Low-cost Rotational Element Electronically Scanned Antenna Array Achieves High-precision Beam Scanning

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a small, low-cost array antenna that achieves high-precision beam scanning by electronically rotating antenna elements individually. The REESA (Rotational Element Electronically Scanned Array) antenna is suitable for airport radar systems, mobile satellite communication systems and possible new applications such as microwave-based industrial heating and mounting on drones for long-distance data transmission. Commercialization of the product is planned for 2020.

Key Features of the REESA Antenna

  • Rotates antenna elements individually for precise phasing and beam scanning
    • Controls phase by rotating circularly polarized antenna elements individually by motors
    • Realizes high-precision beam scanning by controlling phase in approx. two-degree increments
    • Smaller and les expensive than conventional mechanically driven parabola antennas and active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs).

  • Achieves high efficiency and low power consumption
    • Uses a hollow waveguide for the antenna feed to achieve high efficiency of 85 percent in 12 GHz band

The motivation behind the development of this antenna was that airport radars and mobile satellite communication systems conventionally use mechanically driven parabola antennas or AESAs, which electronically scan antenna beams with RF modules. The size and weight of the drive mechanism can be a problem in the case of parabolic antennas, while AESAs require expensive RF modules for each antenna element and achieve only limited accuracy in phasing required for high-precision beam scanning.