Design of a phase sampled interferometry antenna using the robust symmetrical number system
York, Nathan S.
Cooper, Alfred W.
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This research has examined the benefits of using the Robust Symmetrical Number System (RSNS) to resolve ambiguities in phase sampling interferometry. A compact, high resolution direction finding antenna architecture based on the RSNS was developed to demonstrate experimentally the elimination of phase errors using a minimum amount of hardware. Previous work has determined that phase errors in the system will degrade the system performance. Several improvements were made to the original RSNS prototype antenna to provide enhanced performance. Adding isolators and supplementing the ground plane with copper tape (between the antenna elements), a reduction in the mutual coupling effects was accomplished. Mounting the microwave components on a brass plate also reduced errors contributed by vibrations and temperature. Tailor cutting all semi-rigid coaxial lines also helped reduce the number of connectors required to assemble the microwave circuit, also a source of phase errors. Matching the front-end amplifiers in each amplification stage rather than matching the characteristics of two cascaded amplifiers in each signal line has reduced relative phase errors between channels as well as matching the power outputs of the amplifiers. Two printed circuit boards were designed and built for the RSNS signal processor. The printed circuit boards provide a decrease in the electrical noise floor over the original design (assembled on breadboards). The new design has reduced the phase errors that were present in the first prototype system. The RSNS signal processing technique is able to provide a high-resolution phase sampled direction finding capability with an angular resolution of 1.9 degrees by using only three receiving elements (two interferometers)
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