A multibeam antenna based on an active aperiodic lens

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Technology abstract

A european organization patented a method of manufacturing a multibeam antenna based on aperiodic lens. This method is based on a single aperture in order to replace traditional onboard antennas based on multi reflector dishes. It provides an improved architecture for a discrete active lens multibeam antenna with better radiative performances and reduced volume, mass, cost and complexity of the overall system. 

An invention that reduces the complexity of the overall system and increases the amplifiers efficiency, suitable for the smart cities market. However similar inventions are being implemented and the technology is not patented to all markets of interest.

- Paris Rallis -

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Technology Description

In the field of antenna engineering it is well known that most commonly, the generation of directive beams implies using antennas with large electric dimensions, usually based on reflectors. A conventional solution for generating a coverage consists of using several reflector antennas -typically three or four in reflection and the same number in transmission- in order to generate interleaved beams.
A European organization patented a method of manufacturing a multibeam antenna (transmit or receive) for satellite applications, based on aperiodic lens and designed to operate in the microwave part of the spectrum (300MHz-300GHz). This method represents an interesting solution based on a single aperture in order to replace traditional onboard antennas based on multi reflector dishes. The antenna of the method has a plurality of primary radiating elements, each associated to a beam, clustered on focal surface of converging lens to face front array of radiating elements, where both front and back array of radiating elements are aperiodic.
The antenna architecture of this solution, although particularly suited for space applications and for operation in the microwaves part of the spectrum, can also be used in non-spatial (e.g. terrestrial) applications and in other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The use of this invention may be promoted by the new applications in various bands (SHF, EHF and THF) or redesign of devices used for known applications.
It may also be used in telecom applications but only at really high frequency (GHz or more) as it permits to have reduced mass, dimensions and complexity that is very suitable for communication systems as wireless LAN, WIMAX, LMDS, LTE, 4G, etc. and also for smart environments.
In smart cities and smart systems, there is an additional need to collect all the information of information points and distribute to other sites (e.g. a traffic regulator or control center) so the multibeam capability and reduced complexity of the antenna which is possible with this invention are very useful. Additionally, for military purposes, radar, telemetry and directed-energy weapons are some additional applications which can be developed. Finally, X-Ray diagnostics are being replaced by new radio technologies that improve the medical imaging quality and diagnostics. Currently, it is being studied the use of THF as a substitute for X-Rays in some medical applications, where this invention could be used as a radiating element.

Innovations & Advantages

This method, compared to previous inventions, reduces the amount of elements needed and therefore the mass, dimensions, cost and complexity of the overall system for manufacturing an antenna. In space environment and for telecom applications, the cost-benefits of the invention are obvious (dimensions, complexity etc.). Also, this method offers increased efficiency of the amplifiers, better radiative performance and wider bandwidth. Integration of the envelope tracking circuit and the main RF power amplifier is also possible since a single power supply to the envelope tracking circuit is sufficient. 

Further Information

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • Sensing, Smart Cities and Smart environments, local administrations and city councils, utilities companies, ICT companies, environmental authorities, transportation authorities etc.
  • Telecom applications, communications market, broadcasting operators (TV, Radio, Mobile, etc.) and radiation systems manufacturers (radar, communications
  • Militar and military industry
  • Medical applications, medical research institutions (radiography), biomedical devices industry