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Antenna Arrays
1 Introduction
Antenna arrays are becoming increasingly important in
wireless communications. Advantages of using antenna
arrays:
1. They can provide the capability of a steerable beam
(radiation direction change) as in smart antennas.
2. They can provide a high gain (array gain) by using
simple antenna elements.
3. They provide a diversity gain in multipath signal
reception.
4. They enable array signal processing.
Hon Tat Hui
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Antenna Arrays

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An important characteristic of an array is the change of its
radiation pattern in response to different excitations of its
antenna elements. Unlike a single antenna whose radiation
pattern is fixed, an antenna arrays radiation pattern, called
the array pattern, can be changed upon exciting its elements
with different currents (both current magnitudes and current
phases). This gives us a freedom to choose (or design) a
certain desired array pattern from an array, without changing
its physical dimensions. Furthermore, by manipulating the
received signals from the individual antenna elements in
different ways, we can achieve many signal processing
functions such as spatial filtering, interference suppression,
gain enhancement, target tracking, etc.
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2 Two Element Arrays
z

Far field
observation
point
r1
Dipole 2
I 2
d

Ie j

Dipole 1

r
I1

r1

d cos

, 0

x
Two Hertzian dipoles separated by a distance d and
excited by currents with an equal amplitude I but a phase
difference
[0 ~ 2 ).
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E1 = far-zone electric field produced by antenna 1 =
E2 = far-zone electric field produced by antenna 2 =
a
a

E1
E2

kI1d
e jkr
kd
e
jkr
sin

j
cos I1
E1 j

4
2
4

r
kI 2 d
kd
e
sin

cos I 2
E2 j

4
2
4
1

e
jkr
jkr
j

r1
r1

1
Use the following far-field approximations:
0
1 1
r1 r
e jkr1
e
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jk

d cos

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The total E field is:
E
E1
E2
a
kd
jkd cos
a

jkr

I
I
e
cos
1
2

r
kI1d
e
j jkd cos
a
j
cos 1
r
kId
a
j
cos AF

jkr

e e

e jkr

4
r
where
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AF
j

Array Factor
1

e j e jkd cos

e e

jkd cos
2e
j
1
kd cos
2
1
cos
2

kd cos

The magnitude of the total E field is:

1
I1
I1

I 2e jkd cos

jkr
kId
e
E a
j
cos AF
4

r
radiation pattern of a single Hertzian dipole

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6
Antenna Arrays

AF

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Hence we see the total far-field radiation pattern |E| of the
array (array pattern) consists of the original radiation pattern
of a single Hertzian dipole multiplying with the magnitude
of the array factor |AF|. This is a general property of
antenna arrays and is called the principle of pattern
multiplication.
When we plot the array pattern, we usually use the
normalized array factor which is:
1
1
1
AFn

AF

2cos

2
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7
where
is a
constant to
make the
maximum value
of |AFn| e ual
to one.
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kd cos

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Examples of array patterns using pattern multiplication:
Array pattern of a two-element array of Hertzian dipoles (
1
1
1
1

AFn

2cos

2
2 2
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8
Antenna Arrays

kd cos

2cos

cos

= 0, and d =

/4)

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Array pattern of a two-element array of Hertzian dipoles (
1
1
1
1

AFn

2cos

2
2 2 2
Hon Tat Hui
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Antenna Arrays

kd cos

2cos

cos

= -90, and d =

/4)

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In many practical arrays, the element radiation pattern is
usually chosen to be non-directional, for example the -plane
pattern of a Hertzian dipole or a half-wave dipole. Then in
this case, the array radiation pattern will be totally
determined by the array factor AF alone, as shown in the
example below:

Element pattern
Hon Tat Hui

=
|F( )| Array factor |A( )| = Array pattern (normalized)
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3 N-Element Uniform Liner Arrays (ULAs)
Dipoles are
parallel to the z
direction
Far field
observation
point
y
r
Dipole 1
rN-1
x
Dipole N
d
An N-element uniform antenna array with an element separation d
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The principle of pattern multiplication can be extended to
N-element arrays with identical antenna elements and
e ual inter-element separation (ULAs). If the excitation
currents have the same amplitude but the phase difference
between adjacent elements is
(the progressive phase
difference), the array factor for this array is:
AF 1
e j ( kd cos
)
e j 2( kd cos
)

sin

N
1
j
N
2

2
e j ( n 1)
n 1
sin
2
where
kd cos
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Antenna Arrays

and 0

e j ( N

1)( kd cos

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The normalized array factor is:

sin
N
1
2
AFn
sin
2
where
is a constant to
make the largest value
of |AFn| e ual to one.
The relation between |AFn|, , d, and
is shown graphically
on next page. Note that |AFn| is a period function of ,
which is in turn a function of . The angle
is in the real
space and its range is 0 to 2 . However,
is not in the real
space and its range can be greater than or smaller than 0 to
2 , leading to the problem of grating lobes or not achieving
the maximum values of the |AFn| expression.
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|AFn(

)|

= kd cos

kd

kdcos
The relation between AFn, , d, and
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Properties of the normalized array factor AFn:
1. |AFn| is a periodic function of , with a period of 2 .
This is because
|AFn( + 2 )| = |AFn( )|.
2. As cos( ) = cos(- ), |AFn| is symmetric about the line of
the array, i.e., = 0 & . Hence it is enough to know
|AFn| for 0
.
3. The maximum values of |AFn| occur when (see
Supplementary Notes):
1
(kd cos
)
m , m
0,1,2,
2 2
1
(
2m )
max
main beam directions
cos
2 d
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Note that there may be more than one angles max
corresponding to the same value of m because cos-1(x) is
a multi-value function. If there are more than one
maximum angles max, the second and the subse uent
maximum angles give rise to the phenomenon of grating
lobes. The condition for grating lobes to occur is that d
(disregarding the value of ) as shown below:
2nd grating lobe
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1st grating lobe
Main lobe
16
1st grating lobe
2nd grating lobe
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2nd grating lobe 1st grating lobe
1st grating lobe
Main lobe
2nd grating lobe
|AFn(

)|

(1) When d
0.5 , no
grating lobes can be
formed for whatever
value of . (2) When d
, grating lobe(s) is
(are)
formed
for
whatever value of .
(3) When 0.5 <d< ,
formation of grating
lobes depends on .
Hon Tat Hui
Visible region
kd
=kdcos
17
General conditions to
avoid grating lobes
with
[0,2 ] and d
[0.5 , ]:
1.For 0
< , the
re uirement is:
kd +
2
2. For
< 2 , the
re uirement is:
kd 0
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4. There are other angles corresponding to the maximum
values for the minor lobes (minor beams) but these angles
cannot be found from the formula in no. 3 above.
5. When
and d are fixed, it is possible that can never be
e ual to 2m . In that case, the maximum values of |AFn|
cannot be determined by the formula in no. 3.
6. The main beam directions max are not related to N. They
are functions of and d only.
7. The nulls of |AFn| occur when:
n
n

1,2,3,
,

N
2
n
2n
1

N ,2 N ,3 N ,
null

(
N

null directions
)

2 d
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cos

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Note that there may be more than one angles null
corresponding to a single value of n because cos-1(x) is a
multi-value function.
8. The null directions null are dependent on N.
9. The larger the number N, the closer is the first null (n = 1)
to the first maximum (m = 0). This means a narrower
main beam and an increase in the directivity or gain of the
array.
10.The angle for the main beam direction (m = 0) can be
controlled by varying
or d.
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Example 1
A uniform linear array consists of 10 half-wave dipoles with
an inter-element separation d = /4 and e ual current
amplitude. Find the excitation current phase difference
such that the main beam direction is at 60 ( max = 60 ).
Solutions d = /4, max = 60 , N = 10
main beam dirction

max

Hon Tat Hui

m
2
60

cos

1
m2

cos
m2

4
20
when m 1
Antenna Arrays

45

60
360

0.5
315 ,

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Other values of
corresponding to other values of m are
outside the range of 0
2 and are not included.

sin
1
2

cos

AFn
1
sin

cos

2 2
10
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4 Phased (Scanning) Arrays
It was mentioned earlier that by controlling the values of d
or , the maximum radiation direction of an array can be
arbitrarily pointed to any direction. In practice, the
element separation d is usually fixed while the excitation
current phase
between elements is controlled
electronically. The current amplitudes of the all the
elements are assumed to be the same. This kind of
steerable direction arrays is called uniform phased
scanning arrays. To accomplish this, the excitation
current phase must be adjusted so that:
kd cos
0
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22

kd cos 0
Antenna Arrays

0,

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For a phased scanning array, the length L = (N-1)d of the
array (where N is the number of elements) can be
determined from the graph on next page. The graph
shows the relation between the array length, the halfpower beamwidth, and the ma
ximum radiation direction.
The half-power beamwidth is an alternative way to
specify the gain of the array. Once the half-power
beamwidth and the maximum radiation direction are
specified, the number of elements re uired to design such
an array can be calculated.
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Hon Tat Hui
24
Maximum radiation direction
0 = 0
Antenna Arrays

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Example 2
Design a uniform linear phased scanning array whose
maximum radiation direction is in 30 ( 0 = 30 ). The
desired half-power beamwidth is 2 while the element
separation is d = /4. Determine the excitation current phase
, the length of the array L, and the number of elements N in
the array.
Solutions
Since the array is uniform, the current amplitude is same for
all elements. The excitation current phase
is found from:
2
kd cos 0
cos30o
1.36 rad
77.94o
4
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To find the length L of the array, we use the graph on page
24. From that graph with HPBW=2 and maximum
radiation direction 0 =30 :
(L+d)/ =50
Therefore with d = /4,
L = 49.75
The number of elements is then:
L
49.75
N
1
1
200
d
0.25
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5 Circular Arrays
rn
a cos n
a sin
cos
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5.1 Advantages of Circular Arrays
1. Unlike linear arrays, circular arrays can provide a 2D
angular scan, both horizontal
and vertical scans.
2. Unlike 2D planar arrays, circular arrays are basically
1D linear arrays but in a circular form.
3. Unlike linear arrays, a circular array can scan
horizontally for 360 with no distortions near the
end-fire directions.
4. Unlike linear arrays, distortions in the array pattern
of a circular array due to mutual coupling effect are
same for each element and this makes it easier to
deal with the mutual coupling effect.
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5.2 Array Factor
For a uniform circular array with N elements and an
e ual excitation current amplitude I0 and a current
phase of n (reference to the central point of the array)
for the nth element (and n=2 n/N), the array factor is:
AF e
j ka sin

cos

j ka sin

cos

j ka sin

cos

j ka sin

cos

e
N
e
e

(For a detailed derivation of the AF above, see ref. [1])


Hon Tat Hui
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Antenna Arrays

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Note that in the above expression, AF is a sum of N
complex exponentials. The magnitude of each complex
exponential is 1. Hence the maximum value of the
magnitude of |AF| is the addition of magnitudes of the
complex exponentials, i.e., N. The maximum radiation
direction ( max, max) is therefore achieved when:
ka sin
max cos max
ka sin
cos
max
max
ka sin
2
4

max cos

N
N

2
2

2
N

0,1,2,
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30
Antenna Arrays

max

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One excitation method to achieve the above maximum
radiation direction is:
n
n

ka sin

max cos

max

n N

1,2, , N
is choosen to make

0,2

Hence in a circular array, we first choose a desired


maximum radiation direction ( max, max). Then the
excitation phase n for each element is determined
according to the above formula. The n so determined
may not be e ually increasing from one element to the
next. This is different from the case of a linear array.
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Example 3
A uniform circular array with a radius a = 0.5 and the
number of elements N = 8. The maximum radiation
direction of the array factor AF is at (60 , 30 ). What should
be the excitation phases n for the elements?
Solutions
Using the formula for n , we have:
2
2
1
2
sin cos
2
3
6 8
2
2.63 or
2.63
3.66 or
2.63
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2
4
2
2
sin cos
2
3
6 8
2
1.36 or
1.36
4.92 or
1.36
2
6
3
2
sin cos
2
3
6 8
0
0.70 or
2
0.70 or
5.58
2
8
4
2
sin cos
2
3
6 8
2.36 or
2
2.36
2.36 or
3.93
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Antenna Arrays

0.70

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2
10
5
2
sin cos
2
3
8
6
2.63 or
2.63 or

2
2.63
3.65

2
12
6
2
sin cos
2 3 6 8
1.36 or
1.36 or

2
1.36
4.92

2
14
7
2
sin cos
2
3
8
6
2
0.70 or
0.70
5.58 or
0.70
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Antenna Arrays

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2
16
8
2
sin cos
2
3
6
8
2
2.36 or
2.36
3.92 or
2.36
Vertical pattern (

= 30 )

Azimuth pattern ( = 60 )
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Antenna Arrays

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Note that in the above discussion on circular arrays, we
have only derived the array factor AF. The array pattern
of any circular array with practical antenna elements
must be obtained by multiplying the array factor with the
actually element radiation pattern. For example, if the
elements are half-wave dipole antennas, then the array
pattern F( ) is:
cos
2
cos
F ( )
AF
sin
cos
2
cos
N j ka sin cos
n
n
e
sin
n 1
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6 Mutual Coupling in Transmitting Antenna Arrays
What we studies before about antenna arrays has assumed
that the antenna elements operate independently. In
reality, antennas placed in close proximity to each other
interact strongly. This interaction is called mutual
coupling effect and it will distort the array characteristics,
such as the array pattern, from those predicted based on
the pattern multiplication principle. We need to
consider the mutual coupling effect in order to apply the
pattern multiplication principle.
We study an example of a two-element dipole array. We
characterize the mutual coupling effect using the mutual
impedance.
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Consider two transmitting antennas as shown on next
page. They are separated by a distance of d and the
excitation voltage sources, Vs1 and Vs2, have a phase
difference of
but an e ual magnitude. Hence if there is
no mutual coupling effect, the excitation currents also
differ by a phase difference of
and have an e ual
magnitude. When the mutual coupling effect is taken
into account, the two coupled antennas can be modelled
as two e uivalent circuits. Now because of the mutual
coupling effect, there is another excitation source (the
controlled voltage source) in the e uivalent circuit. This
controlled voltage source is to model the coupled voltage
from the other antenna.
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Dipoles are
parallel to the z
direction
Far field
observation
point, r
y
Dipole 1
x
d
Dipole 2
Two coupled dipoles
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39
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Antenna 2
Antenna 1
Vs1
Terminal
current
I1
Zg1
Excitation
voltage
source
Coupled
voltage
I1 a
1
b1
I2 a2
Vs2
V12

Antenna
Self-impedance
40
V21
Z22
Zg2
Z11
Zg1
Hon Tat Hui
a2
b2
d
Vs1
Source
internal

Impedance
Vs2
Zg2
a1
b1

I2
b2
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Z12
V12

mutual impedance with antenna 2 excited

I2
coupled voltage across antenna 1's open-circuit terminal
excitation current at antenna 2's shorted terminal
Voc12
I 2 I1
Voc12

0,Vs1
a

I2
b
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41
c
d
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Z 21
V21

mutual impedance with antenna 1 excited

I1
coupled voltage across antenna 2's open-circuit terminal
excitation current at antenna 1's shorted terminal
Voc 21
I1 I 2
I1

0,Vs 2

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a
b
Voc21

d
42
Note that for
passive antennas,
Z12 = Z21
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Using the mutual impedance, the coupled voltages V12
and V21 can be expressed as follows:
V12

Z12 I 2

V21

Z21I1

I1 and I2 are the actual terminal currents at the


antennas when there is mutual coupling effect. From
the antenna e uivalent circuits,
Vs1 V12
I1
Z g 1
Z11
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Vs 2
I2
Z g 2
43

V21
Z 22

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Is1 and Is2 are the terminal currents at the antennas when
there is no mutual coupling effect.
Vs1
I s1
Z g1
Z11
Vs 2
I s2
Z g 2

Z11

Our aim is to express I1 and I2 in terms of Is1 and Is2.


Vs 2 V21
I2
Z g 2
Z 22
Vs1 V12
I1
Z g 1
Z11
I1Z 21
I s2
Z g 2
Z 22
I 2 Z12
I s1
Z g1
Z11
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44
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From these two relations, we can find:
I1
Z12
I s1
I s2
Z11

Z g1

Z12 Z 21
1
Z11

Z g1

Z 22

Z g 2

Z 22

Z g 2

, I2
Z
I
I
Z

21
s2
s1
22

Z g 2

Z12 Z 21
1
Z11

Z g1

That is:
1
I1
I s1
D
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Z12 I s 2

1
I s1
I 2
D
45

I s 2

Antenna Arrays

Z 21

NUS/ECE
where
EE5308
Z12 Z 21
D 1
Z11
Z g1
Z12
Z12
Z11
Z g1
Z 21
Z 21
Z 22

Z 22

Z g 2

Z g 2

Now if we want to find the array pattern E on the


horizontal plane ( = /2) with mutual coupling effect, then
E is just e ual to the array factor (see pages 10 and 6).
1
jkd cos
Vector
E =AF
I1
I 2e
magnitude, not
I1
absolute value
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46
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1
E
I1
1

I1

I 2e jkd cos

I s1
e jkd cos
I s1
Z12 I s 2

I s 2

Z 21

I1D
1
I s1

I s 2e jkd cos

I1D
with Z12

Z 21

I s1
Is2
j jkd cos
j
jkd cos
j
1 e e
with
Z12

e
I1D
I s1
I s1
j kd cos
j kd cos
j

Z12e
1 e

I1D

original pattern

Z12

I s 2

I s1e jkd cos

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additional pattern
47
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We see that the array pattern now consists of two parts:
the original array pattern plus an additional pattern:
Z12 e j
1
e j kd cos
which has a reverse current phase - and a modified
amplitude with a multiplication of a complex number
Z12ej . Note that all parameters in the above formula
can be calculated except I1 which will be removed after
normalization. Normalization of the above formula can
only be done when its maximum value is known, for
example by numerical calculation.
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Absolute value
Example 4
Find the normalized array pattern |En| on the horizontal plane
( = /2) of a two-monopole array with the following
parameters with mutual coupling taken into account:
I s1 1, I s 2
e j , I s1
I s 2
1,
150
d
4,
4
Z12 Z 21
21.8 - j 21.9
Z11 Z 22
47.3
j 22.3
Z g1 Z g 2
50
d

I s1
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49
I s2
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Solution
I s1
Is2
I s1
I s1

1,
e
I s 2
0 ,

j
As the required array pattern |En| is on
the horizontal plane, it is equal to the
normalized array factor |AFn|.
I s 2

150

2.62 rad

2
kd
4 2
Z12
Z 21
Z12
0.16
j 0.26
Z11 Z g 1 Z 22

Z g 2

Z12 Z 21
D 1
1.042
j 0.09
Z11
Z g1
Z 22
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50
Antenna Arrays

Z g 2

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I s1
1
e j kd cos
E AF
I1D
0.95
j 0.08
1
e j 2.62e j

Z12

e j

e j

kd cos

cos

I1

0.16
j 0.26
0.94
j 0.37
j
2
cos
1
I1

1.14

j 0.40

The pattern of f
next page.
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51
is shown on
Antenna Arrays

e j 2.62 1

j 2.62e j

cos

e
1.14

j 0.40

e j

cos

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f 1
1.14
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Antenna Arrays

j 0.40

e j

cos

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Normalization
The pattern of f attains the maximum value when
hen = 180,
E
180
0.94
j 0.37
j
2
cos
1

1.14

j 0.40

= 180.

180
I1
1.83
I1
Hence we normalize |E| by this factor (1.83/|I1|) to get:
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0.94
j 0.37
1
1.14
j 0.40 e j
I1
En
1.83
I1
0.52 1
1.14
j 0.40
j

cos

cos

The polar plot of |En| is shown on next page.


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En
0.52 1
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j
2
cos
Antenna Arrays

1.14

j 0.40

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The case when there is no mutual coupling is shown below
for comparison.
1
En no mutual coupling effect
1
e j e jkd cos
where
is a constant to make
the largest value of |AFn|
equal to one ( = 1.73).
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References:
1. C. A. Balanis, Antenna Theory, Analysis and Design, John iley
& Sons, Inc., New Jersey, 2005.
2. . L. Stutzman and G. A. Thiele, Antenna Theory and Design,
iley, New York, 1998.
3. David K. Cheng, Field and ave Electromagnetic, Addisonesley Pub. Co., New Y
ork, 1989.
4. John D. Kraus, Antennas, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1988.
5. Fawwaz T. Ulaby, Applied Electromagnetics, Prentice-Hall, Inc.,
New Jersey, 2007.
6. Joseph A. Edminister, Schaums Outline of Theory and Problems
of Electromagnetics, McGraw-Hill, Singapore, 1993.
7. Yung-kuo Lim (Editor), Problems and solutions on
electromagnetism, orld Scientific, Singapore, 1993.
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