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Large antenna arrays are of great importance in applications such as satellite communications and remote sensing where a high gain, low sidelobe levels, and controlled beam shapes are required. Unfortunately, such applicative frameworks impose severe constraints on the weight of the antenna system, owing to the very large cost per kilogram launched in orbit. Accordingly, solutions to reduce the weight of large antenna arrays while mantaining good radiation performance are of great importance in space engineering.
Satellite systems for wireless communications, astronomic observations, navigation, and earth and weather observation



Members of the ELEDIA Research Center have developed several analytical design approaches for the synthesis of large thinned arrays, which are based on the exploitation of Almost Difference Sets (ADS). The enabling features of these binary sequences include

  1. their analytical nature and their availability for arrangements comprising several thousands elements both in linear and planar displacement, which guarantee an high design efficiency whatever the aperture size;
  2. their predictable autocorrelation function, which allows the derivation of suitable bounds for the peak sidelobe level of the synthesized arrangements;
  3. their massively thinned nature, which can be exploited to significantly reduce the number of radiating elements with respect to fully populated layouts.

The research activities carried out in this area have been focused on the mathematical derivation, study, and development of ADS-based design techniques for linear and planar thinned arrays. Moreover, their extension has been also considered by means of hybrid analytical-stochastic methodologies.

Synthesized beam pattern
Thinned array geometry

Keywords: Thinned arrays, Almost Difference Sets, Space, Satellite Communications, Analytic Design

See Also
  • G. Oliveri, M. Donelli, and A. Massa, "Genetically-designed arbitrary length almost difference sets," Electron. Lett., vol. 45, no. 23, pp. 1182-1183, Nov. 2009.
  • G. Oliveri, M. Donelli, and A. Massa, "Linear Array Thinning Exploiting Almost Difference Sets," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 3800-3812, Dec. 2009.
  • G. Oliveri, L. Manica, and A. Massa, "ADS-Based Guidelines for Thinned Planar Arrays," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 58, no. 6, pp. 1935-1948, Jun. 2010.
  • G. Oliveri, and A. Massa, "ADS-based array design for 2-D and 3-D ultrasound imaging," IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics Freq. Control, vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 1568-1582, Jul. 2010.
  • G. Oliveri, and A. Massa, "Fully interleaved linear arrays with predictable sidelobes based on almost difference sets," IET Radar Sonar Navigat., vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 649-661, Oct. 2010.
  • G. Oliveri, and A. Massa, "Genetic algorithm (GA)-enhanced almost difference set (ADS)-based approach for array thinning," IET Microwave Antennas Propag., vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 305-315, Feb. 21 2011.
  • P. Rocca, "Large Array Thinning by Means of Deterministic Binary Sequences," IEEE Antennas Wireless Propag. Lett., vol. 10, pp. 334-337, 2011.
  • G. Oliveri, F. Caramanica, and A. Massa, "Hybrid ADS-Based Techniques for Radio Astronomy Array Design," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 59, no. 6, pp. 1817-1827, Jun. 2011.
  • M. Carlin, G. Oliveri, and A. Massa, "On the Robustness to Element Failures of Linear ADS-Thinned Arrays, " IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 59, no. 12, pp. 4849-4853, Dec. 2011.
  • D. Sartori, G. Oliveri, L. Manica, and A. Massa, "Hybrid Design of Non-Regular Linear Arrays With Accurate Control of the Pattern Sidelobes," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 61, no. 12, pp. 6237-6242, Dec. 2013.