Ross A. Speciale - Redondo Beach CA
Hughes Missile Systems Company - Los Angeles CA
An array of antenna elements are configured in a lattice-like layer, each element being similarly oriented such that the elements form a two-dimensional antenna aperture that may form a planar or curved surface of a desired shape. The antenna elements are connected in a one-to-one correspondence in both number and form to a lattice of identical, multiport, isotropic, wave-coupling networks physically located under the antenna element array as a backplane of the antenna element layer. Each wave-coupling network or "unit cell" couples signals to and/or from its corresponding antenna element and further functions as a phase delay module in a two-dimensional signal distribution network. This invention can be embodied in a two-dimensional signal distribution network and in a wrap-around, conformal, millimeter-wave, phased array antenna, such as on the nose of a missile. A backplane of densely-packed resonant cavities feeds an outboard-facing layer of resonant slots configured in a rectangular or hexagonal lattice for maximum density.