Low Cost Scanning Arrays

Matilda Livadaru, Florida International University


Over the past decades, phased arrays have played a significant role in the development of modern radar and communication systems. The availability of printed circuit technology and ease of integration with microwave components, as well as the development of low profile and low weight approaches, have also played an important role in their conformal adaptation. However, fabrication costs remain prohibitive for many emergent platforms, including 5G base stations and autonomous vehicles, when compared to a conventional mechanically steered passive array. Therefore, cost reductions in the fabrication and integration of modern phased arrays are essential to their adaptation for many upcoming commercial applications. Indeed, although phased array design methods are well-understood, even for wideband and wide-angle scanning applications, their fabrication is still based on high-cost, low-yield printed circuit technology. With this in mind, this dissertation focuses on a new planar aperture topology and low-cost techniques for phased array methodologies. The first part of the thesis presents new fabrication advancements using commercially available multi-layered printed circuit technologies. We discuss methods for low cost fabrication while still maintaining performance and design constraints for planar array apertures. The second part of the dissertation presents a novel Integrated Planar Array (IPA) at S-Band and discusses dramatic cost reductions for multi-function radar applications. Performance and cost benefits are presented, and fabrication techniques to exploit an emerging class of high-speed digital laminates are discussed. These are compatible with high-volume, high-yield production, while reducing aperture cost by 75% when compared to conventional approaches. Performance of a planar array employing a pin-fed dual-polarized antenna element with active VSWR Overall, this dissertation addresses several manufacturing and performance challenges in realizing affordable planar phased arrays using low cost fabrication without performance compromise. As commercial interest in phased array technology is anticipated to grow, the proposed approaches for phased array design and fabrication will enable quick turnaround times for mainstream adoption.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Livadaru, Matilda, "Low Cost Scanning Arrays" (2018). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI13805721.