Innovative DF Antenna Design, 16-R9818

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Principal Investigators
Keith Lysiak

Inclusive Dates:  04/04/08 – Current

Background - The purpose of this project is to investigate innovative designs for direction finding (DF) antennas. The proposed plan capitalizes on a unique collaboration between SwRI and academia to update key SwRI engineering staff knowledge in the areas of antenna design, electromagnetic numerical modeling and optimization while investigating new and innovative higher frequency antenna designs.

Dr. Dave Kelley, on sabbatical from Bucknell University to work under an SwRI Consulting Agreement, will be available from 15 August, 2008, to 15 May, 2009, to perform antenna research on this project.

Approach - Most communication systems simply require that the antenna receive a significant signal strength to obtain the information required. DF antenna systems on the other hand require not only a significant signal but also must have the ability to characterize the incident wave front of the signal of interest to determine the direction of arrival. This requires very stable and repeatable antenna responses. Because of this, DF antenna design requires a precision not required in most antenna applications.

The main objective of this project is to design innovative reflectarrays for direction finding (DF) applications. Although reflectarrays have been designed for several specific applications including space applications, no mention of DF applications have been found in the referenced literature.

Accomplishments - Dr. Kelley's work so far has been primarily to extract impedance matrix data from the numerical antenna model in order to implement a fast radiation pattern and input impedance calculation. This will allow certain types of array variations without rerunning the numerical model for each.

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