MetaBeam: A high-gain pencil-beam array antenna based on corporately fed CRLH meta-lines for the 24 GHz ISM band
One of the objectives in the “MetaBeam” research project was the development of a high-gain pencil-beam array antenna based on composite right/left-handed (CRLH) metamaterial transmission-lines, shortly referred to as CRLH meta-lines. This paper presents an initial prototype for this work-package. We aimed for applications within the 24 GHz ISM band, like automotive radar systems, where low-cost is a major concern. Therefore, the antennas have been realized with a standard multi-layer printed circuit board technology based on Rogers RO4350/4450 laminates, which are approved for automotive applications. The antenna with a two-dimensional aperture is essentially based on corporately fed one-dimensional CRLH meta-lines, which have an electrically long extent and operate therefore as leaky-wave antennas (LWAs) in the fastwave regime. A conventional corporate feeding network based on Wilkinson power dividers is used to uniformly distribute the power to the different columns. Here, the results of an eightcolumn array antenna, where each meta-line is composed of 20 unit cells are presented. The overall dimensions are 44 mm (8 times a pitch of 5.5 mm) by 45 mm (20 times the period of 2.25 mm), which roughly corresponds to an electrical size of (4 λ₀)²,and a gain of 17.4 dB at 24.5 GHz has been measured.
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