Sparse phased-array-fed focusing aperture antennas without grating lobes

Tech ID: 21-025

Inventor: Dr. Jonathan Chisum, Nicolas Garcia

Date Added: May 3, 2021


An innovative, cost-saving, and grating-lobe-free alternative to traditional phased arrays


Technology Summary

Antennas are necessary for the transmission and reception of signals in wireless communication. The main array aperture that is currently used is phased arrays. These are stationary arrays of antennas that are able to synthesize an electric field across an aperture without mechanical movement. Despite the high beam quality, phased arrays have prohibitive cost and is not able to hit the consumer price-point. These arrays also must maintain an antenna spacing of half-wavelength in order to maintain grating lobe free beam-scanning.

Researchers at University of Notre Dame developed a hybrid solution that strategically pairs a phased array with a lens antenna. The phased array acts as the feed for the lens antenna which then converts the focal-region fields into a continuous distribution.  This results in high quality scanning (high gain, low side lobes) compared to a typical lens antenna. Furthermore, elements can be spaced further apart than half-wavelength without grating lobes. This invention will reduce the number of elements required in the antenna to cover the field of view for a scan, resulting in significant power and cost savings over a phased-array only solution. This invention can be implemented in low-earth-orbit satellites’ ground terminals, in military radar, or in 5G mm wave base stations.

Market Advantages

  • Reduces manufacturing cost by 50%
  • Reduces power consumption and heat by 2%
  • Grating lobe free

Market Opportunities

  • LEO Satellite Industry ($3.3 billion)
  • 5G Millimeter wave Antenna Industry: a fast growing industry with ~$407 billion market size

Technology Readiness Level

  • TRL 2 - Technology Concept and/or Application Formulated

Intellectual Property Status





Richard Cox