Electronically Controlled MMW Scanning Antenna
Small Business Information
375 Van Ness Avenue, Suite, 1105, Torrance, CA, 90501
Dr. Vladimir Manasson
AbstractA quasi-optical phased array architecture is widely regarded as the most promising candidate for electronically scanning antennas. The key components of phased arrays are tunable phase-shifters or true time delay elements. One antenna may contain dozens to thousands of these elements which are very expensive and make a typical phased array unaffordable for most applications. In addition, at MMW frequencies those components still present a challenging technical problem. A different approach has been developed by WaveBand Corporation. The approach is based on using a reconfigurable plasma grating excited in a semiconductor. MMW radiation passing through the grating experiences diffraction. By patterning the grating one can send the MMW beam in a desired direction. In this approach the antenna does not contain tunable phase-shifting or time delay elements and is thus dramatically less expensive than phased arrays. In our previously designed antennas plasma was generated by photo-injection. We propose a new design where plasma is excited by current injection. The main advantage of this new antenna is its compatibility with MMIC technology that will result in a significant cost reduction. The Phase I goal is to demonstrate the operation of a laboratory prototype of the new MMW scanning antenna. Anticipated benefits of the proposed project lie in the dramatic cost reduction of scanning antennas. Commercial applications include MMW imaging radar, aircraft landing systems, and anti-collision systems for the huge auto market.
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