An Electro-Optic BFN for Array Antenna Beam Forming

Yoshiaki KAMIYA  Yasushi MURAKAMI  Wataru CHUJO  Masayuki FUJISE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E78-C    No.8    pp.1090-1094
Publication Date: 1995/08/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Technology)
microwave and millimeter wave technology,  array antenna,  beam forming network,  heterodyne photodetection,  

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This paper proposes a new type of optically controlled BFN (beam forming network), an electro-optic BFN using an optical waveguide structure. In this BFN, antenna beam forming is performed using conventional optical variable phase shifters and conventional optical variable directional couplers. An electro-optic BFN can easily utilize monolithic integration capability that will be advantageous to microwave stabilization. In order to discuss practical applicability, microwave characteristics and beam forming characteristics were examined using an experimental BFN fabricated on a LiNbO3 substrate. Resulting from electro-optic lightwave control, linear phase shifting and variable amplitude distribution were measured at various microwave frequencies. Without any other control except for optical offset frequency locking and applying constant voltages, typical short term fluctuation in L-band microwave was measured to be within 3 degreesp-p in phase and 2.5 dBp-p in amplitude, respectively. For the first time, an electro-optic BFN was successful in performing beam forming in an L-band array antenna as well as coaxial cables. It was also verified that radiation pattern measured in 60 degree beam steering using the experimental BFN was comparable to that calculated using conventional microwave BFNs. The experimental results show the feasibility of utilizing an electro-optic BFN in future advanced microwave/millimeter-wave array antenna systems.