Multilayer antenna arrays for environmental sensing applications
Yepes, Ana María
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Array antennas are used extensively in remote sensing applications, where a highly directive beam is needed to scan a particular area of interest on the surface of the earth. The research presented here focuses on the design of different microstrip patch antenna arrays to be used in environmental sensing applications in the X and Ka frequency bands, such as measurements in Snow and Cold Land Processes (SCLP) to detect snow accumulation, snow melt, etc. The goal of this research is to produce highly integrated, low loss, and compact size antenna arrays, while maintaining low power consumption. Multilayer organic (MLO) System-on-a-Package (SOP) technology, using laminates such as Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) and RT/Duroid®, provides a lightweight and low cost 3D solution for the fabrication of the antenna arrays. The elements of the antenna arrays are rectangular patches. Two feeding mechanisms, aperture coupling and via feed, were implemented and compared. For the RF distribution network and interconnects, a corporate feed approach was used with reactive T-junctions, Wilkinson dividers, or both, for power division. The feed networks were designed using microstrip. The basic multilayer antenna array design consists of 3 layers of cladded laminate material. The metal layers are as follows: 1) patch antennas, 2) ground plane, 3) feed network, and 4) surface-mount components. The surface mount components would include LNA, PA, TR switch and phase shifter.