Radio astronomy is used to study stars, galaxies, black holes and gas clouds radiation at radio frequencies. Detecting extremely weak signals from deep space radio sources requires high sensitive feed system associated with large dish antennas. The key figure of merit is survey speed, or the time required to map a region of the sky to a given source flux density. Survey speed is proportional to the frequency bandwidth, the field of view or observable region of the sky, and the squared sensitivity, where sensitivity is related to reflector aperture efficiency and system noise temperature. Compared to the traditional single feed, phased array feeds with significantly expanded field of view are considered as the next generation feed for radio telescope. This dissertation outlines the design, analysis and measurement of high sensitivity L-band and mm-wave phased array feeds for the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope. Theoretical works for radio astronomy includes design guideline for high sensitivity phased array feed, fundamental frequency bandwidth limit, array antenna loss influenced by mutual coupling and beamformer coefficients and possibility of superdirectivity for radio telescopes and other antennas. These study are helpful to understand and guide the design of a phased array feed system. In the absence of dish antennas, sparse phased arrays with aperiodic structure have been developed for satellite communications. A compromise between the peak side lobe level, array element density, directivity and design complexity is studied. We have found that the array peak side lobe level can be reduced by enhancing the array element direction at the main lobe direction, increasing the array element density and enlarging the array size. A Poynting streamline approach develops to understand the properties of a receiving antenna and the mutual coupling effects between array elements. This method has been successfully used to generate effective area shape for many types of antennas and guide the design of a superdirective antenna. Motivated by this method, a superdirective antenna is experimental demonstrated.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Phased array feeds, radio astronomy, satellite communications, superdirective antenna, Poynting streamline and antenna effective area shape