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Electrically Small, Super-Directive Antennas Inspired by Insect Anatomy

From:http://www.warf.org Time:2014.10.22

Antennas that are electrically small, those with dimensions relatively diminutive compared to the size of the wavelengths they radiate, are integral to radio engineering, from wireless garage door openers to cell phones. Conflicts between size, power and resolution have limited the technology’s potential in both theory and practice, however, as capabilities diminish with shrinking apparatus size. 

(Picture from https://www.google.com/)

A UW–Madison researcher has developed an electrically small array that converts super-resolving antennas to super-directive antennas by utilizing a phase shifter. The resolution enhancement increases the total amount of collected power and the overall signal-to-noise output.

The receiver system includes two antennas and a processing circuit with a differential phase shifter (DPS). The second antenna receives a signal, which then is phase shifted as a function of its angle of incidence relative to the array’s boresight axis. An output signal can be configured by combining the phase-shifted signal with the first antenna’s original signal.

Three distinct DPS methods can achieve the same result. Active DPS can be implemented using a mixer, filters, amplifiers and voltage controlled phase shifter. Direct DPS is another analog process, while digital DPS samples and processes the antenna signals digitally.


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