Frequency scan antenna design for RPV radar sensors
October 22, 1975
A small program to explore the feasibility of a frequency-scanned antenna as a low-cost, light-weight answer to the requirements of the mini- RPV radar system for the HCWLS program resulted in construction and study of a slotted-waveguide laboratory embodiment of the device. A general formulation of the relationships connecting design parameters was carried out and employed for guidance in selection of waveguide size, band center, and slot spacing. A 301 band from 14.8 to 20.3 GHz in empty WR-42 waveguide was selected. The beamwidth, sidelobe level, gain, attenuation, and efficiency were studied, including the effectiveness of tapered illumination and the occurrence of spurious cross-polarized radiation, as functions of the frequency-controlled scan direction. Some thought was given to alternatives such as aperiodic-array and subarray techniques as means of reducing the tunable bandwidth requirement, as well as stripline serpentine-waveguide designs, for possible future investigation. The work reported herein has shown that the frequency-scanned antenna will provide a low-cost implementation practical for some system applications. If the limitation, primarily in instantaneous signal bandwidth are acceptable in the applications pursued, further investigation of alternate designs is recommended.