Modal-based design techniques for circular quadruple-ridged flared horn antennas

Beukman, Theunis Steyn (2015-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation presents modal-based techniques for the effective systematic design of quadruple-ridged flared horns (QRFHs) as reflector feeds for radio astronomy applications. A new excitation technique is proposed, consisting of a quadraxial line that terminates in the quad-ridges through the back lid of the QRFH, which allows for the integration with differential low-noise amplifiers. An equivalent circuit of this quadraxial feed is presented that allows fast synthesis of optimal feeding designs for QRFHs. In addition, the quadraxial feeding network suppresses higher-order modes significantly. The effect of eliminating these unwanted modes are investigated and the quadraxial feed is shown to outperform the coaxial feed in the known detrimental aspects of the QRFH – beamwidth narrowing for increased frequency, beamwidth variation over the upper bandwidth, high cross-polarisation levels, high co-polar sidelobes and variable phase centre – for the specific QRFH designs. Ridge-loaded modes are analysed and a large number of cut-off frequencies presented which are unavailable in literature. The pure-mode excitation of the quadraxial feed allows more effective control over the modal content in the QRFH. This is exploited in a proposed design technique where the cut-off frequencies throughout the horn are used to synthesise the ridge taper profile, in order to achieve the desired modal distribution in the aperture. The proposed feeding solution is compact and therefore is also attractive for use with cryocoolers, typically employed with front-end electronics in telescopes for radio astronomy. A prototype was successfully manufactured and the mechanical implementation of the quadraxial feed proved to be much more simple than that of the conventional feed – consisting of a coaxial line realised within the thin ridges.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif stel modus gebasseerde tegnieke voor vir die effektiewe sistematiese ontwerp van viervoud gerifte oopgesperde horings (VGOHs) as weerkaatser voere vir radio astronomie toepassings. ’n Nuwe voertegniek word voorgestel, wat bestaan uit ’n kwadraksiale lyn wat termineer in die vier riwwe deur die agterkant van die VGOH, wat die integrasie met differensiële laeruis versterkers toelaat. ’n Ekwivalente stroombaan van hierdie kwadraksiale voer word aangebied vir die vinnige sintese van optimale voer ontwerpe vir VGOHs. Boonop onderdruk die kwadraksiale voer netwerk ook beduidend hoër orde modusse. Die effek van die uitskakeling van hierdie ongewensde modusse word ondersoek en die kwadraksiale voer oortref die gedrag van die koaksiale voer in die bekende nadelige aspekte van die VGOH – bundelwydte vernouing met toenemende frekwensie, bundelwydte variasie oor die boonste bandwydte, hoë kruispolarisasie vlakke, hoë kopolarisasie sybande en wisselvallige fase senter – vir die spesifieke VGOH ontwerpe. Rifgelaaide modusse word geanaliseer en ‘n groot aantal afsnyfrekwensies word aangebied wat nie beskikbaar is in literatuur nie. Die suiwermodus opwekking van die kwadraksiale voer bied meer effektiewe beheer oor die modusinhoud in die VGOH. Hierdie aspek word benut in ‘n voorgestelde tegniek waar die afsnyfrekwensies deur die horing gebruik word om die rif tapsheid profiel te sintetiseer, sodat die gewensde modale distribusie in die stralingsvlak behaal word. Die voorgestelde voer oplossing is kompak en daarom ook aantreklik vir die gebruik met krioverkoelers, wat tipies gebruik word met die voorkant elektronika in teleskope vir radio astronomie. ‘n Prototipe was suksesvol vervaardig en die meganiese implimentasie van die kwadraksiale voer toon dat dit eenvoudiger is as met die gebruiklike koaksiale voer – wat bestaan uit ‘n koaksiale lyn bewerkstellig binne die dun riwwe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96948
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