IC Integration Enables Flat-Panel Phased Array Antenna Design

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  • Author: Jeff Lane

Advances in semiconductor technology have enabled the proliferation of phased array antenna across the industry. This shift away from the mechanically steered antenna to the active electronically scanned antenna (AESA) began years ago in military applications, but has rapidly advanced more recently in satcom on-the-move and 5G communications. The low profile AESA has advantages such as fast steering capability, the ability to produce multiple radiation patterns, and higher reliability; however, these antennas required significant advancements in IC technology before they could become widely available. Planar phased arrays require devices operating with high levels of integration,low power consumption, and high efficiency so that users may fit these components behind the antenna array while keeping the heat generated to acceptable levels. This article will briefly describe how advances in phased array chipsets are making planar phased array antennas possible, followed by examples.

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