STK 3D Electronically Steerable
Phased Array Antenna Plugin
Trey Spetch, Jerry Odhner, and Kristen Jones
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What is a 3D Steerable Phased Array
Antenna?
• Flat Panel Array of
Elements
• Beam Electronically
Steered by Varying Phase
Across Elements
• Steerable in Both Azimuth
and Elevation
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Applications of Electronically
Steerable Flat Panel Arrays
• Over the Horizon Radar
• Missile Searching and Tracking (Patriot Missile)
• Ship-Borne Radar
• Aircraft Antennas
– Must be conformal with aircraft
– No dishes allowed
– Large apertures achievable
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STK Static Antenna Patterns Not
Suitable to Model Phased Array Beam
90 Degree Elevation Beams
1 GHz, 1m Aperture
Array Antenna
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Dish Antenna
45 Degree Elevation Beams
1 GHz, 1m Aperture
Array Antenna
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Dish Antenna
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Antenna Notional Model
m=4
Crossed-Dipole Element
n=3
l/2
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Dihedral Angles to Boresight and
ToObject
• Dihedral Angles for Boresight (f, q) and ToObject (a, b)
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Plugin Model
ToObjectAz
ToObjectEl
m, n, l
Coord
Xform
b
a
G(m, n, l, q, f, a, b)
BoresightHoriz
q
BoresightVert
f
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GainToObject
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Beam Steered to Invisible Vehicle
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Creating and Attaching Plugin Scripts
There are several kinds of plugins (constraints, transmitter
and receiver models, custom antenna gain, etc)
For a custom antenna gain plugin, select the plugin file on
the receiver properties panel under Antenna… Details…
Languages: Matlab, Perl,
and VBScript.
The examples scripts that
AGI provides are a good
place to start. You can
then add any additional
input variables as needed
and write functions to do
custom calculations.
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Plugin Code
• AntennaGainPlugin.vbs.doc
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Directivity Visualization Using STK
Coverage
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Effect of Changing Array Dimensions
Increasing the number of elements along one axis of the
antenna decreases the beamwidth in that direction
5 x 5 Array, 1 GHz
5 x 10 Array, 1 GHz
10 x 10 Array, 1 GHz
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Effects of Wavelength
For a given panel aperture size, the beamwidth decreases
with wavelength
1 meter array (2x2), 500 MHz
1 meter array (7x7), 1 GHz
1 meter array (33x33), 5 GHz
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Conclusion
• STK Plugins allow dynamic beam shaping for
antennas based on custom equations
• Any geometric variable or scalar value can be
input to the plugin
• Allows extremely accurate modeling of link
margins for phased arrays and other custom
antennas
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Questions?
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