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Microstrip reflectarray antenna for Dual-band

satellite reception
Mara Eugenia Serrano, Jefferson Becerra, Dennis Gusqui
Escuela de Ingeniera Electronica,
Telecomunicaciones y Redes
Escuela Superior Politecnica de Chimborazo
Chimborazo, Riobamba 593 (03) 2 901 179

AbstractIn this paper, it has developed the analysis of a

reflectarray antenna composed by a 7x7 patch array which
contains a 4x4 ring patch array and a 3x3 circular patch
array using Bakelite as dielectric substrate which has an relative
permittivity Er = 4.8 and thickness of 2mm. In this arrangement
each patch will have different size diameter, which will make that
each one will reflect the incident wave with a different phase,
thereby achieve focus as much energy at a point 35 cm from the
center of the reflector, where we will place the Telestar LNB. It
will have a separation of 0.6, between each of ring patches and
0.9 between each of circular patches , for these distance ,
is considered in vacuum, this antenna works with the downlink
frequency used by the Amazonas satellite, which will be equal
to 4 GHz (C-band) and 12 Ghz (Ku-band), in adition has a
bandwidth of 1.6% for 4Ghz and 6.25% for 12 GHz.

The antenna is the transitional structure between free-space
and a guiding device, the device or transmission line may
take the form of a coaxial line or a hollow pipe (waveguide),
and it is used to transport electromagnetic energy from the
transmitting source to the antenna or from the antenna to the
receiver. [1]

A microstrip reflectarray is a flat reflector antenna that can

be mounted conformally onto a spacecrafts outside structure
without consuming a significant amount of spacecraft volume
and mass.[6]
This type of antennas can be designed for transmission
and reception, and particularly it is sought reflectarray in this
case, that is capable of receiving the signal at a frequency of
4 GHz and 12 GHz , where the incident signal is reflected in
various patches of variable size to LNB.
In Reflectarray Antennas, the reflected waves are obtained
in the same manner as a Parabolic Antenna using patches of
different lengths, but to reflect these waves must first determine
the phase, thus, each of the patches of the antenna will
contribute to produce a collimated beam in a given direction.

Microstrip Patch antennas are widely used in todays

era. It is used in satellite communication, military purposes,
mobile, missile systems, mobile phone market, etc, as due to
its compact shape and light weight, les complexity and easy
to implement. [2]
In this class of antennas, the annular-ring Microstrip
antennas exhibit interesting features associated with the
annular ring patch. For a given frequency, these antennas,
when operating in the fundamental mode, have smaller size
as compared to the rectangular or circular patch antennas. [3-4]
This characteristic allows the antenna elements in array
designs to be more compacted, favoring the flexibility and
the miniaturization of the antenna arrays. The small size is an
important requirement for portable communication equipment,
such as global positioning satellite (GPS) receivers. Moreover,
when compared to the circular patch antenna, the annular
ring microstrip antenna has less stored energy and larger
bandwidth. [5]

Fig. 1. Phase shift at one a planar microstrip reflectarray

Considering the coordinate system detailed in Fig. 1, the

progressive phase distribution on the reflectarray surface that
produces a beam in the direction (b , b ), in other words the
phase- shift required at each element is expressed as [7]:
R = K0 (di (xm cosb + yn sinb ) sinb )


Where Ko is the propagation constant, xm and yn are the

coordinates of the ith element. di is the distance from the LNB

to the ith element of the reflectarray antenna. b and b is the

desired beam direction. The phase-shift is achieved by varying
one of the geometrical parameters in the reflectarray elements.


The operating principle of the reflectarrays of variable-sized
printed elements is based on the fact that the phase of the
reflected wave varies with the resonant length of the elements.
A microstrip patch is a resonant antenna, so that its length
should be approximately half a wavelength in the dielectric. [8]



When any antenna is developed, the reflection coefficient

will play an important role, depending on the type, this must
present a minimum or maximum value at certain frequency or
band of frequencies; in the case of a reflectarray antenna, this
coefficient must present maximum reflection in the frequency
of operation, which in our case are 4 Ghz and 12 Ghz

If the patch length is modified in an array of rectangular

patches, as shown in Fig.2, the phase of the reflected field
will be changed, for a resonating patch, a small change in its
size produces a wide range in phase variation of the reflected

Fig. 3. Reflection coefficient of infinite reflectarray for 4GHz

Fig. 2. Circular patches of varying size to control the phase-shift

For the analysis and design of a reflectarray, it is more

efficient to obtain the phase-shift through ectromagnetic
simulations. A full-wave technique based on MoM was
proposed in, to obtain the phase curves as a function of the
patch dimensions, by considering the incidence of a plane
wave on an infinite array of rectangular patches.
The total range of phase variation could be achieved
by varying the length of the patches, and it depends on
the separation between patches and ground plane, that is,
the thickness of the substrate, but this range diminishes
for thicker substrates. So, the reflectarrays based on this
adjustment technique use thin dielectric substrates.
The phase variation versus the length is strongly nonlinear
because of the narrow band behavior of microstrip patches,
that shows very quick variations near the resonance, and
very slow in the extreme values. The quick phase variation
makes the phase distribution very sensitive to manufacturing
tolerance errors. Because of the nonlinear behavior, the phase
is very sensitive to variations in frequency, significantly
reducing the working band of the reflectarray.

Fig. 4. Reflection coefficient of infinite reflectarray for 12 Ghz

As seen in Figure 3, at a frequency of 4GHz and in Figure

4, at a frequency of 12 GHz, when it simulates an infinite
reflectarray in a design software, it has maximum reflection,
which indicates a correct performance of the reflectarray
antenna that look for all waves vast majority of incidents
that are reflected to a single point, as already explained in
previous sections regarding the phase variations.
As was mentioned before, for the reflectarray design, its
necessary to ensure that the reflected waves will take different
phases for maximum reflection at the same point which is
achieved by varying the size of each of the patches, these
phase-shift were calculated using (1).
Once it had been obtained these phase shifts, it will be
necessary to obtain the size of each one of the patches

that must have to achieve the calculated desfaces well, so,

to continue the design, it will be necessary to consider an
approximation in which, for elements with variable - sized
patches, the reflectarray will be analyzed by assuming local
periodicity, that is, each element is considered in an array
environment with all the elements identical.

of each patch, that will be determined by a comparison of the

phase variations of the graph and those calculated, so it can
make the incident waves are reflected to a common point in
the same direction.

In most designs of these antennas, is used a software

for the analysis and design of microstrip reflectarray such as
Ansoft, incorporating the possibility of implementing these
periodicity conditions, based on an infinite array whose size
is equal to 0.65.
This software tool could be used to obtain the phase
curves for the reflectarray elements. Phase curves obtained
by this simulation program could be used to determine the
dimensions of the reflectarray elements approximate layout
method, ignoring the effect of the incidence angle.

Fig. 7. Position, length and separation between each patch

Fig. 5. Phase responses at 4 GHz for patches of variable size

Fig. 6. Phase responses at 12 GHz for patches of variable size

As seen in Figure 5 and Figure 6, by using Ansoft Designer,

was obtained the curve in which both, the phase variation and
variation in length were related. In figure 5 for a frequency of
4 GHz, in the same way in Figure 6 for a frequency of 12 GHz.
So, it can be determine what size must present each one of the
different patches that make up the reflectarray and the position

Once it has determined the characteristics of each patch

will be necessary to determine the separation between each
one of these patches, all elements on the reflectarray must
have proper spacing between adjacent elements in order
to avoid the grating lobe type of radiation. For broadside
incident and radiated waves, the element spacing could be
relatively large.
As seen in Figure 7, the separation between each patch
in the distance d1 is 0.6 and the separation between each
patch in the distance d2 is 0.9 , in this case, d1 and d2 are
considered in a vacuum.
In Figure 7, also it can see the distance each patch is located
which is indicated by P , in addition corresponding radius
of each patch where R indicates the radius for each patch of
4GHz and r the radius of each patch of 12 GHz.
Finally it is necessary to note that the LNB must be
connected to a distance R from the center of the reflectarray,
and this distance should accomplish with far field conditions
indicated according to (2).



So, then it can be easily build a reflectarray, taking into

account all the considerations that have been discussed in this

In the same way an array of 5x5 have a main lobe of

approximately 30 degrees for a frequency of 12GHz, as can
be seen in Fig 10.


Following the procedure outlined in the previous paragraphs, now it has to form the reflectarray using the curve
relating the size with necessary angle, then form the reflectarray using the curve relating the size with necessary angle
is so form a 7x7 array, as shown in Fig. 8, this array will
be constructed to ensure that the incident wave deviates to a
point located at a distance r = 35cm from the center of the
reflector plate along the z axis.
Fig. 10. Radiation pattern of a 5x5 reflectarray for 12GHz

It is logical that when making a 7x7 array it mean the total

array, the directivity thereof is improved, so it has a more
directive main lobe obviously much more amount of energy
is radiated in the direction of the LNB, this improvement
in directivity can be clearly seen in Figure 11 which it is
indicated radiation pattern for 4 GHz and in Figure 12, which
it is indicated radiation pattern for 12 GHz.

Fig. 8. Reflectarray formed by 49 patches

It is clear that variations in the size can not be seen to

naked eye, due to occur at the level of m, so these are very
small, but these small variations are what make the incident
wave is reflected almost entirely to the LNB.
Plainly, it can be deduce that the reflected wave to the
LNB will be the sum of the incident waves in the different
patch, is so by simple deduction it can say that the more
patches have our reflectarray, will have better directivity, so
by noticed that for example an array of 5x5 have a main lobe
of approximately 100 degrees for a frequency of 4GHz, as
can be seen in Fig 9.

Fig. 11. Radiation pattern of a 7x7 reflectarray for 4Ghz

Fig. 12. Radiation pattern of a 7x7 reflectarray for 12Ghz

Fig. 9. Radiation pattern of a 5x5 reflectarray for 4GHz

As noted there have been minor lobes, and to know that

the reflectarray is properly constructed, there must be a
separation of at least 13 dBs between the main lobe and
side lobes, analyzing the Figure 11 it can be note that the
radiation pattern has an appropriate behavior.

To have a reflector antenna, also que have to visualize,

the reflection coefficient that in this case must be 1,because
it has to reflect all the received signal,to have a good
functioning. As it can be determined by the figure 13 for
a frequency of 4GHz (C-Band) and the figure 14 for a
frequency of 12GHz (Ku-band).

Fig. 15. Reflectarray Antenna

Fig. 13. Reflection Angle for 4Ghz

Fig. 14. Reflection Angle for 12Ghz

Once it has been determined that the results are as expected,

will proceed to the construction of the reflectarray antenna
at this point will be recalled that the dielectric substrate on
which to build should be bakelite, also will be necessary for
each patch dimensions very accurate, because the variation
would present minimal changes in the phase of the reflected
wave,with the specifications detailed in previous sections,
also using a Telestar LNB for the reception of the signal.
Naturally, it is necessary to test the operation of the antenna
, for which it has to put the head in the same direction to
satellite Amazon, and with the help of a decoder of the same
manufacturer LNB, using a TV, it is readily apparent that
the signal has been received, with a power of approximately
97%, results that will be seen with the final arrangements of
the reflect array antenna construction.As we can see at figure.

The amount of reflected energy in the direction of LNB

depends directly on the amount of patches are used,

Fig. 16. Power level of the received signal

so if it makes a bigger reflectarray, will ensure greater

directivity and antenna efficiency.

For determining on the antenna its proper functioning,

should be taken a separation of at least 13 dBs between
the main lobe and the highest side lobe.

In a planar reflector, the incident waves can be reflected

with a different phase due to the use of patches
of different sizes, and so get the most energy is
concentrated in a given direction.

The phase with the incident wave that is reflected in each

patch depends directly on the physical dimensions of each
patch in addition to the dielectric substrate that are using.

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Array Antenna
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