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Optimization of a seven element antenna array

M. Poian1, S. Poles1, F. Bernasconi1, E. Leroux2, W. Steff3, M. Zolesi3

CST UGM2009 Darmstadt, 16-18 March 2009


1 ESTECO s.r.l, - AREA SCIENCE PARK, Padriciano 99, I-34100 Trieste, Italy poian@esteco.com; poles@esteco.com; bernasconi@esteco.com; 2 CST AG - Via Spartaco 48, I-24043 Caravaggio (BG), Italy emmanuel.leroux@cst.com; 3 Thales Alenia Space - Via Saccomuro 24 I-00131 Rome, Italy walter.steffe@thalesaleniaspace.com; marcello.zolesi@thalesaleniaspace.com;

Corporate Communications April 2007

Introduction

The global market of L/S band multi-beam antennas for the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) requires large unfurlable antennas (typically 12m) which are asked to generate a number of spot beams that can vary in a large range (from a few units to several hundreds). The MSS antennas are typically required to operate in circula polarization and to handle a relatively high power level (typically in the KW range).

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Radiating element design

The horn design is driven by the copolar and crosspolar radiation patterns and gain. Due to the mutual coupling, the radiation pattern is not entirely governed by the electric field distributed on the aperture of the excited feed element and it is also influenced by the contributes which originate from the adjacent apertures acting as passive radiators. The analyses carried out at antenna level show that this phenomena tend to produce a degradation of the antenna gain performance. For this reason, the radiative performances of the embedded feed are better specified by prescribing a canonical pattern shape to which the actual pattern has to be conform within a certain tolerance.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Radiating element design


The electrical design/optimization of the radiating element has been performed by means of CST Microwave Studio. After having identified the geometrical parameters, which are most Important for the control of the mutual coupling, the geometry has been optimized for the best fit of radiation pattern versus the prescribed canonical shape. If not compensated mutual coupling generates: Ripple in the directivity pattern

D=207mm (1.047 )

L=200 mm (~ 1 )

50 coax ports (to 3dB hybrid)

Increasing of the cross polar level

stacked patches
Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

The Antenna Model

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Problem Description

The model is a representative element of an L band feedarray which is a part of an unfurlable array fed reflector antenna typically used for Mobile Satellite Services. In a typical configuration, the feedarray is composed of about 100 elements but, in order to reduce the computational time we have considered only seven elements: the excited one and the 6 nearest.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Model Parameters

In this study, we considered eight free parameters, all geometric: a1 and a2 are lengths of the two rectangular patches inside the cavity K1 and K2 are the ratios of dimensions with respect to x-dimensions, that is with K1=K2=1 wed have perfectly square patches. HL1 is the distance between one patch and the cavity HL2 is the distance between the two patches WG_B and H3R represent respectively one side of the cavity-base and the

length of a waveguide section between the radiating aperture and the


cavity-base.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Optimization Targets

The Return Loss for each of the two ports (two for each of the antenna elements, in order to obtain circular polarization); the Return Loss is an indicator of how much the matching is non ideal, so it is to be minimized. As a second, parallel target, the electromagnetic coupling between ports is to be minimized The cross-polarization component is also to be minimized, as it indicates the presence of a spurious signal with polarization opposite to the design specifications.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Design Space

Looking for optimal: length of the first rectangular patch inside the cavity: a1 [60, 63] length of the second rectangular patch inside the cavity: a2 [83, 86] ratios of dimensions with respect to x-dimensions: K1 [0.98, 1.02], K2 [1, 1.05] distance between one patch and the cavity: HL1 [3 , 4.5] distance between the two patches: HL2 [18, 21] cavity-base: WG_b [98, 102] length of a waveguide section: H3r [0.1, 0.3]

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

modeFRONTIER4 / CST MWS direct interface

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The CST direct interface properties

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CST optimization setup Table Creation

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Pareto Frontier

In multi-objective optimization, many objective functions are involved. The best solution is the design with simultaneously the maximum value for all the objective functions. Such a design does usually not exist. The concept of best design is replaced with the concept of dominant design. Better, a set of dominant designs is the typical result of a multi-objective optimization. This set of dominant designs is the so-called Pareto Frontier. Figure is a qualitative representation of a Pareto Frontier in a two-objective optimization if the two objective functions f1 and f2 have to be maximized.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

First optimization: MOGT

In the first phase Multi-Objective Game Theory is used in order to have a fast mapping of the Pareto frontier

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Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Second optimization: MOGA

In the second phase a Genetic Algorithm refines the Pareto frontier exploration starting from selected points of the first optimization run

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All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space

Conclusions

Once the integration of the model in the optimization environment is done, all the optimization capabilities can be applied to improve the performance of the antenna The optimization is a full batch process (no human intervention during the run phase), but can be constantly monitored from a run-log graphic console. Todays multi-core PCs and clusters are able to carry out multi-objectives optimization of a complex model by a reasonable computational time. Thanks to its clear, well-defined, and non-weighted approach, multi-objective optimization helps in understanding the physics of the problem while exploring the design space, looking for the set of optimal configurations.

Corporate Communications April 2007 All rights reserved 2007, Thales Alenia Space