A Low-Cost Electronic Scanning Antenna with Two-Wave Mixing

Large scale phased antenna array is considered as one of the key techniques in 5G to enabling the ultra-high-speed data communication. However, the large number of phase shifters in conventional phased array architecture significantly increases the cost and system complexity, which brings it challenges in commercial use. In this article, we propose an innovative phase shifting architecture by mixing two travelling waves rather than using phase shifters. The phases of the antenna elements can be by simply changed by tuning the frequencies of the input waves, while the frequency of radiated signal is kept as constant. A 1 by 8 linear array based on the proposed technique is fabricated and tested. The new structure provides a low-cost solution for large scale array application in 5G.