A Cost-Effective Wideband Switched Beam Antenna System for a Small Cell Base Station

Petros Bantavis 1 Christos Kolitsidas Tzihat Empliouk Marc Le Roy 2, 3, * B. Lars G. Jonsson George. A Kyriacou
* Corresponding author
1 Lab-STICC_UBO_MOM_DIM
IBNM - Institut Brestois du Numérique et des Mathématiques, Lab-STICC - Laboratoire des sciences et techniques de l'information, de la communication et de la connaissance
2 Lab-STICC_UBO_MOM_DIM
Lab-STICC - Laboratoire des sciences et techniques de l'information, de la communication et de la connaissance, UBO - Université de Brest
Abstract : A wideband switched beam antenna array system operating from 2 to 5 GHz is presented. It is comprised of a 4 × 1 Vivaldi antenna elements and a 4 × 4 Butler matrix beamformer driven by a digitally controlled double-pole four-throw RF switch. The Butler matrix is implemented on a multilayer structure, using 90◦ hybrid couplers and 45◦ phase shifters. For the design of the coupler and phase shifter, we propose a unified methodology applied, but not limited, to elliptically shaped geometries. The multilayer realization enables us to avoid microstrip crossing and supports wideband operation of the beamforming network. To realize the Butler matrix, we introduce a step-by-step and stage-by-stage design methodology that enables accurate balance of the output weights at the antenna ports to achieve a stable beamforming performance. In this paper, we use a Vivaldi antenna element in a linear four-element array, since such element supports wideband and wide-scan angle operation. A soft condition in the form of corrugations is implemented around the periphery of the array, in order to reduce the edge effects. This technique improved the gain, the sidelobes, and helped to obtain back radiation suppression. Finally, impedance loading was also utilized in the two edge elements of the array to improve the active impedance. The proposed system of the Butler matrix in conjunction with the constructed array can be utilized as a common RF front end in a wideband air interface for a small cell 5G application and beyond as it is capable to simultaneously cover all the commercial bands from 2 to 5 GHz.
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Petros Bantavis, Christos Kolitsidas, Tzihat Empliouk, Marc Le Roy, B. Lars G. Jonsson, et al.. A Cost-Effective Wideband Switched Beam Antenna System for a Small Cell Base Station. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018, 66 (12), pp.1-4. ⟨10.1109/SaPIW.2018.8401663⟩. ⟨hal-02087695⟩

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