Federico Boulos, Georg Frederik Riemschneider, Stefano Caizzone

3D Phased Array Enabling Extended Field of View in Mobile Satcom Applications

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Satellite communication (satcom) is experiencing increased interest to cover the connectivity gaps of terrestrial networks. To ensure high performance and throughput for the user—and even more so in Communications-On-The-Move(COTM) systems, e.g., in aeronautics—steerable antennas such as phased arrays are required to adjust the beam so as to follow the satellite’s trajectory. The mutual movement of terminals and satellite in COTM systems calls for a broad Field of View (FoV) and, hence, poses a challenge to common planar systems. For improving the FoV, common solutions require ad hoc designs, such as multi-mode antennas, wide half-power-beamwidth antennas or metasurfaces. By contrast, 3D arrays are able to cover a wider angular region by the 3D allocation of the antennas. In this paper, the benefits and drawbacks of moving from 2D (planar) arrays to 3D phased arrays are investigated. Multiple geometrical configurations are analyzed, keeping in mind the size requirements of aeronautic terminals. The best configuration is, hence, an array capable of enhancing the FoV of the terminal. The proposed antenna architecture offers a good trade-off between design complexity and performance, and it could be further developed to become an aeronautic-grade terminal aperture.

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