Optimization of Aperiodically Spaced Antenna Arrays for Wideband Applications

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Virginia Tech

Over the years, phased array antennas have provided electronic scanning with high gain and low sidelobe levels for many radar and satellite applications. The need for higher bandwidth as well as greater scanning ability has led to research in the area of aperiodically spaced antenna arrays. Aperiodic arrays use variable spacing between antenna elements and generally require fewer elements than periodically spaced arrays to achieve similar far field pattern performance. This reduction in elements allows the array to be built at much lower cost than traditional phased arrays.

This thesis introduces the concept of aperiodic phased arrays and their design via optimization algorithms, specifically Particle Swarm Optimization. An axial mode helix is designed as the antenna array element to obtain the required half power beamwidth and bandwidth. The final optimized aperiodic array is compared to a traditional periodic array and conclusions are made.

Optimization, helix, phased arrays, wideband, aperiodic, Particle Swarm Optimization