An Optimal Beamforming Strategy for Wide-Field Surveys With Phased-Array-Fed Reflector Antennas
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011
An optimal beamforming strategy is proposed for performing large-field surveys with dual-polarized phased-array-fed reflector antennas. This strategy uses signal-processing algorithms that maximize the beam sensitivity and the continuity of a field of view (FOV) that is formed by multiple closely overlapping beams. A mathematical framework and a newly developed numerical approach are described to analyze and optimize a phased array feed (PAF) system. The modeling approach has been applied to an experimental PAF system (APERTIF prototype) that is installed on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. The resulting beam shapes, sensitivity, and polarization diversity characteristics (such as the beam orthogonality and the intrinsic cross-polarization ratio) are examined over a large FOV and frequency bandwidth. We consider weighting schemes to achieve a conjugate-field matched situation (max. received power), maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and a reduced SNR scenario but with constraints on the beam shape. The latter improves the rotational symmetry of the beam and reduces the sensitivity ripple, at a modest maximum sensitivity penalty. The obtained numerical results demonstrate a very good agreement with the measurements performed at the telescope.
array feeds (PAFs)
focal plane arrays
system modeling techniques
array signal processing