than 28 dB within 3-dB beamwidth. The cross-polarization performance is also excellent, better than 32 dB. These type of antennas exhibit a fractional bandwidth, the antenna has exhibited about 0.5% bandwidth. Mainly the gain decrease rapidly with frequency. The 1 dB gain bandwidth is 25 MHz while overall performance is very good over 50 MHz bandwidth. The overall efciency was 32% and gain is 33 dBi. Considering the losses in microstrip feed and comparator, it is a very good gure. The measured patterns of monopulse array are shown in Fig.4 and Fig.5.

Conclusion
Microstrip antennas have a lot of applications in radar systems because of its low prole and lightweight features. The printed monopulse arrays are very good alternative in case transmit power is low or moderately high. A single layer Ku-band printed monopulse array design and performance analysis is presented in this paper. The design is on a single layer wherein the monopulse comparator is realized in the space between four quadrants. The electrical performance is excellant. The above monopulse antenna is particularly suited for airborne applications.

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Figure 4: Azimuth plane patterns

Figure 5: Elevation plane patterns

Acknowledgements
The author would like to thank Dr. A. Ghosh for masurement support. The author would like to acknowledge the encouragement of R. Das, Technology Director, RF Systems and S.K.Ray Director, RCI, Hyderabad.

References
[1] R. E. Munson, Conformal microstrip antennas and microstrip phased arrays, IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, vol. AP-22, pp. 7478, Jan. 1974. [2] D. M. Pozar and D. Schaubert, Microstrip Antennas. IEEE Press, New Jersy, 1995. [3] F. C. Bevan B. Jones and A. Seeto, The synthesis of shaped patterns with series-fed microstrip patch arrays, IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, vol. AP-30, pp. 1206 1212, Nov. 1982. [4] D. M. Pozar, Input impedance and mutual coupling of rectangular microstrip antennas, IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, vol. AP-34, pp. 11911196, Nov. 1982. [5] Y. T. Lo, D. Solomon, and W. F. Richards, Theory and expriment on microstrip antennas, IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, vol. AP-27, pp. 137145, Mar. 1979.