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Theory, Design, and Measurement of Novel Uniform Circular Antenna Arrays for Direction of Arrival Estimation

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada - Ottawa Research Centre Ottawa ON Canada

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The theory, design, fabrication, and measurement of new uniform circular arrays UCAs for direction of arrival DOA estimation is presented in this report. In particular, the effect of directional antenna elements in UCAs for DOA estimation is studied in detail. While the vast majority of previous work assumes isotropic antenna elements or omnidirectional dipoles, this work demonstrates that improved DOA estimation accuracy and increased bandwidth is achievable with appropriately-designed directional antennas. Simulation results in this report show improved DOA estimation accuracy and robustness using microstrip patch antennas as opposed to conventional dipoles. Additionally, it is shown that the bandwidth of a UCA for DOA estimation is limited only by the broadband characteristics of the directional antenna elements and not the electrical size of the array as is the case with omnidirectional antennas. Three novel UCAs were fabricated and tested 1 a dipole UCA with integrated microstrip tapered baluns 2 a narrow spacing microstrip patch UCA and 3 a wide-spacing microstrip patch UCA. Practical design aspects of all three arrays is detailed in this report and measurement results from an anechoic chamber are presented. This work shows that there are opportunities to improve direction finding performance through optimization of antenna array elements which could potentially improve Canadian Armed Forces direction finding and situational awareness capabilities.

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