HIGH-GAIN UHF BACKFIRE ANTENNA FOR COMMUNICATIONS, TELEMETRY, AND RADIO ASTRONOMY.
Instrumentation papers no. 129,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
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The backfire antenna described combines the structural advantages of a single endfire with the high gain of a reflector antenna. With its principal application in the gain range between 15 and 30 dB where ordinary endfire antennas become impractically long and paraboloidal antennas too expensive, it should prove to be especially advantageous for telemetry and radio astronomy applications in the 100- to 2000-MHz frequency range. The high gain of the backfire is based on the high-amplitude standing-wave field distribution formed between two planar reflectors. The space between the reflectors acts like an open resonating cavity that in basic configuration and function resembles a Fabrey-Perot laser cavity. An S-band model of a 4.0-wavelength backfire produces a gain of 23.5 dB at its optimum frequency, which corresponds to the gain of an equal-size paraboloidal antenna of 60 efficiency. Patterns show a very low side- and backlobe level over a frequency range of 1.25 to 1. Design information for these backfire antennas is given. Compared with an optimized equal-length Yagi, the backfire antenna produces an increase in gain of more than 8 dB. To achieve a gain of this magnitude with an ordinary array, one of two recently built antennas for satellite applications uses 16 Yagis, each 2.0 wavelength long, to produce a gain of 22.4 dB, and another uses 36 cavity-backed slots to produce 21.2 dB. These results emphasize the advantages of the single-element backfire antenna, whose 23.5 dB gain is achieved through a simple structural design that does not depend on the complicated feed systems that are necessary components in multielement arrays. Author
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment