Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Engineering Science


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Ramanarayanan Viswanathan

Second Advisor

Xin Dang

Third Advisor

Fan Yang

Relational Format



Reflectarray antennas combine the numerous advantages of reflector antennas and phased array antennas and create a hybrid high-gain antenna with a low-profile, low-mass, easy-fabrication, and diversified radiation performance. However, it still has some inherent drawbacks, such as limited bandwidth and scanning range, which are targeted in this dissertation. At first, the array theory approach for radiation analysis of reflectarray antennas is described and implemented. Numerical results are then presented and compared with reference results to confirm its reliability. As the most critical influential factor to the reflectarray bandwidth, the element bandwidth was studied at first, and the effects of element shape and substrate thickness were investigated. Then, a comprehensive study was performed to investigate the bandwidth performance of reflectarrays on the system level. The effect of aperture size, element bandwidth and phase synthesis method was discussed in sequence. Particularly, a novel phase synthesis approach was proposed, which enables reflectarray to achieve a significant bandwidth improvement even with elements of narrow bandwidth. Prototypes are fabricated and tested to validate the idea. Since the reflectarray antenna is a hybrid product of reflector and phased array antennas, its main beam could be steered by either rotating its feed or reconfiguring its element phases. The former way was explored at first. An improved phase design was proposed for reflectarrays mimicing parabolic-cylindrical reflectors to expand its scanning range. The published achievements of reconfigurable reflectarrays design are revieand it is found that currently efficiency is a big problem. A 1-bit 10ã—10 reconfigurable reflectarray using pin diode was designed, fabricated and measured to explore the energy loss, and experimental results shothat 14% efficiency could be reached. In summary, some improved designs regarding bandwidth and scanning performance for reflectarrays are proposed in this dissertation. Various factors affecting reflectarray bandwidth are investigated, which shall provide some guidelines regarding bandwidth improvement. On the other hand, two designs are presented to explore the beam scanning characteristic of reflectarray antenna, by mechanical and electrical ways respectively. Several prototypes have been fabricated and measured, demonstrating the novel features and potential applications of reflectarray antennas.


Emphasis: Electrical Engineering



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