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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2009, Article ID 836074, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/836074
Application Article

Flat Array Antennas for Ku-Band Mobile Satellite Terminals

RF Microtech srl, a spin-off of the University of Perugia c/o DIEI, via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy

Received 30 September 2008; Revised 9 January 2009; Accepted 17 February 2009

Academic Editor: Stefano Selleri

Copyright © 2009 Roberto Vincenti Gatti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This work presents the advances in the development of two innovative flat array antennas for Ku-band mobile satellite terminals. The first antenna is specifically conceived for double-deck trains to allow a bi-directional high data rate satellite link. The available circular surface (diameter 80 cm) integrates both a transmitting and a receiving section, operating in orthogonal linear polarizations. The TX frequency range is fully covered while the RX bandwidth is around 1 GHz arbitrarily allocated on the DVB range depending on requirements. The beam is steered in elevation through a phased array architecture not employing costly phase shifters, while the steering in azimuth is mechanical. Active BFNs allow excellent performance in terms of EIRP and G/T, maintaining extremely low profile. High antenna efficiency and low fabrication cost are ensured by the employment of innovative SIW (Substrate Integrated Waveguide) structures. The second antenna, receiving-only, is designed for radio/video streaming services in mobile environment. Full DVB coverage is achieved thanks to cavity-backed patches operating in double linear polarization. Two independent broadband active BFNs allow simultaneous reception of both polarizations with full tracking capabilities and a squintless beam steering from 2 0 to 6 0 in elevation. A minimum gain of 20 dBi and G/T > 3  dB/ K are achieved, while maintaining extremely compact size and flat profile. In the design of both antennas fabrication cost is considered as a driving factor, yet providing high performance with a flat profile and thus resulting in a great commercial potentiality.