In modern ultra-high frequency and millimeter band antenna technology, flat structures – reflective antenna arrays – are used as an alternative to parabolic antennas, as they have advantages in terms of performance and functionality.
“Traditionally, reflective antenna arrays have been fabricated from microstrip antenna elements using PCB technology, but in recent years developers have become interested in alternative antenna designs, which can provide similar characteristics or better while reducing production costs. One of the possible solutions is slotted elements, which can be made by laser metal cutting technology,” says Lyubov Lyubina, associate professor at the Department of Theoretical Foundations of Radio Engineering.
According to her, all-metal slotted reflective array antennas are now more widely used due to their advantages, such as no dielectric losses, mechanical strength, and the possibility of production using cost-effective technologies such as die-cutting. laser or 3D printing. They weigh more, but their other characteristics are similar to their counterparts made from PCB.
As part of his research work “All-Metal Reflective Slotted Antenna Arrays”, Lyubov has developed new designs with improved electrical characteristics, oriented for manufacturing using laser cutting and 3D printing technologies. .
Using 3D printing, an additional lens layer is applied to the surface of the reflective array antenna, which protects the lattice structures from harsh weather conditions such as acid rain.
Today, the team in the Antenna Feeding Systems Group of the Radio and Telecommunications Engineering Research Institute has accumulated a wealth of experience in the development of all-metal reflective and loop antenna arrays; several solutions are patented and implemented in the form of models. The next step is the creation of a demountable antenna array to function as part of a compact satellite communication station.