LETI: LETI Researchers Will Improve Modern Antennas

In modern ultrahigh-frequency and millimeter-band antenna technology, flat structures – reflective antenna arrays – are used as an alternative to parabolic antennas, as they have advantages in performance and functionality.

“Traditionally, reflective antenna arrays are made based on microstrip antenna elements using PCB technology, but in recent years, developers take interest in alternative antenna designs, which can provide similar or better characteristics while reducing production costs. One of the possible solutions is slot elements, which can be manufactured by laser metal cutting technology,” says Lyubov Lyubina, Associate Professor of the Department of Theoretical Fundamentals of Radio Engineering.

According to her, all-metal slot reflective array antennas are now more widely used because of their advantages, such as no dielectric losses, mechanical strength, and the possibility of production using such cost-effective technologies as laser cutting or 3D printing. They weigh more, but their other characteristics are similar to their counterparts made using PCB.

As part of her research work “All-Metal Slot Reflective Antenna Arrays,” Lyubov developed new designs with improved electrical characteristics, oriented for manufacturing using laser cutting and 3D-printing technologies.

Using 3D printing, an additional lens layer is applied to the surface of the reflective array antenna, which protects the lattice structures from harsh weather conditions such as acid rain.

Now, the team of antenna feed systems group of Research Institute of Radio Engineering and Telecommunications has accumulated great experience in the development of all-metal reflective and loop antenna arrays; several solutions are patented and implemented in the form of mock-ups. The next stage is the creation of a dismountable antenna array to work as a part of a compact satellite communications station.

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