A four-element array conformed to a singly curved conducting surface has been demonstrated to provide 2 dB axial ratio of 14 percent, while maintaining VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) of 2:1 and gain of 13 dBiC. The array is digitally controlled and can be scanned with the LMS Adaptive Algorithm using the power spectrum as the objective, as well as the Direction of Arrival (DoA) of the beam to set the amplitude of the power spectrum. The total height of the array above the conducting surface is 1.5 inches (3.8 cm).

A uniquely configured microstrip-coupled aperture over a conducting surface produced supergain characteristics, achieving 12.5 dBiC across the 2- to-2.13-GHz and 2.2-to-2.3-GHz frequency bands. This design is optimized to retain VSWR and axial ratio across the band as well. The four elements are uniquely configured with respect to one another for performance enhancement, and the appropriate phase excitation to each element for scan can be found either by analytical beam synthesis using the genetic algorithm with the measured or simulated far field radiation pattern, or an adaptive algorithm implemented with the digitized signal.

The commercially available tuners and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) boards utilized required precise phase coherent configuration control, and with custom code developed by Nokomis, Inc., were shown to be fully functional in a two-channel configuration controlled by FPGA boards. A four-channel tuner configuration and oscilloscope configuration were also demonstrated although algorithm post-processing was required.

This work was done by Thomas D’Arista and Jerry Pauly of Nokomis, Inc. for Glenn Research Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Electronics/Computers category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steven Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-18540-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2010 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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