Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
Wideband Polarization-agile Antenna Array 
 

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The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize a wideband polarization-agile antenna array for increasing network throughput and security in communications systems (e.g., cellular, mobile, satellite, tactical).

Background

Polarization-agile or polarization reconfigurable antennas have the ability to change polarization on demand. They aim to reduce the size, weight, and cost of radio frequency systems by accommodating more than one function in the same antenna and are useful in reducing co-site interference and jamming. Numerous polarization-agile antennas have been reported, yet none have the combined features of low cross-polarization, wide instantaneous bandwidth, high gain, ease of implementation in a fixed-beam and steerable arrays, good axial ratio even at high angle, and low cost.

The Technology

SSC Pacific’s Wideband Polarization-agile Antenna Array consists of sub-arrays of four dual-fed, cross-slot-coupled microstrip patch antenna elements. The elements in each sub-array are progressively rotated 90º. Feed and sub-feed lines connect to the elements such that each element can be equally and progressively phase rotated. Applying appropriate magnitude and phase combinations generates horizontal, vertical, right-hand circular, or left-hand circular polarizations. Feed structure and phasing techniques ensure low cross-polarization. The sub-arrays can be easily combined into a full-array to produce high gain and/or beamsteering. As a full-array, the antenna is compatible with phased array applications that desire beam steering out to +/-45º or greater.

Key Benefits

  • Allows orthogonal polarizations to be used concurrently with no increase in spectral usage. This can double the number of users in an ad hoc network, or increase per-node capacity by 2x in TDMA networks and 3.2x in CSMA (e.g., WiFi) networks.
  • Opens the door for polarization modulation and polarization division multiple access using CDMA-like methods (i.e., Hadamard Matrices)
  • Supports polarization hopping schemes, which can be further enhanced with frequency hopping
  • Low cost and weight; planar; no moving parts; wideband
  • Applications: spectral reuse, link budget improvement, anti-jamming, polarization modulation/multiple access, secure communications
  • Development Status

  • U.S. Patent application 14/039008 filed 9/27/2013
  • Total R&D: $299K over 2 years
  • TRL 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • Licensing and collaboration opportunities available
  • For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email ssc_pac_t2@navy.mil.       
    SD 1229, May 2014. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
     
    Updated: 5/29/2014 3:22 PM EST   Published (1.0)