Microfabricated G-Band Antenna Arrays
This proposal addresses the need for an antenna technology platform that meets the requirements of high-performance materials, exacting dimensional tolerances, and the geometrical design freedom to enable planar antenna array technologies for frequencies greater than 100GHz. The PolyStrata fabrication technology, being developed at Nuvotronics, LCC, Blacksburg, VA., is capable of meeting or exceeding all of the requirements outlined to be a solution for these frequencies. Air-filled copper rectangular coaxial transmission lines are fabricated using a photolithographically defined layer-by-layer process. The resulting transmission lines are extremely broadband, low-dispersion, high-isolation, and low loss compared to other forms of planar transmission lines. These lines are smaller than rectangular waveguides because the transverse cross-sections of the lines are not resonant. Phase I of this work includes designing a frequency-scanned antenna-array operating from 140-160GHz that would provide ýý16o beam steering with a beamwidth of 0.5o and 400MHz per beam bandwidth. An antenna array with this performance would require roughly a 24cm by 24cm aperture to fabricate. This is possible using 4 sub-arrays that each are fabricated on a single wafer and then tied together to achieve the overall system performance. The approach will offer a high-yield, cost effective product that will meet the NASA needs.
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