Synthetic Aperture Radar Antenna Array

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is widely used as an efficient tool for remote sensing and mapping by Aerospace industries. The desirable features of the antenna for Airborne SAR applications include shaped radiation pattern and wide bandwidth capability and high power capability. Generally, planar antennas are well suited for SAR applications. Generally, planar antennas are well suited for SAR applications which are inherently low profile and light weight. Multilayer-stacked electromagnetically coupled printed antenna is used to overcome the bandwidth limitation of the conventional microstrip antenna. There is a serious limitation associated with the power handling capability of microstrip patch antenna and cannot be directly used for SAR systems where a pulse peak power of several kilowatts is used. For such applications, a hybrid antenna where the feeder incorporated in the waveguide or square coaxial line (SCL) can be used. High input power level within feeder networks is brought to lower power levels by using cascaded power dividers. These lower power levels are then fed to microstrip patch antenna. The SCL technology has an advantage over the waveguide feeder network in terms of volume and weight.

Due to project complexity and cost factor, a designer first simulates design using full-wave EM solvers to get performance data before real production.    Simulation tool capability and the way tools are used, plays important role in design cycle time and cost. There are simulation technologies available that can change the way complex integrated array antenna are designed. One solution enables the use of different solvers for radiator and 3D feeder networks separately. This multiple electromagnetic solver approach reduces total design iteration time significantly.

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