Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Aly E Fathy

Committee Members

Marshall Pace, Paul Crilly, Thomas Meek, Yoon Kang

Abstract

Mobile communication has become an essential part of our daily life. We love the flexibility of wireless cell phones and even accept their lower quality of service when compared to wired links. Similarly, we are looking forward to the day that we can continue watching our favorite TV programs while travelling anywhere and everywhere. Mobility, flexibility, and portability are the themes of the next generation communication. Motivated and fascinated by such technology breakthroughs, this effort is geared towards enhancing the quality of wireless services and bringing mobile satellite reception one step closer to the market. Meanwhile, phased array antennas are vital components for RADAR applications where the antenna is required to have certain scan capabilities. One of the main concerns in that perspective is how to avoid the potential of scan blindness in the required scan range. Targeting to achieve wide-band wide-scan angle phased arrays free from any scan blindness our efforts is also geared.

Conventionally, the key to lower the profile of the antenna is to use planar structures. In that perspective microstrip patch antennas have drawn the attention of antenna engineers since the 1970s due to their attractive features of being low profile, compact size, light weight, and amenable to low-cost PCB fabrication processes. However, patch elements are basically resonating at a single frequency, typically have <2% bandwidth, which is a major deficit that impedes their usage in relatively wide-band applications. There are various approaches to enhance the patch antennas bandwidth including suspended substrates, multi-stack patches, and metalized cavities backing these patches.

Metalized cavity-backed patch structures have been demonstrated to give the best performance, however, they are very expensive to manufacture. In this dissertation, we develop an alternative low-cost bandwidth enhancement topology. The proposed topology is based on substrate-integrated waveguides. The great potential of the proposed structure lies in being amenable to the conventional PCB fabrication. Moreover, substrate-integrated cavity-backed structures facilitate the design of sophisticated arrays that are very expensive to develop using the conventional metalized cavity-backed topology, which includes the common broadside arrays used in fixed-beam applications and the scanned phased arrays used in RADAR applications.

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