Empirical Optimization of Antenna Arrays.
GRUMMAN AEROSPACE CORP BETHPAGE N Y RESEARCH DEPT
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The report describes a technique developed to optimize the performance of antenna arrays under realistic, on the vehicle conditions. This technique permits free choice of optimality criteria and design parameters and is applicable to both planar and nonplanar arrays with geometric constraints. The need for an improved Airborne Early Warning AEW airplane, the improvement being that of an airborne antenna system with reduced side lobes, was the main impetus for this investigation. The work reported grew from an initial study of the antenna array problem under the assumption of idealized free-space conditions. An experimental-computational approach to the solution of this problem has been formulated in which powerful n-dimensional optimum search methods i.e., the Davidon algorithm are applied to experimental data obtained from carefully scaled models of the vehicle and antenna array configuration. The optimization algorithm provides a new design for the antenna array that is then used in the scale model, and the process develops in an iterative fashion. The necessary laboratory setup and data processing techniques used to test the feasibility of this approach are discussed. Experimental results showing encouraging improvements have been obtained on an array of eight elements both with and without an aircraft model. These results indicate that the algorithmic procedure is both stable and convergent. Author
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment