Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has made an announcement informing that it was able to develop a high-performance slotted waveguide array antenna built using injection-molded resin. Allegedly, the new design has proven to perform better than conventional patch array antennas in terms of cross-polarization characteristics, side-lobe characteristics and electric power efficiency, besides facilitating reduced cost and weight.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the new antenna from Mitsubishi Electric would allow wireless communication systems to achieve greater communication speed and capacity. It will also enable radar systems to enjoy enhanced accuracy and observation range. The company plants to being deployment of the antenna across several applications like airport radar, weather, remote sensing radar as well as satellite communications.
Further from the sources, resin injection molding has been used to make the antenna for offering reduced weight and cost. However, heat easily distorts resin due to which screws are used to secure resin-molding waveguides, requiring screw-holes which can degrade the electric performance of an antenna, the sources explained.
Mitsubishi has apparently taken care of this problem through a proprietary boss-iris structure which involves incorporating small and round ‘boss’ protuberances for screw-holes and ‘iris’ diaphragm waveguide for adjusting the electrical characteristics. The antenna delivers industry-leading performance owing to the proprietary boss-iris as well as novel ridge structure.
According to the sources, besides high performance of the injection-molded design of the antenna, a weight loss of around 40% and cost reduction of 90% can be achieved, as compared to conventional metallic antennas.
The antenna was developed by Mitsubishi Electric in association with Hiroshima Institute of Technology and with the support of the A-STEP program from the Japan Science and Technology Agency. A large-scale prototype array antenna had been manufactured and evaluated for the project, which consisted of nearly 2,000 elements. The test showed 90% cross polarization reduction, 10% more electric power efficiency and 60% sidelobe suppression in comparison with conventional patch array antennas.