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Design and Physical Realization of Phased Array Antennas for MIMO/Beam Steering Applications

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Design and Physical Realization of Phased Array Antennas for MIMO/Beam Steering Applications 6 Antenna Geometries, Synthesis, and Physical Realization To generate a physical design that meets the requirements of the application, AWR AntSyn software enables designers to specify key physical attributes such as the antenna axis and maximum size (bounding volume) on the antenna design, constrain the antenna geometry size, specify minimum and maximum dimensions for a ground plane, and include any dielectric material. After inputting the antenna requirements, the designer can set the run quality, controlling the level of synthesis applied to developing a physical antenna that achieves the different specified performance targets. The software uses a proprietary stochastic optimization technology operating with a powerful 3D electromagnetic solver that provides fast and accurate analysis of arbitrary metallic and dielectric/magnetic structures. The stochasticity underlying AWR AntSyn technology ensures that a broad sampling of antennas is scoped before settling on the optimal design. The powerful numerical EM simulator, based on the method of moments (MoM) and empowered with quadrilateral mesh and high-order basis functions (HOBFs), yields highly accurate results, including distribution of currents over surfaces, near-field results, far-field patterns, and circuit parameters. Synthesis results in a number of candidate antenna designs, each with an assigned quality rating reflecting how well the design met the antenna requirements. Users review the results in AWR AntSyn software and then export any of the resulting model geometries to a number of EM simulators for further analysis or incorporation into a phased array. Supported EM simulators for export from AWR AntSyn software include AWR AXIEM and Analyst simulators, as well as third-party tools ANSYS HFSS, CST Microwave Studio, and WIPL-D, and geometry files such as DXF, STEP, FreeCAD, and SolidWorks (SW) macro files. To incorporate the antenna information generated by AWR AntSyn software in a phased array, the design must be exported in a format that can be utilized by one of the aforementioned EM simulators. With the antenna element successfully imported into an EM tool and simulated, the antenna radiation pattern can be generated and saved in the project as a data file with the appropriate format. The data can then be re-used by inputting it in the radiation pattern definition of the phased array generator wizard within AWR VSS software (Figure 5). This allows designers to use the same antenna response as they optimize the array configuration and develop the feed network. With the pre-solved antenna pattern, the phased array generator wizard guides the designer through an unlimited number of array configuration scenarios, providing real-time feedback of the full array behavior versus scan angle, power level, frequency with the inclusion of details concerning the feed network, edge effects, and mutual coupling. Figure 5: Design flow to synthesize an individual antenna element and generate a radiation pattern

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