Evaluating Our Industry’s Health Requires a Broad Perspective
By John Farley, Director of Marketing, Pasternack Enterprises

As most RF and microwave companies are privately held and industry analysts rarely track sales of microwave components other than semiconductors and interconnects, determining the health of an industry as diverse as ours is extremely difficult.


MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue

October 2012

Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas Develops New Multi-Beam Hub Base Station Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO
By Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas

A new Multi-Beam Hub Base Station antenna, model number MBA6-3.5DS45/2045, has been developed by Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas to enable MIMO (multiple input multiple output) radio system operators to meet their goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere within a cell

Designed for high speed MIMO 4G (and beyond) urban access for backhaul, this was originally a European Union funded project that has become a finished and available multi-beam antenna with additional military and security beneficial applications.

By removing barriers to next-generation network deployment, this multi-narrow-beam antenna allows for a dramatic increase in capacity over existing communication systems. It provides an essential component enabling an improvement to the overall infrastructure capacity density of the current mobile network by an order of magnitude (10x). Projected deployment for this hub base station antenna system is for it to communicate with a network of “below-rooftop” access base stations using existing structures. The system strategy with these access base stations will allow self-backhauling.

Image Pattern 1: Typical measured elevation pattern for each of the 6 beams within the array

This multi-beam antenna has 90º coverage (a 90º arc) utilising six individual narrow beam patterns, each with a half power beamwidth of 15º. MIMO capability is provided with +/-45º polarisation in each of the six 15º sectors.

The advantage of this format is that a narrow beam can create high density coverage within a specific narrow area, allowing for a high level of frequency re-use whilst being far more efficient than installing 6 separate narrow beam directional antennas. By positioning four multi-beam antennas in a square formation, complete 360º coverage is achieved as this provides 24 dual-polarised beams. The current system benefits from meeting ETSI specification for multi-beam antennas (EN 302 326-3 V.1.1.2) and provides low side-lobe levels for greater system efficiency.

For security and military applications, the technology can be scaled to cover other frequency bands, with applications such as communications to multiple mobile platforms (ground or airborne). This system has the benefit of providing higher gain over a wider angle than a single sector antenna. Communications are more secure and less prone to intercept and jamming than wide beam or Omni antennas.

The antenna measures only 586mm (23") high x 456mm (17.95") wide x 76mm (3") deep, making it extremely compact given that it provides 2 x 6 beams each with 17dBi peak gain. For dense urban deployment, this compact m.ulti-beam antenna will reduce wind-load on towers and the cost of installation compared with conventional alternatives.

Image Pattern 2: Measured azimuth patterns for the 6 x 15º beams showing how little degradation of gain there is across the set of patterns. Note each beam has two polarizations (+/-45º)

The antenna element comprises a single cross-dipole assembly operating at a centre frequency of 3.5GHz interlocked in a configuration which provides a slant dual polar beam. Eight sets of these assemblies are fed in phase through a stripline feed to create the single 110˚ sector antenna which forms the basis for the array. There are 8 sector antennas in the complete assembly.

In order for the 6 (x2 polarisations) narrow beams to be formed to cover the 90º arc, two 8x8 Butler matrix beam forming devices are used to feed the separate ports of each antenna element. By a mechanism of fixed phase shifters and couplers, the Butler matrices provide defined sets of phases into each of the 8 internal antenna elements which results in two sets of 6 skewed beams. (The two outer ones covering +/-60º are not currently used).

Within the new unit the Butler matrix devices are fully integrated into the antenna, eliminating the need for 16 phased-matched cables, making for a much more efficient and cost-effective antenna.

In this antenna the down-tilt is a nominal 2º across the band of interest, i.e. 3.4 – 3.6GHz with an elevation beamwidth of 10˚ to the half-power point.

About Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, Newmarket
European Antennas Ltd, trading as Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, is a British company based near Newmarket, Suffolk. They are specialists in the design and development of high quality antennas used for defence, security, satellite and commercial communication systems. More than 60% of production is exported. Antenna development projects are undertaken.

About Cobham
Cobham specialises in meeting the demand for data, connectivity and bandwidth in defence, security and commercial environments. Offering a technically diverse and innovative range of technologies and services, the Group protects lives and livelihoods, responding to customer needs with agility that differentiates it. The most important thing we build is trust. Employing more than 10,000 people on five continents, the Group has customers and partners in over 100 countries.

For technical queries on the Multi- Beam Antenna:

Head of Business Development
Malcolm Ware
+44 1638 732172

Cobham Antenna Systems
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Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...

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