Integrated compensation network for low mutual coupling of planar microstrip antenna arrays
June 9, 2007
The unavoidable presence of mutual coupling of antenna elements in an array limits the ability to transmit and receive signals concurrently . In the absence of mutual coupling, it is conceivable although still difficult to transmit and receive at the same frequency at the same time, i.e., FM-CW radars. The reflection from the antenna, leakage through the circulator, and any other possible deleterious paths from the high power amplifier to the low noise amplifier must be cancelled or compensated for in some manner to keep the receiver linear. With a single antenna the signal and noise paths are correlated and therefore cancellation of the signal inherently eliminates the noise. However, in an array environment the mutual coupling of antenna elements cause noise from neighboring high power amplifiers to couple into each channel's receiver. While the signal coupling is coherent, the noise is uncorrelated to a degree that depends on the amplifier gain and noise figure. The use of a low mutual coupling antenna array is a critical element in operating systems in this manner.