You are on page 1of 4


8, 2009


A Broadband Planar Monopulse Antenna Array of C-Band

Zhong-Wu Yu, Guang-Ming Wang, and Chen-Xin Zhang
AbstractIn this letter, a broadband planar monopulse antenna array of C-band for the application of monopulse radars is presented. A novel wideband monopulse comparator as the sumdifference feed network has been designed, and a multilayer 4 4 microstrip antenna array as the radiation part has been fabricated. The measurement results demonstrate that the impedance bandwidth (VSWR 2) of the proposed monopulse antenna array is up to 28.2% and the null depth can reach 28 dB, which ranges from 5.05 to 6.675 GHz. At the same time, the peak sum beam gain is up to 18.4 dB. Compared to other monopulse antennas, the proposed monopulse antenna array exhibits excellent characteristics. Index TermsMonopulse antenna, monopulse comparator, null depth.
Fig. 1. Conguration of the proposed monopulse antenna array.

I. INTRODUCTION ONOPULSE antennas are commonly applied in radar and other communication systems. The traditional monopulse antennas are usually in the form of Cassegrain parabolic structures, and waveguide monopulse comparators are often rather heavy and complicated [1]. However, planar microsrtrip structure monopulse antennas can overcome these shortcomings, which exhibit numbers of attractive qualities, such as simple structure, small volume, low prole, and convenient manufacture. Due to these, signicant research activities and interests have been aroused in the academic eld recently to explore various monopulse antennas [2][8]. Laheurte [2] presented a uniplanar monopulse antenna based on odd/even mode excitation of the coplanar line. In that system, two series-fed slot arrays were fed by a coplanar waveguide transmission line excited in its coplanar mode or coupled slotline mode, and that monopulse antenna just operated in a 2.8% band around 4.2 GHz. A low-cost and monopulse antenna using a symmetrical bidirectionally fed microstrip patch array was described in [3]. However, only one-dimensional monopulse performances were obtained, and the impedance bandwidth was less than 1.5%. In [4], a low-cost monopulse radial line slot antenna with the slots placed on the upper plate in concentric rings was introduced. The proposed antenna worked in rather narrowband, which ranged from 13.4 to 14 GHz. A compact singlelayer monopulse microstrip antenna array was devised in [5], in which the effects of spurious radiation and blockage caused by the comparator on the sidelobe level were estimated and space
Manuscript received August 20, 2009; revised October 13, 2009. First published December 08, 2009; current version published December 22, 2009. The authors are with Air Force Engineering University, Shaanxi 713800, China (e-mail:;; Color versions of one or more of the gures in this letter are available online at Digital Object Identier 10.1109/LAWP.2009.2038077

mapping (SM) technique was applied to design microstrip subarray. The bandwidth of the antenna was only 5.6%. As the most recently reported in [6] and [7], the substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) feeding technology was applied in the monopulse antenna design. V-type liner tapered slot antenna was adopted as the radiation part. The monopulse antennas based on SIW feed technology worked in millimeter-wave band and could only obtain one-dimensional monopulse performances. The operated bandwidths were less than 15%, respectively. In this letter, to broaden the impedance bandwidth of monopulse antennas, a broadband planar monopulse antenna of C-band has been proposed. A novel broadband monopulse comparator that acts as the sumdifference feed network is presented. Meanwhile, a multilayer 4 4 microstrip patch antenna array as the radiation part has been designed. The monopulse antenna considered here can obtain two-dimensional performances. The momopulse comparator and the radiation antenna array are not in the same layer. The measurement results show that impedance bandwidth can be up to 28.2%, and the null dB among operated band. Furthermore, depth is below the peak sum beam gain of the proposed monopulse antenna array can achieve 18.4 dB, and excellent radiation pattern characteristics are also observed. II. DESCRIPTION OF THE MONOPULSE ANTENNA ARRAY The conguration of the monopulse antenna array is shown in Fig. 1. As can be seen in Fig. 1, the proposed monopulse antenna array is comprised of two parts, which are the comparator as the sumdifference feed network and the radiation patch antenna as the radiation part. The comparator that adopts four magic-Ts is used to form sum and difference beam lobes. Compared to other comparators presented in other open literature, the comparator considered here exhibits excellent characteristics. Now, Part A introduces the comparator conguration, whereas Part B presents the radiation patch antenna structure.

1536-1225/$26.00 2009 IEEE



Fig. 2. Photographs of the proposed monopulse comparator. (a) Front side. (b) Back side.

Fig. 4. Antenna element structure. (a) Front view. (b) Side view. W = 14;L = 16;W = 16;L = 16;W = 3:8;h = 1:5;h = 1:5;h = 3:5 (unit: mm).

Fig. 3. Frequency responses of the SUM and DELTA channels based on S-parameters simulations using the measured eight port S-parameter le.

A. Monopulse Comparator In order to obtain two-dimensional performances of the monopulse antenna, the monopulse comparator or sumdifference feed network requires four magic-Ts to construct. However, one 3-dB coupler added by 90 delay line can operate in rather narrow bandwidth constructed in [5]. As is known, the T-junction exhibits broad impedance bandwidth, and the outputs keep the same amplitude and phase. Moreover, the microstripslotline transition structure can also exhibit the

same amplitude and reverse phase in rather broad bandwidth [9]. A novel broadband microstripslotline transition structure is introduced into the traditional hybrid ring. Compared to the transition structure introduced in [9], the proposed microstripslotline transition structure based on a semiannular split can effectively decrease the slotline radiation loss. Based on this, a wideband magic-T is designed, and then the comparator is fabricated using four magic-Ts. Photographs of the monopulse comparator are presented in Fig. 2. As the key part of monopulse antenna design, the characteristics of the comparator require evaluation. The comparator holds eight ports. The measured S-parameters of the comparator are through an HP 8720ET Vector Network Analyzer. The S-parameter le of the comparator is obtained through 28 two-port measurements. Then, a one-fourth divider is designed, whose outputs associate Port 1Port 4 of the comparator. Then, the evaluation diagram is formed, in which the input port of the divider is dened as Port 1 and Port 5Port 8 change into Port 2Port 5 in the evaluation diagram. Compared to the method of comparing amplitudes and phases, this method is easy and visual [8]. The frequency response diagram based on measured results of the comparator is shown in Fig. 3. The sum and difference characteristics are rather excellent. As can be seen, the sum port insertion loss is less than 0.5 dB, whereas the difference port is dB. Though the operated bandwidth comparator lower than presented in [8] is nearly 100%, the overall characteristics are inferior to the comparator considered here, especially the sum port insertion loss that has reached 3 dB in high frequency band.



Fig. 5. Photographs of monopulse antenna array. (a) Excitation patch array. (b) Parasitic patch array.

The measurement results demonstrate that this comparator can be used as the feed network of the monopulse antenna array. B. Radiation Antenna Array The planar antennas mainly include two style antennas, which are the microstrip patch antenna and the slot waveguide antenna. Though the slot waveguide antenna exhibits compact structure and good directivity, it requires high product cost and fabrication difculty. Therefore, the microstrip patch antenna is applied as the radiation part. Because of the high Q, the single microstrip patch antenna keeps relative bandwidth of less than 10% [10]. Therefore, multilayer structure is adopted to broaden the antenna bandwidth. The antenna element conguration is shown in Fig. 4. It contains three layers, which are dielectric layer 1, dielectric layer 2, and air layer. The dielectric constants of layers 1 and 2 are 2.65 and 4.1, respectively; the air layer is the middle part. In order to increase the range of action, the high-gain antenna is often required. Therefore, a one-fourth divider is employed, which consists of one T-style divider and
Fig. 6. Measured VSWR curves. (a) Sum channel. (b) Difference channel 1. (c) Difference channel 2.

two Wilkinson dividers to form one 2 2 patch antenna array. This patch antenna array is used as the subarray, and then the monopulse radiation antenna array is constructed. Photographs of the monopulse radiation antenna array are shown in Fig. 5. The distance between adjacent antenna elements is 45 mm. The overall dimension is 210 210 mm . III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS Four cables are applied to associate the comparator and the radiation antenna array. Then, the impedance characteristics of monopulse antenna array are obtained through the HP 8720ET



Fig. 7. Measured gain of sum and difference beams.

Fig. 9. Measured difference radiation patterns. (a) E-plane (f : GHz). : GHz). (c) E-plane (f : GHz). (d) H-plane (f (b) H-plane (f : GHz).




= 51

antenna array can be broadened further, the monopulse antenna array can operate in broader bandwidth. IV. CONCLUSION In this letter, a novel broadband planar monopulse antenna array for C-band application has been designed. In order to construct it, a novel wideband monopulse comparator as the antenna feed network is presented, and a 4 4 multilayer high gain antenna array is realized. The measurement results show that the proposed monopulse antenna can be applied in radar and other wireless communication systems successfully.
Fig. 8. Measured sum radiation patterns. (a) E-plane (f : GHz). (b) : GHz). (c) E-plane (f : GHz). (d) H-plane (f : H-plane (f GHz).



= 51

[1] P. J. B. Clarricoats and R. D. Elliot, Multimode corrugated waveguide feed for monopulse radar, IEE Proce. Microw. Opt. Antennas, vol. 128, no. 2, pp. 102110, Apr. 1981. [2] J.-M. Laheurte, Uniplanar monopulse antenna based on odd/even mode excitation of coplanar line, Electron. Lerr., vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 338340, Mar. 2001. [3] S. G. Kim and K. Chang, Low-cost monopulse antenna using bi-directionally-fed microstrip patch array, Electron. Lett., vol. 39, no. 20, 2003. [4] M. Sierra-Castaer, M. Sierra-Prez, M. Vera-Isasa, and J. L. Fernndez-Jambrina, Low-cost monopulse radial line slot antenna, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 256263, Feb. 2003. [5] H. Wang, D.-G. Fang, and X. G. Chen, A compact single layer monopulse microstrip antenna array, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 503509, Feb. 2006. [6] Y. J. Cheng, W. Hong, and K. Wu, Millimetre-wave monopulse antenna incorporating substrate integrated waveguide phase shifter, IET Microw. Antennas Propag., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 4852, Feb. 2008. [7] Y. J. Cheng, W. Hong, and K. Wu, Design of a monopulse antenna using a dual V-type linearly tapered slot antenna (DVLTSA), IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 56, no. 9, pp. 29032909, Sep. 2008. [8] K. S. Ang, Y. C. Leong, and C. H. Lee, A wide-band monopulse comparator with complete nulling in all delta channels throughout sum channel bandwidth, IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech., vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 371373, Feb. 2003. [9] J. Chramiec and A. M. Glass, Analysis of microstrip-slotline ring 3 dB directional couplers, IEE Proc., vol. 133, no. 3, pt. H, pp. 187190, Jun. 1986. [10] R. Garg, P. Bhartia, I. Bahal, and A. Ittipiboon, Microtrip Antenna Design Handbook. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 2001.


Vector Network Analyzer. Because the cross difference is out of use, only two difference port impedance characteristic diagrams are listed. The VSWR curves of one sum channel and two difference channels are shown in Fig. 6. As can be seen, from 5.056.675 GHz, the VSWR is less than 2, and there are some ripples in the operated band, which are caused by the measurement system self and interconnecting cables and is not led by the comparator or the radiation antenna array. The peak sum beam gain is up to 18.4 dB, which can be observed in Fig. 7. Figs. 8 and 9 are the measured radiation patterns. The two chosen frequency points are 5.1 and 6.5 GHz. The proposed monopulse antenna array exhibits good radiation chardB and low acteristics, which has null depth of less than sidelobes among the observed frequency bandwidth. Interconnecting cables can affect feed phases; therefore, if the cables are adjusted more properly, the null depth would be improved. The impedance bandwidth of the monopulse antenna depends on the monopulse comparator and radiation patch antenna array. In this design, if the impedance bandwidth of the radiation patch