Development of the phase synchronization circuit for wirelessly distributed digital phased array
Jenn, David C.
Broadston, Robert D.
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The Wirelessly Distributed Digital Phased Array (WDDPA) is an ongoing research program at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) which has numerous possible applications in radar and communication systems. The WDDPA incorporates many array elements randomly or nonuniformly in the environment or on a platform. Array elements are synchronized and controlled over a wireless channel. Compared to conventional phased array systems, its advantages are adaptability, survivability and flexibility. Phase synchronization is a critical component of the WDDPA development. The common phase reference is vital to steer the beam and control the radiation pattern for the phased array system. The objective of this paper is to improve the WDDPA synchronization operation. Previous hardware and software architectures were replaced or modified to improve the accuracy and speed of the phase synchronization. A series of experiments, first for hardwired channels, then for wireless channels, were conducted successfully to verify the synchronization operation for two elements. Several problems with the circuit were diagnosed and then addressed. The overall performance of the improved synchronization circuit for the demonstration array was satisfactory, allowing phases to be synchronized within 20Â° wirelessly. The architecture for the potential successor of the synchronization circuit is introduced. It is more flexible and robust than the current circuit and thus more desirable for future applications of the WDDPA.
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