Millimeter-Wave Beamforming: Antenna Arrays & Characterization

Millimeter-wave bands are of increasing interest for the satellite industry and under discussion as potential 5G bands. Antennas for 5G applications make use of the shorter element sizes at these high frequencies to incorporate a larger count of radiating elements. These antenna arrays are essential for beamforming operations that play an important part in next generation networks.

This white paper introduces some of the fundamental theory behind beamforming antennas. In addition to these basic concepts, calculation methods for radiation patterns and a number of simulations results, as well as some real world measurement results for small linear arrays are shown. Due to the bandwidths likely to be employed in such applications, a non-standard way of graphical representation is proposed.