Reconfigurable transmitarrays for beam-steering and beam -forming at millimeter-waves

Abstract : Nowadays, transmitarray antennas are of great interest for many civil and military applications in frequency bands between 10 and 110 GHz (5G mobile networks, point-to-point communication systems, radars, etc.).This thesis aims to make major innovations in modeling and design of transmitarray antennas for Ka-band applications (28-40 GHz). It focuses on the development of numerical tools, and the design and demonstration of several prototypes with advanced functionalities, such as passive (broadband or multibeam) and active (at electronic reconfiguration) transmitarrays.The first part of the work consists of a theoretical analysis of the transmitarray antenna. In a first step, the impact of the phase compensation method on the performance of the transmitarray is studied. The phase compensation law of the quasi-spherical wave incident on the array aperture is calculated using two methods called constant phase compensation and true-time delay (TTD) compensation. The numerical results show that TTD compensation allows an increase of the transmitarrays bandwidth and a reduction of the beam squint as compared to constant phase-shift compensation. In a second step, the operating principle of facetted transmitarrays is described in detail. The numerical simulation of a 3-facet transmitarray is validated through 3-D electromagnetic simulations. For a certain facet angle, the bandwidth and the beam scanning capability of the TA are improved at the expense of the gain.The next step of the work concerns the design and prototyping of two passive transmitarray antennas, one with a collimated and a large bandwidth, and the other with four fixed beams. The two transmitarrays are based on a 3-bit unit-cell providing two functions, namely the phase compensation and the polarization conversion from linear to circular. The passive beam-collimated transmitarray exhibits a measured gain of 33.8 dBi (corresponding to an aperture efficiency of 51.2%) and a 3-dB gain-bandwidth larger than 15.9%. The quad-beam transmitarray phase distribution has been optimized by a genetic algorithm code coupled with an analytical tool. The array is designed to radiate four beams at ±25° in the horizontal and vertical planes at the optimization frequency.The last part of the work aims to the design of a 27-31 GHz reconfigurable transmitarray antenna. Initially, an active unit-cell with four phase states (2 bits) in linear polarization was designed and validated experimentally. It consists of six metal layers printed on three substrates. The radiating elements are rectangular patch antennas, each of them including two PIN diodes to control the transmission phase. The operating principle of the unit-cell has been experimentally validated with a minimum insertion loss of 1.6-2.1 dB and a 3-dB transmission bandwidth of 10-12.1% for the four phase states. 0°, 90°, 180° and 270°.Then, this unit-cell was used for the design of a reconfigurable transmitarray antenna comprising 14 × 14 unit cells and 784 PIN diodes. A prototype was realized and characterized, it presents a measured maximum gain of 19.8 dBi, corresponding to an aperture efficiency of 23.5%, and a 3-dB bandwidth of 4.7 GHz (26.2% at 30.9 GHz). Despite some faulty elements, this prototype validates the operating principle and the feasibility of Ka-band transmitarray antennas with a 2-bit phase quantization. It is one of the first demonstration of such an antenna in the current state of the art.
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Fatimata Diaby. Reconfigurable transmitarrays for beam-steering and beam -forming at millimeter-waves. Optics / Photonic. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAT125⟩. ⟨tel-02183145⟩

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