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3D-Printed transmit-array antenna for broadband backhaul 5G links at V band

Matos, S.A. ; Teixeira, J. ; Costa, J.R. ; Fernandes, C. A. ; Nachabe, N. ; Luxey, C. ; Titz, D. ; Gianesello, F. ; Del-Río, C. ; Arboleya, A. ; Garnero, J.

IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters Vol. 19, Nº 6, pp. 977 - 981, April, 2020.

ISSN (print): 1536-1225
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 1,312 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/LAWP.2020.2985399

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The low-cost and compactness of transmit-array antennas (TAs) make them attractive for 5G backhaul links. However, the TA advantage is less obvious when considering the broadband operation requirement. Two main factors influence the bandwidth performance: i) the bandwidth of the unit cells; ii) the number of 360º phase wrapping zones in the aperture, which are designed for a specific frequency. Herein, we overcome these limitations by using all-dielectric unit cells (inherently broadband) and by developing a general method to quantify and manage the intricate relation between antenna gain, bandwidth and antenna height. Based on this framework we optimize, as an example, a TA design (focal distance, 𝑭 = 𝟔𝟑 𝒎𝒎 and aperture diameter 𝑫 = 𝟖𝟎 𝒎𝒎) to comply with typical gain specification for 5G backhaul links (>30 dBi) in the WiGiG band (from 57 to 66 GHz). The feed is a dedicated compact horn (𝟖 × 𝟓 × 𝟐𝟐 𝒎𝒎𝟑) that provides a proper illumination of the aperture. Additive manufacturing is used to simplify the manufacturing process of the antenna. A very good agreement between simulations and experimental results is obtained, achieving good aperture efficiency for this type of antenna (42%), which rivals with existing solutions based on more expensive manufacturing techniques.