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Raytheon : Patent Issued for Method and Apparatus for Controlling Sidelobes of an Active Antenna Array (USPTO 9653799)

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05/25/2017 | 11:08pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Pozgay, Jerome H. (Marblehead, MA); McSpadden, James (Allen, TX); Roper, Joel C. (Plano, TX); Tingley, Fatemeh (Waltham, MA), filed on November 7, 2011, was published online on May 16, 2017.

The patent's assignee for patent number 9653799 is RAYTHEON COMPANY (Waltham, MA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In satellite communications systems it is important to control the uplink sidelobe levels to minimize interaction between the terminal and its network and another network operating at or very close to the same frequency. In mobile earth terminals with moderate gain antennas and uplink power levels, the interference problem is exacerbated by the generally high sidelobes that are associated with illuminations that optimize power transfer to the radiating field.

"Many mobile earth terminals, and other applications, use active electronically steered arrays (AESAs) for the communications antennas. To address the interference problem, there have been several attempts to reduce AESA sidelobe levels while maintaining illumination efficiency; however these attempts have not been successful. For example, attempts have been made to use non-uniform amplitude illumination distributions (e.g., Taylor illumination) and to use phase tapering techniques. Non-uniform amplitude distributions result in lower radiated signal power levels due to the inherent inefficiency of the amplitude shaping function. Phase tapering is unreliable, being difficult to implement, and also suffers from reduced radiated signal power levels."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Aspects and embodiments are directed to independent passive and electronic methods and apparatus for reducing AESA sidelobe levels while maintaining an illumination efficiency of unity, or close thereto (near maximum power transfer to the radiating field). According to one embodiment, there is provided a method of electronically altering the shape of the antenna aperture in order to reduce sidelobe levels over critical regions of the AESA coverage volume while simultaneously maintaining maximum (or close to maximum) effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) and gain. In one example, electronic control is used to vary the angle of edge discontinuities in the aperture, thereby altering the sidelobe distribution to achieve a desired reduction in sidelobe levels over a particular region of space, as discussed further below.

"According to one embodiment, a method of controlling sidelobe distribution in an active electronically steered array comprises electronically reshaping an aperture of the array to control the sidelobe distribution to reduce sidelobes over a selected region of a coverage volume of the array.

"In one example, electronically reshaping the aperture includes varying an angle of edge discontinuities in the aperture. Varying the angle of the edge discontinuities may include tilting the edge discontinuities with respect to one operational principal plane of the array. In another example, electronically reshaping the aperture includes reshaping the aperture from a substantially rectangular aperture into a parallelogram-shaped aperture. In one example, reshaping the aperture includes forming the parallelogram-shaped aperture having sides parallel to a unit cell structure of the array. In another example in which the array comprises a plurality of radiators, reshaping the aperture into a parallelogram-shaped aperture includes electronically deactivating a subset of the plurality of radiators. Deactivating the subset of the plurality of radiators may be performed during a transmit operation of the array. The method may further comprise dynamically reconfiguring the aperture between a right parallelogram-shaped aperture and a left parallelogram-shaped aperture responsive to movement of the array. In one example, the array is configured for communications with a geosynchronous satellite, and reshaping the aperture into a parallelogram-shaped aperture includes moving a plane of the sidelobes such that the sidelobes are not parallel to a plane of orbit of the geosynchronous satellite.

"According to another embodiment, a method of reducing sidelobes in an active electronically steered array comprises providing the active electronically steered array having a substantially rectangular aperture and including a plurality of radiators, and electronically deactivating a subset of the plurality of radiators to reshape the substantially rectangular aperture into a parallelogram-shaped aperture to cause at least some of the sidelobes to move off a principal plane of the array and reducing the sidelobes over a selected region of coverage.

"In one example, electronically deactivating the subset of the plurality of radiators includes deactivating selected radiators of the plurality of radiators to reshape the aperture into a right parallelogram-shaped aperture. In another example, electronically deactivating the subset of the plurality of radiators includes deactivating selected radiators of the plurality of radiators to reshape the aperture into a left parallelogram-shaped aperture. The method may further comprise transmitting a signal using the parallelogram-shaped aperture of the array. In one example, the array is configured for communications with geosynchronous satellites, and the method further comprises dynamically reconfiguring the parallelogram-shaped aperture between a right parallelogram and a left parallelogram responsive to movement of the array in at least one of latitude and longitude.

"Another embodiment is directed to a method of controlling sidelobe distribution in an active electronically steered array of a satellite communications system mobile ground station, the array including a plurality of radiators. The method comprises electronically activating a subset of the plurality of radiators of the array to configure an aperture of the array into a parallelogram-shaped aperture to control the sidelobe distribution such that sidelobes are shifted off a principal plane of operation of the array, and transmitting a communications signal using the parallelogram-shaped aperture of the array.

"In one example, the method further comprises dynamically reconfiguring the aperture between a right parallelogram and a left parallelogram responsive to movement of the mobile ground station in at least one of latitude and longitude. In another example, electronically activating the subset of the plurality of radiators includes forming the parallelogram-shaped aperture having sides parallel to a unit cell structure of the array. In another example, shifting the sidelobes off the principal plane of operation of the array includes moving a plane of the sidelobes such that the sidelobes are not parallel to a plane of orbit of geosynchronous satellites.

"Still other aspects, embodiments, and advantages of these exemplary aspects and embodiments, are discussed in detail below. Embodiments disclosed herein may be combined with other embodiments in any manner consistent with at least one of the principles disclosed herein, and references to 'an embodiment,' 'some embodiments,' 'an alternate embodiment,' 'various embodiments,' 'one embodiment' or the like are not necessarily mutually exclusive and are intended to indicate that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described may be included in at least one embodiment. The appearances of such terms herein are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment."

For additional information on this patent, see: Pozgay, Jerome H.; McSpadden, James; Roper, Joel C.; Tingley, Fatemeh. Method and Apparatus for Controlling Sidelobes of an Active Antenna Array. U.S. Patent Number 9653799, filed November 7, 2011, and published online on May 16, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9653799.PN.&OS=PN/9653799RS=PN/9653799

Keywords for this news article include: RAYTHEON COMPANY.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Science Newsletters

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EBIT 2017 3 349 M
Net income 2017 2 182 M
Debt 2017 1 847 M
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P/E ratio 2018 19,16
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