Analysis and Synthesis of a New Class of Low Side Lobe Planar Arrays
Khan, Iqtidar Ahmad
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Numerical techniques for designing planar arrays with low side lobe level often require memory intensive optimization algorithms and also initialization in the form of some known values of radiation pattern parameters beforehand - information that may not be available when designing arrays. A few analytical methods exist in the literature that can be used to design rectangular lattices of isotropic elements for desired half-power beamwidth and side lobe level, but the number of elements of the array often should be known before the design process. Some array designs based on analytical techniques may suffer from severe performance limitations, an example is the uniformly excited array which cannot produce side lobe levels below ̶13.3 dB. The goal of this study is to present an analytical technique for synthesis of planar arrays that, for specified radiation pattern requirements, not only provides quick solutions for the required number of elements and its distribution along the length and width of the array rectangular lattice, but also produces low side lobes without any limitation. A new class of non-uniformly excited equally spaced planar arrays is introduced and investigated in this study. The new array uses the patterns of uniformly excited linear arrays as its building blocks and has a separable element current distribution, hence making it mathematically convenient to analyze its radiation properties in terms of those of its constituent linear arrays. The proposed planar array does not suffer from the side lobe level limitation of uniformly excited planar arrays, and its synthesis, due to the analytical nature of description of its radiation properties, does not require iterative procedures that are inherent to numerical techniques. Radiation characteristics of the proposed planar array, including directivity, side lobe level, half-power beamwidths, far-field three dimensional radiation patterns, and element excitation currents, are examined and simulation results for several example cases are presented. The analysis culminates with successfully mapping a continuous radiation pattern to discrete element currents in a rectangular lattice geometry. The synthesis procedure is validated by successfully designing various planar arrays with desired requirements in terms of side lobe level and half-power beamwidths in the principal planes. Several design examples are presented. Radiation characteristics of the synthesized arrays are compared with the desired design requirements which were used as input information in the synthesis process. For the cases studied, the achieved performance characteristics are close to the desired ones.
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