Phased array

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In wave theory, a phased array is a group of antennas in which the relative phases of the respective signals feeding the antennas are varied in such a way that the effective radiation pattern of the array is reinforced in a desired direction and suppressed in undesired directions.[1] Phased array transmission was originally developed in 1905 by Nobel Laureate Karl Ferdinand Braun who demonstrated enhanced transmission of radio waves in one direction.[2] During World War II, Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez used phased array transmission in a rapidly-steerable radar system for "ground-controlled approach", a system to aid in the landing of aeroplanes in England. At the same time GEMA in Germany built the PESA Mammut 1.[3] It was later adapted for radio astronomy leading to Nobel Prizes for Physics for Antony Hewish and Martin Ryle after several large phased arrays were developed at the University of Cambridge. The design is also used in radar, and is generalized in interferometric radio antennas. In 2007 DARPA researchers announced a 16 element phased array integrated with all necessary circuits to send at 30–50 GHz on a single silicon chip for military purposes.[4]

An antenna array is a multiple of active antennas coupled to a common source or load to produce a directive radiation pattern. Usually the spatial relationship also contributes to the directivity of the antenna. Use of the term "active antennas" is intended to describe elements whose energy output is modified due to the presence of a source of energy in the element (other than the mere signal energy which passes through the circuit) or an element in which the energy output from a source of energy is controlled by the signal input. One common application of this is with a standard multiband television antenna, which has multiple elements coupled together.


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