Beamforming using phased array antennas is a common technology for radar and electronic warfare in the aerospace and defense industry. In satellite communications and 5G NR, phased array beamforming is becoming a default concept. Integrated RF beamforming ICs include phase and gain adjustment per path as well as amplification capabilities for the TX and RX channels. Such beamformer ICs support four or more antenna elements from one input signal. Full characterization and calibration requires simultaneous assessment of all ports. This article discusses the process of verification for these beamformer ICs for phased array antennas.
Antenna aperture tuning is essential to enable smartphones to operate efficiently over the ever-increasing range of RF frequency bands and support the transition to 5G. Smartphones need more antennas to support growing RF requirements such as new 5G bands, MIMO, and carrier aggregation (CA), but there is less space for these antennas due to changes in smartphone industrial design. As a result, antennas are becoming smaller, potentially reducing antenna efficiency and bandwidth. Aperture tuning compensates for this problem by allowing antennas to be tuned to operate efficiently on multiple bands and increasing Tx and Rx performance by 3 dB or more.
Antenna beamwidth determines the expected signal strength given the direction and radiation distance of an antenna. The beamwidth will vary given several different factors such as the antenna type, design, orientation and radio frequency. This white paper presents a better understanding of beamwidth and how it influences a test environment is critical to accurate and repeatable tests.
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are used to provide strong and reliable wireless connectivity in location where connectivity is a problem with standard wireless routers or cellular connectivity. This app note discusses the use of DAS for IoT, cellular and other wireless applications.
Antennas made of carbon nanotube films are just as efficient as copper for wireless applications, according to researchers at Rice University's Brown School of Engineering. They're also tougher, more flexible and can essentially be painted onto devices.
Groundbreaking innovations on antenna technology, based on a collaboration between Lockheed Martin Space and Penn State, are now under consideration for use in the next generation of GPS satellite payloads.