Antenna frontend with RF-MEMS MMIC

Exemplary antenna frontend with RF-MEMS MMIC components realised

A 24 GHz antenna frontend using RF-MEMS MMIC components (switches & LNA) has been realised. It is an RX-array with 4 antenna rows that can be steered in one plane. It is a multi-beam antenna (4 beams in total) with on the backside a Butler matrix topology. A Butler matrix is a multi-beam feeding network based on a combination of fixed delay lines and hybrid couplers. Depending on the selected output of the Butler matrix, one out of 4 beams can be selected. The beams point respectively in 4 different directions in one and the same plane. The steering of the switches is performed via a simple connector as shown in the figure below. The actuation voltage is routed to each switch and manually controlled via an external power source. This buildup shows the degree of integration that can be achieved using MEMS-MMIC building blocks.