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Publication numberUS3624658 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1971
Filing dateJul 9, 1970
Priority dateJul 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3624658 A, US 3624658A, US-A-3624658, US3624658 A, US3624658A
InventorsVoronoff George N
Original AssigneeTextron Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Broadband spiral antenna with provision for mode suppression
US 3624658 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor George N. Voronoit San Francisco, Calif.

Appl. No. 53,563

Filed July 9, I970 Patented Nov. 30, 1971 Assignee Textron Inc.

Belmont, Calil.


Int. Cl H01q 1/36 [50] Field of Search 343/895, 739

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,555,554 1/1971 Kuo 343/895 Primary Examiner- Herman Karl Saaibach Assistant ExaminerMarvin Nussbaum Attorney-Gregg, Hendricson & Capian ABSTRACT: A six-arm spiral antenna backed by a reflective surface is energized to activate four arms with the other two arms being parasitic and Mode 5 radiation is suppressed to achieve broadband operation.

BROADBAND SPIRAL ANTENNA WITII PROVISION FOR MODE SUPPRESSION BACKGROUND OF INVENTION gization frequency, it is'realized that electrically conducting bodies disposed in proximity thereto materially varies their characteristics. In particular, problems oftentimes arise in the physical mounting of frequency-independent antennas.

One type of frequency-independent antenna is the spiral antenna, as it is commonly termed. Generally the curvature of the arms of a spiral antenna may be properly delineated as an Archimedean spiral or as a logarithmic spiral; however, in the following discussion the term spiral" is taken to denominate an antenna having curved arms of these general types.

In the utilization of spiral antennas many applications require the mounting of same relatively close to a ground plane or in front of a shallow cavity and this then creates a frequency dependency which is generally considered to be highly undesirable. One such situation in which this type of mounting occurs is the provision of antennas upon aircraft structures.

There has beencarried out a variety of investigations of frequency-independent antennas including spiral antennas of a variety of different configurations. For a discussion of at least one such series of investigations, reference is made to an article by R. Sivan-Sussman entitled Various Modes of the Equiangular Spiral Antenna" and appearing in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, pages 533 to 539, Sept. 1963. Experimental data on a substantial number of different equiangular spiral antenna configurations and modes of energization is set forth in the foregoing article. Such article does not, however, attempt to propose practical solutions to the problems identified above. Insofar as practical operating antennas of this general type are concerned, there have been issued a number of U.S. Pats. such as, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,990,548 and 3,131,394 to Wheeler, as well as others. Conventional prior art spiral antennas do, however, still suffer from the difficulty of frequency dependency when the spiral is operated at a close distance from the ground plane and beam pattern variations with frequency occur.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION The antenna of the present invention is comprised as a sixarm spiral comprising a unidirectional radiator backed by a cavity or ground plane that may be in close proximity to the antenna arms. The antenna produces a highly desirable radiation pattern which is stable over a substantial bandwidth or frequency variation.

The six-ann spiral antenna hereof has the first and second arms thereof electrically connected together and energization applied between such connection and a connection between the fourth and fifth arms. The third and sixth arms of the antenna are parasitically excited to thereby produce only Mode l and Mode radiation. The invention furthermore provides for suppression of Mode 5 radiations either by the utilization of an absorber or resistive terminations at a predetermined antenna radius. This then substantially eliminates the variation in radiation pattern with frequency change caused by the otherwise present Mode 5 radiation. Other radiation modes are not present so that substantially only Mode 1 radiation occurs.

DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES The present invention is illustrated as to particular preferred embodiments thereof in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates the patterns of radiation of various harmonies for a spiral antenna; I

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration in plan view of an antenna in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a central sectional view of one embodiment of the present invention, such as illustrated in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention comprises a sixarrn spiral antenna having a pair of opposed arms of the antenna parasitically excited and being backed by a reflecting surface. Investigations of spiral antennas which, as noted above, are one form of what is generally termed "frequency-independent antennas,

' has shown that the radiation pattern thereof is formed of patterns resulting fromthe various independent excitation voltages or currents whose phases are harrnonically related. In this respect, reference is made to FIG. 1 of the drawings of this application wherein there is shown a plot of radiation patterns as presented in the publication Frequency-Independent Anten-- nas" by Victor H. Rumsey, Academic Press, 1966, page 122. To those knowledgeable in the art, it is recognized that the first harmonic produces a single-lobe radiation pattern which is highly advantageous for many applications. The radiation pattern resulting from a mixture of the various harmonics may be of theoretical interest but, in general, are detrimental to the desired result from a frequency stability point of view. Extensive investigation has been made of thisgeneral type of antenna, as noted above. However, to date, there appears to have been developed no antenna of this general categorization producing a stable radiation pattern over an appreciable bandwidth with a simple feeding arrangement, for example, a bandwidth of 4: l or greater. V

Particularly under those circumstances wherein a conventional two-arm spiral antenna is operated over a ground plane at a small electrical distance therefrom, the beamwidth of the radiation pattern has been found to fluctuate rapidly with frequency for frequency bandwidths in excess of 2: 1. Investigation of this phenomenon indicated that the range of half-power beamwidth fluctuation is typically in the area of 35 to l l0.It will be appreciated that such fluctuations are intolerable for many applications.

Careful consideration of the reasons for the above-noted radiation pattern fluctuations indicates that same are caused by simultaneous presence of more than one mode of radiation and, in general, it is the presence of Modes l and 3 which pose the problems. It may be postulated and has, in fact, been established that the Mode 3 radiation is present because of insufiicient radiations from the Mode I region of the antenna so that the remainder of the energy to be radiated by the antenna occurs in the Mode 3 region.

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, there is shown a single lobe of radiation 11 resulting from the primaryor first harmonic and double-lobes 12 and 13 and 14 which are the result of second, third and fifth harmonics, respectively. For many applications the presence of more than one mode of radiation is highly undesirable as, for example, the presence of Modes 2, 3 or 5 are the cause of beamwidth fluctuations with frequency variations. The present invention provides for the suppression of these higher modes of radiation. 1

Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawing, it willbe seen to be schematically illustrated an equiangular spiral antenna 21 having six spiral arms 22 to 27 extending outwardly from a central excitation area in numbered order and equal spacing about such area. The arms of the antenna in themselves may be conventional and may, for example, be formed by copper plating on very thin Teflon-impregnated F iberglas having a copper thickness, for example, of the order of 0.002 inch.

The present invention provides for particular energization of the antenna hereof and, referring to FIG. 2, it will be seen that arms 22and 23 are electrically connected together as by a connection 31 and that arms 25 and 26 are electrically connected together as by a connection 32. Energization of the antenna is then accomplished by application of high-frequency energy between the connections 31 and 32, as schematically illustrated by the generator 33. It will be seen that this then leaves intermediate spiral antenna arms 24 and 27 electrically unconnected and these are thus parasitically excited by current flowing in the other arms of the antenna. It will be realized that parasitic excitation of antenna elements is well known in the art.

It can be established that with the antenna configuration of FIG. 2 and the type of energization employed therein, there will be radiated from the antenna electromagnetic energy from Modes I and with no radiation occurring from Modes 2, 3 or 4. The foregoing can be established theoretically by a consideration of current vectors and a determination therefrom that Mode 2, Mode 3 and Mode 4 currents are multiplied by vanishing coefiicients with only Mode l and Mode 5 excitation currents being multiplied by finite coefficients. While this is advantageous over conventional spiral antennas, the present invention proceeds further to suppress Mode 5 radiation, as described below, to then consequently attain substantially pure Mode 1 radiation to achieve operation over a frequency band of approximately 4:1.

Mode 5 radiation is herein suppressed by the utilization of absorbers or resistors particularly located with respect to the spiral arms. It can be established that Mode 1 radiation occurs substantially within a central area of the antenna of FIG. 2, as generally indicated by the dotted line 36 therein. This area has a circumference of A which is the wavelength of the highest operating frequency of the antenna and thus the radius of the circular area is )t/21r. Mode 5 radiation will begin to occur radially outward from a circular area having a circumference of approximately 4), with full development of this mode at a circumference of 5A. The present invention thus proceeds, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 3 to provide an absorber of high-frequency radiation 41 in engagement with the antenna in the Mode 5 region thereof. As noted above, the Mode 5 region commences radially outward from a circular area having a circumference of approximately 4}. which then is equivalent to a radius of ZA/nor about 0.6L Thus the radius of the inner circumference of the absorber 41 is approximately 0.6), wherein again A is the wavelength at the highest operating frequency of the antenna.

As a practical matter the radial extent of the absorber 41 may be as large as desired but, at any rate, it should extend radially outward sufficiently to encompass the entire Mode 5 region which extends outwardly to between 0.8)\ and 0.9),. The actual physical extent of the antenna arms 22 to 27 radially outward from the center of the antenna may be limited to the above-noted 0.6) radius where resistive termination is provided as set forth below, or, alternatively, the arms may continue further out from the center. It is noted that the absorber 41 is formed of a material having a high loss tangent such as, for example, materials sold under the trademark Eccosorb such as Eccosorb" LS 26, Eccosorb" AN 72 through AN 79 and Eccosorb" NZ. Referring further to FIG. 3, it is noted that the antenna is mounted above a ground plane 42 which may, for example, be planar or, if desired, may be formed of a conical shape in accordance with antenna practices. Antenna energization is herein accomplished by a conventional balun 43 feeding the antenna from a microwave generator, in the instance of a transmitting antenna. It is to be appreciated that the antenna of the present invention may be operated at a variety of different frequencies but it is particularly useful in the VHF and UHF region. As an example, an antenna in accordance with the present invention designed to operate at a minimum frequency of 100 MHz. would have a diameter of the order of 3 to 4 feet and might have a ground plane spacing of only an inch to 1% inches rather than the normal M4 because of space limitations, for example.

As noted above, the present invention proceeds to suppress Mode 5 radiation either by the utilization of an absorber or by resistive termination of the arms. Referring to FIG. 4 there will be seen to be schematically illustrated the six-arm antenna of the present invention having the arms physically terminated at a distance radially outward from the center of the antenna that is substantially the above-noted 0.6a. At the outer end of each arm there is provided a resistor 46 connected between the end of the arm and the ground plane 42. This then provides a return path for Mode 5 current so that same does not reflect from the ends of the spiral arms, and again this configuration of the present invention provides a substantially pure Mode 1 radiation. It will be appreciated that the embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 4 are electrical equivalents insofar as the objects of the present invention are concerned.

It has been noted above that, in order to preclude or suppress Mode 5 radiation, there shall be employed either an absorber or resistors located at an appropriate radius of the antenna. This radius has been calculated above as a minimum of 0.6K but it is to be appreciated that this dimension may be somewhat increased to increase the antenna bandwidth at the low frequency end, for it is radially outward of such distance that Mode 5 intensive radiation occurs. Thus, for example, it is quite practical to place the resistors 46, for example, at a radial distance outward from the center of 0.8)\. It is also to be particularly noted that the presence of the ground plane, even disposed immediately behind the antenna, is not deleterious to operation of the antenna in the manner described above. Prior art limitations of radiation pattern fluctuations for frequency bandwidths in excess of 2:1 are overcome by the present invention.

What is claimed is:

I. An improved spiral antenna comprising six equiangular arms equally spaced circumferentially apart about a center, first means electrically connecting together the inner ends of a pair of adjacent arms, second means connecting together the inner ends of the pair of arms opposite to the first connected pair of arms, means applying high-frequency energization between said first and second means to energize the antenna for producing electromagnetic radiation therefrom, and suppression means disposed substantially at a radius of 0.6 wavelength of antenna energization from the antenna center about the center adjacent each arm for suppressing electromagnetic radiation at a radius greater than 0.6 wavelength to thus suppress Mode 5 radiation from the antenna.

2. The antenna of claim 1 further defined by means defining an electrically conducting ground plane in close proximity to one side of said antenna adjacent each arm thereof whereby said antenna radiates away from said plane.

3. The antenna of claim 1 further defined by said suppression means comprising an annular absorber of a material absorbing electromagnetic radiation disposed against one side of the antenna and having an inner diameter in the range of 0.6

to 0.8 wavelength.

4. The antenna of claim 2 further defined by said suppression means comprising a plurality of resistors connected one between each antenna arm and said ground plane at a radius in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 wavelength and said arms terminating at such connections.

5. An improved unidirectional frequency-independent antenna comprising six equiangular spiral antenna arms disposed in substantially planar array and spaced equally apart about a center, means electrically connecting together a first pair of antenna arms adjacent said center and connecting together the pair of antenna arms opposite said first pair, means applying high-frequency electrical energization between said connections to directly energize said two pairs of arms and parasitically energize the two remaining unconnected antenna arms whereby said antenna is energized to radiate in Mode l and Mode 5 regions, means defining an electrically conducting ground plane in close proximity to one substantially planar side of the antenna, and radiation suppression means disposed between said antenna and groun d plane radially outward of the Mode l radiation region of the antenna and suppressing Mode 5 radiation whereby substantially only Mode l radiation occurs.

ing radially outward from substantially 0.6 wavelength to 0.9 wavelength of the highest operating frequency of energization of the antenna.

8. The antenna of claim 5 further defined by said suppression means comprising resistors connected between said antenna arms and said ground plane and said arms terminating at said resistor connections.

i t t

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3555554 *Mar 3, 1969Jan 12, 1971Sylvania Electric ProdCavity-backed spiral antenna with mode suppression
Referenced by
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US3828351 *Jul 23, 1973Aug 6, 1974Textron IncBroadband spiral antenna
US4085406 *Oct 22, 1976Apr 18, 1978International Business Machines CorporationSpiral antenna absorber system
US5220340 *Apr 29, 1992Jun 15, 1993Lotfollah ShafaiDirectional switched beam antenna
US6023250 *Jun 18, 1998Feb 8, 2000The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyCompact, phasable, multioctave, planar, high efficiency, spiral mode antenna
US6266027Nov 2, 1999Jul 24, 2001The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyAsymmetric antenna incorporating loads so as to extend bandwidth without increasing antenna size
US6608594Oct 5, 2000Aug 19, 2003Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Antenna apparatus and communication system
US6639555Dec 10, 1998Oct 28, 2003Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Antenna unit, communication system and digital television receiver
US8106846May 1, 2009Jan 31, 2012Applied Wireless Identifications Group, Inc.Compact circular polarized antenna
US8618998Jul 21, 2009Dec 31, 2013Applied Wireless Identifications Group, Inc.Compact circular polarized antenna with cavity for additional devices
US9065176 *Feb 16, 2012Jun 23, 2015Wang-Electro-Opto CorporationUltra-wideband conformal low-profile four-arm unidirectional traveling-wave antenna with a simple feed
US20010024959 *Mar 13, 2001Sep 27, 2001U.S. Philips CorporationAntenna arrangement
US20120249385 *Feb 16, 2012Oct 4, 2012Wang Electro-Opto CorporationUltra-Wideband Conformal Low-Profile Four-Arm Unidirectional Traveling-Wave Antenna With A Simple Feed
US20150130675 *Nov 12, 2013May 14, 2015Harris CorporationMicrocellular communications antenna and associated methods
US20150130677 *Nov 11, 2013May 14, 2015Nxp B.V.Uhf-rfid antenna for point of sales application
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EP1091445A2 *Oct 5, 2000Apr 11, 2001Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Antenna apparatus and communication system
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U.S. Classification343/805, 343/739
International ClassificationH01Q1/36, H01Q9/27, H01Q9/04
Cooperative ClassificationH01Q1/36, H01Q9/27
European ClassificationH01Q9/27, H01Q1/36
Legal Events
Jun 2, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19860315
Jun 2, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860315