Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

Authors Henry Giddens and Yang Hao search expanded and improved methods to fabricate antennas, releasing the findings of their examine within the not too long ago revealed ‘Multi-Beam Graded Dielectric Lens Antenna from Multi-Materials 3D Printing.’

With necessary functions like cellular networks counting on highly effective, directive antennas, there may be ongoing curiosity in refining them additional, broadening the potential for efficiency. On this examine, the authors 3D printed a brand new lens with a number of supplies. Capable of operate omnidirectionally, their closing lens radiated with a acquire of Eight.5 dBi throughout the pleasure of a single sector, and with a most acquire of 5.9 dBi in multi-beam mode.

The authors level out that whereas ceramic composites have been used to create graded-index (GRIN) supplies, that technique isn’t at all times thought of appropriate for prototyping functions. The usage of effective-medium idea, including sub-wavelength airgap intrusions, has additionally been used with higher luck; nevertheless, as 3D printing has begun to make its means into the mainstream and provide appreciable impacts inside almost each business from automotive and racing to drugs to aerospace—and with quite a few totally different initiatives specializing in the fabrication of antennas.

“3D printing additionally gives the likelihood to realize efficient graded-index profiles, the place a unit cell quantity is simply partially full of the 3D filament, the remainder of the amount occupied by air,” acknowledged the researchers. “In such a case, the general permittivity of the unit cell is decrease than that of the 3D filament and by growing the filling issue of the air hole throughout the unit cell, three-dimensional GRIN supplies can simply be realized.”

The antenna is supposed to alter the propagation path, emanating from the supply discovered at the focus, permitting the entrance of the electromagnetic wave to align. The GRIN lens was created with a quasi-conformal coordinate transformation, changing the lens onto a flat floor, additional modified to lie ‘inside a single sector of an octagon.’ The chosen parameters have been essential to make sure that the lens was suitably illuminated, in addition to providing one of the best efficiency degree.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

(a) Hyperbolic lens. (b) Permittivity map of remodeled GRIN lens
overlaid with define of octagonal sector. (c) Discretized permittivity values of
lens sector. (d) Radiation patterns from unique hyperbolic lens, GRIN lens,
and waveguide port by itself

The researchers rotated the GRIN lens phase via 45°. It was copied seven occasions, permitting the staff to create a complete octagonal lens—alternating between beams spanning the entire 360° azimuth aircraft.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

(a) The total octagonal graded dielectric lens with Eight particular person segments – the feed factors are proven in inexperienced. (b) The 2D radiation patterns from every phase at 5.Eight GHz.

The octagonal lens featured eight directive beams, with crossover factors displayed at a 22.5° offset from the middle of every phase.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

Radiation patterns of the 2D Eight-sector lens with multi-port excitation. (a) Anti-phase excitation. (b) Equal-phase excitation.

“One of many drawbacks of phased antenna arrays is reaching the required section and amplitude weightings required to every of the antenna components, resulting from complexity, value, energy consumption and system losses,” defined the researchers. “Right here nevertheless, the totally different radiation sample mixtures introduced may be achieved via easy switched feeding networks.”

For 3D printing, the analysis staff used a typical white ABS, together with ABS-400—each required to realize crucial permittivity’s of the discretized lens.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

The required fill issue for reaching totally different efficient permittivities of the octagonal lens.

A 3D printed mannequin of an antenna was fabricated through two totally different printing jobs, with the inside a part of the lens made with normal ABS and 6 totally different sectors—and the second half made with ABS400.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

Full 3D antenna construction. (a) CAD mannequin of 3D lens. (b) Photograph of 3D printed lens prototype with embedded feeding construction positioned on a metallic floor aircraft.

The GRIN lens was 3D printed on an Unique Prusa i3 MK3 3D printer, with SMA connectors soldered to the aspect in feed level areas.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

Enter response of every of the feeding monopoles of the octagonal GRIN lens. The darkish gray line reveals the simulated information and colored strains characterize measured information of every port.

Multi-Materials 3D Printing for the Dielectric Lens Antenna

Measured and simulated E and H aircraft radiation patterns of a single
sector of the octagonal GRIN lens at 5.Eight GHz.

“The lens was additionally in a position to radiate with an omnidirectional sample, regardless of the directive nature of every particular person sector,” concluded the researchers.

“The proposed antenna can be appropriate for utility in a MANET radio to be mounted on a cellular terminal when directive beams are required for interference mitigation and focused communications.”

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