Complex Domain Beamforming based on Radio Frequency Vector Multiplier

Technology #d-1257

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Researchers
Zhengyu Peng
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Changzhi Li
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Lixin Ran
Laboratory of Applied Research on Electromagnetics (ARE), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
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Cameron Smith
Licensing Associate 806-834-6822
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Phased array antennas significantly extend the capability of conventional antennas by enabling the functionality of adaptive beamforming. In modern communication and radar systems, beamforming technique has been widely used not only to steer and shape the lobes of radiation patterns in order to obtain optimal signal performance, but also to control and improve noise performance. Currently, the state-of-the-art phased-array-based digital beamforming systems suffer from disadvantages of high power consumption, high cost, and system complexity due to heavy use of transmitter/receiver (T/R) modules and high-speed digital and digital-anaolog mixed devices. Conventional designs also strongly rely on the development of semiconductor technologies, and there is no cost-effective solution as of yet. 

This technology proposes a "complex domain" radio frequency (RF) front-end which is able to separate the waveform delay information from the RF signals and individually control the amplitude and phase of each RF signal. The components of this front-end allow the real and imaginary parts of complex numbers to simultaneously control the amplitude and phase of RF signals. This means that beamforming algorithms can be directly applied without any form transformation, so the use of conventional T/R modules and high-speed baseband devices can be avoided. This technology is therefore cheaper and more energy efficient than its alternatives. 

Reference Number: D-1257 

Market Applications: 

  • Smart radar systems
  • Communication systems (4G, 5G, high speed indoor wireless link)
  • Acoustic applications
  • Satellite communication/positioning systems 

Features, Benefits, & Advantages:

  • Low cost
  • Low power consumption
  • Does not require use of high-speed baseband and conventional transmitter/receiver modules 

Intellectual Property: A provisional application, serial number 62/397,221, was filed on September 20th, 2016. 

Development Stage: The inventors have built and tested a prototype and a revision of the test is planned to improve the performance of the system. 

Researchers:

  • Zhengyu Peng, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Changzhi Li, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Lixin Ran, Laboratory of Applied Research on Electromagnetics (ARE), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China 

Keywords: beam forming, phased array, complex domain, RF vector multiplier