PhD Oral Defence - Mohamed Ahmed Nasr Mohamed Saif, Electrical and Computer Engineering
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Wireless communication is a leap of development in the history of humanity. For the past 100 years, a considerable effort has been spent to develop better standards, and technologies for a higher speed wireless communication with high system capacity for different applications. This requires the design of a high-frequency, point-to-multipoint antenna array system to achieve the mentioned goals. In addition, reconfigurability of this antenna system is essential to change the system characteristics to achieve acceptable performance in different situations. The main goal of this thesis is to design a reconfigurable beamforming network to work on the Ka-band for waveguide applications. The Butler matrix is designed using a dual-plane topology to avoid using crossovers. Among different beamforming networks in the literature, Butler matrix is chosen due to its higher efficiency and the smaller number of components required than other beamforming networks. Ridge gap waveguide technology is chosen among different transmission lines to implement Butler matrix for several reasons: It does not need dielectrics to operate so its power handling capacity is defined by the gap height and it has no dielectric losses. Its zero-field region represents the operating principle for some tunable devices introduced here and its contactless nature, which eases the assembly of waveguide parts at the millimeter-wave frequencies. The reconfigurability of Butler matrix is implemented such that beamwidth, sidelobe level, and beam direction may be all tuned for optimum system performance. To that end, several components are designed to achieve the required target, and strict requirements are placed on several components to achieve an acceptable cascaded-system performance. These components include a Ridge Gap Waveguide 90o-hybrid working on more than 30% bandwidth, which can provide several coupling levels ranging from 3 dB to 33 dB and a return loss and isolation better than 30 dB. Another component is a wideband reconfigurable power splitter that has a 40% bandwidth, a return loss better than 20 dB in the worst case and the ability to achieve all power splitting ratios including switching between the two guides. In addition, a wideband reconfigurable phase shifter is designed to have 33% bandwidth and phase shift tuning range from 0o to 200o. Two coaxial-to-ridge gap waveguide transitions are designed to work on more than 100% bandwidth to facilitate testing of different ridge gap waveguide components. An analysis for the asymmetric double ridge waveguide is introduced where its impedance is deduced and may be used to design double to single ridge waveguide transition useful for the dual-plane Butler matrix introduced here. In addition, this concept is used to develop a wideband unequal power divider in the single ridge waveguide technology. At the end, the whole system is assembled to show its performance in different tuning states. The ability of the system to produce radiation patterns of different characteristics is demonstrated. The presented Butler matrix design is a promising beamforming network for several applications like radar, base stations for mobile communications, and satellite applications.