3D printed mm-wave multi-function antenna lens
FFI is in the process of designing and developing a radar/jammer system, which has the means to be used in UAVs. Antennas are needed for UAV integration. The idea is to miniaturize and increase functionality in order to reduce weight and system complexity. Thus, 3D printing and metamaterials are of interest.
By combining mm-wave and exploring the concept of engineered composite structures (metamaterials), which provide material properties (e and/or m) that are not attainable with ordinary material, additional design advantages can be obtained such as:
- Enable extreme miniaturization
- Enhance radiation patterns / increase gain
- Multi-function and/or multi-frequency
- Increase scanning range
By configuring the geometry of these metamaterials structures individually and in collections, we can engineer systems that can manipulate waves in entirely new ways. The ability to combine multiple electromagnetic functions can drastically reduce size, weight and complexity of systems. The goal of this thesis is to combine frequency selective metamaterials with an angle insensitive (+/-45o) reflectarray antenna in mm-wave range to provide multi-function. Suggested band is 32-37GHz and antenna/lens must take up to 1W. The challenge is designing a unit-cell concept that is low loss and small enough for mm-wave applications.
The project includes the following design procedure:
- Material characterization including dielectric properties using waveguides and/or RF probes and instrumentations.
- Design and simulation of unit-cell or similar concept and 3D antenna lenses using EM modelling tools.
- Based on design performance, fabricate a suitable lens using 3D printing.
- Characterize the RF performance of the antenna lens through measurements.
- Compare results with design performance.
The design procedure may be iterated as required with different solutions and materials.
- Antenna design
- Modelling and simulation of 3D microwave/RF components (CST)
- 3D printing microwave/RF components
- Test and measure using advanced RF instrumentation