Investigation of parabolic reflector antennas as single- and multi-phase centre virtual antennas
Allahgholi Pour, Zahra
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In this thesis, the concept of multi-phase centre virtual antenna is thoroughly investigated when a dual-mode primary feed is placed at the focal point of an offset reflector antenna. The virtual antenna requires that the antenna have multiple phase centre locations with identical radiation patterns. It is shown that different polarizations and mode content factors of a dual-mode circular waveguide can displace the phase centre location of an offset reflector antenna without changing its radiation patterns in any direction. This novel idea has promising applications in modern satellite, remote sensing, global positioning systems, and radars with moving platform. The concept is well matched for the modern Displaced Phase Centre Antenna technique, in which a simple signal processing technique is employed to electronically displace the phase centre locations. To avoid mechanically rotating the primary feed, a novel dual-mode feed is also proposed and implemented. It is capable of generating two perpendicular polarized TE11 modes with a fixed aligned TE21 mode. The antenna such developed has a potential application as a transceiver in ground moving target indicator radars. All numerical results are successfully validated by fabricating and testing a prototype antenna in practice. As known, an offset reflector fed by a conventional linear polarized feed suffers from high cross polarization level. This property is also investigated for single-phase centre antenna applications along with sidelobe level and aperture efficiencies. A simplified feed model is proposed utilizing the TE11 and TE21 type modes to reduce the cross polarization at both asymmetry and inter-cardinal planes. It is shown that an asymmetric dominant TE11 mode with the presence of the TE21 mode is sufficient in order to reduce the unwanted cross polarization. The results of this investigation are used to design practical dual-mode feeds using simple circular waveguide geometries. To complete the study, the effects of linear and quadratic phase errors associated with the optimized primary feed are also investigated on the cross polarization of the offset reflector antennas. In particular, the phase errors resulting in separate phase centre locations of each mode produce broadside-shape cross polarized patterns instead of boresight-null ones.