Wideband, High-Gain and Low-Sidelobe Array Antennas for 5G

Project: Research

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On July 15, 2016, the day following the passing of the US Federal CommunicationsCommission’s (FCC) Spectrum Frontiers vote, US President Barack Obama announced aUS$400 million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative led by the US National ScienceFoundation (NSF) to maintain US leadership in 5G mobile technology, building on the successof US$150 billion investment in 4G/LTE by the mobile service providers. The vote made USthe world’s first in freeing up multiple bands of millimeter-wave spectrum for both licensed andunlicensed use. In particular, the addition of the 64-71 GHz band to the existing 57-64 GHzband makes available 14 GHz of contiguous unlicensed spectrum, which translates to thewireless download of full-length HD movies to mobile devices in less than a few seconds.Antenna is an essential component in a wireless communications link. We have identified theimportance of millimeter-wave (MMW) antennas before the term 5G becomes fashionable.With support allocated from the General Research Fund for 2009/2010 (CityU110609), weinvestigated the use of high-order mode microstrip antennas for 60 GHz short-range wirelesscommunications. The project not only led to the use of printed-circuit-board (PCB) and platedthrough-hole (PTH) technology for millimeter-wave antennas with wide impedance and gainbandwidths achieved through complementary source and differential feed techniques, it alsoresulted in a recently completed HK$24m project on 60 GHz RFIC transceiver for short-rangeinstant massive data sharing funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission withmatching funds from industry and City University of Hong Kong. To overcome the atmosphericloss at 60 GHz (16dB/km) for long-range, secure communications, the demand for high-gainMMW antennas with low sidelobes is inevitable.Due to its superb power handling capability, low loss and suitability for low-cost massproduction even at MMW band, substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) is listed first of the top 10disruptive technologies changing the future of passive and control components byMicrowaveMagazinein 2011. In this project, we propose to employ multilayered SIW technology to realizefeeding networks for broadband high-gain array antennas with low sidelobes covering individual57-64 and 64-71 GHz bands and ultimately the entire 14 GHz band. Linear, circular and 450polarization arrays will be investigated. Innovations for antenna elements with wide impedanceand axial-ratio bandwidths, and SIW feeding networks with wideband, non-uniform powerdivision and phase control are warranted to achieve the project objectives.Our preliminary results obtained so far strongly support that the project objectives can beaccomplished in the proposed duration and the proposed research would lead to enablingtechnologies for wireless communications and consumer electronics industries in Hong Kongand the Pearl River Delta region to develop critical components for mobile devices for 5G andbeyond.?


Project number9042479
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/176/08/21