Aircraft antenna array for seamless direct air-to-ground communication system
Abstract: Today, data communication provided for passengers on board of commercial airliners is significantly limited and mostly relies on satellite systems. One of the solutions for this problem is a direct air-to-ground communication systems (DA2GC) able to provide much larger data throughput in a seamless manner. The Seamless DA2GC project held under the auspices of EIT Digital and in partnership with Ericsson, Airbus, [email protected] research center and others is aimed to develop such a system in Europe. This thesis is devoted to the preliminary design of an aircraft antenna array that will be able to support the air-to-ground radio link at frequencies 3.4 — 3.8 GHz. The required characteristics of the link between an aircraft and ground station are also defined in this work as a result of the link budget analysis. It is shown by means of numerical simulations that the square 37×37 grid antenna array consisted of U-slotted patch elements is able to provide a broadside gain of 35.6 dB, 36.1 dB and 36.7 dB for 3.4 GHz, 3.6 GHz and 3.8 GHz, respectively. Impedance matching for the specified frequency band is guaranteed for maximal scan angles of 52° in E-plane and 56° in H-plane. Certain aspects of aircraft antenna siting including defining of blind zones for a commercial airplane are also covered in this thesis project.
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