Wideband Dual-Polarized Multiple Beam-Forming Antenna Arrays

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 2019, 67 (3), pp. 1590 - 1604
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© 1963-2012 IEEE. Wideband multibeam antenna arrays based on three-beam Butler matrices are presented in this paper. The proposed beam-forming arrays are particularly suited to increasing the capacity of 4G long-term evolution (LTE) base stations. Although dual-polarized arrays are widely used in LTE base stations, analog beam-forming arrays have not been realized before, due to the huge challenge of achieving wide operating bandwidth and stable array patterns. To tackle these problems, for the first time, we present a novel wideband multiple beam-forming antenna array based on Butler matrices. The described beam-forming networks produce three beams but the methods are applicable to larger networks. The essential part of the beam-forming array is a wideband three-beam Butler matrix, which comprises quadrature couplers and fixed wideband phase shifters. Wideband quadrature and phase shifters are developed using striplines, which provide the required power levels and phase differences at the outputs. To achieve the correct beamwidth and to obtain the required level of crossover between adjacent beams, beam-forming networks consisting of augmented three-beam Butler matrices using power dividers are presented to expand the number of output ports from three to five or six. Dual-polarized, three-beam antenna arrays with five and six elements covering LTE band are developed. Prototypes comprising beam-forming networks and arrays are tested according to LTE base station specification. The test results show close agreement with the simulation ones and compliance with LTE requirements. The designs presented are applicable to a wide range of wideband multibeam arrays.
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