Non-Radiative Calibration of Active Antenna Arrays
McCormack, Justine (2010) Non-Radiative Calibration of Active Antenna Arrays. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Antenna arrays offer significant benefits for modern wireless communication systems but they remain difficult and expensive to produce. One of the impediments of utilising them is to maintain knowledge of the precise amplitude and phase relationships between the elements of the array, which are sensitive to errors particularly when each element of the array is connected to its own transceiver. These errors arise from multiple sources such as manufacturing errors, mutual coupling between the elements, thermal effects, component aging and element location errors. The calibration problem of antenna arrays is primarily the identification of the amplitude and phase mismatch, and then using this information for correction. This thesis will present a novel measurement-based calibration approach, which uses a fixed structure allowing each element of the array to be measured. The measurement structure is based around multiple sensors, which are interleaved with the elements of the array to provide a scalable structure that provides multiple measurement paths to almost all of the elements of the array. This structure is utilised by comparison based calibration algorithms, so that each element of the array can be calibrated while mitigating the impact of the additional measurement hardware on the calibration accuracy. The calibration was proven in the investigation of the experimental test-bed, which represented a typical telecommunications basestation. Calibration accuracies of ±0.5dB and 5o were achieved for all but one amplitude outlier of 0.55dB. The performance is only limited by the quality of the coupler design. This calibration approach has also been demonstrated for wideband signal calibration.
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