Retrodirective beams and their application to low sidelobe pattern synthesis in small planar phased arrays

PB Darwood, PN Fletcher, GS Hilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)


Beam synthesis remains one of the most difficult problems for an antenna array designer, this task being made more difficult when one limits the number of elements to a handful. Pattern synthesis in planar arrays is often arrays achieved by the sampling of a continuous aperture distribution at the element locations. In the case of arrays of limited numbers of elements this produces errors that can unacceptably distort the radiation pattern. When one also then considers the effects of mutual coupling between the antenna elements, the application of ideal element weights derived in this way are no longer valid. A technique is presented, using the concept of retrodirective beams, that can achieve a low sidelobe beam from a continuous distribution on a circular aperture. The theory is then extended to include a planar antenna elements. This is achieved by the addition of retrodirective beams to the uniform beam pattern of the array. Measured data is presented for a small planar array antenna using the derived method. A method for correction of the element weights, to minimise the effects of mutual coupling, producing low sidelobe radiation patterns is then applied. No knowledge of the antenna array's coupling coefficients are required
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)344 - 348
Number of pages5
JournalIEE Proceedings - Microwaves Antennas and Propagation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE)
Rose publication type: Journal article

Sponsorship: The authors wish to thank Prof. J.P. McGeehan for the provision of facilities in the Centre for Communications Research. This work was supported by DERA, Malvern.


  • antenna phased arrays
  • beamforming
  • pattern synthesis

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