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1. WO1989007838 - MICROSTRIP ANTENNA

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CLAIMS

1. An antenna comprising a plurality of substantially rectangular patches energisable at a resonant frequency each having an opposed pair of first edges, and an opposed pair of second edges corresponding in length to the resonant frequency, disposed upon a substrate,- characterised in that the patches are so arranged as to form an array of groups, each such group comprising a first patch adapted to be fed from a feed line and a pair of second patches each adjacent to and spaced from one of the second edges of the first patch, the second patches being adapted to be fed only parasitically from the first, the groups being spaced apart on the substrate in an array, such that the spacing between patches of adjacent groups substantially exceeds the spacing between patches within a group.

2. An antenna as claimed in claim 1, further characterised in that each group also comprises a further pair of second patches adjacent to and spaced from the first edges of the first patch.

3. An antenna as claimed in claim 2, wherein the spacing of the second patches of the further pair from the first edges of the first patch is different to the spacing from the second edges of the first patch of the second patches adjacent thereto.

4. An antenna as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the spacing between patches of adjacent groups is at least double the spacing between patches within a group.

5. An antenna as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the spacing of the said second patches from the said first patch within a group does not exceed one fifteenth of the wavelength corresponding to the resonant frequency.

6. An antenna as claimed in claim 5, wherein the spacing between the second patches and the first within each group is between one thirtieth and one thirty-fifth of the wavelength, corresponding to the resonant frequency, of the antenna and the distance between corresponding points of the array is approximately nine tenths of the said operating wavelength.

7. An antenna as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein the spacing of the second patches from the first within a group does not exceed one seventeenth of the distance between corresponding points of groups in the array.

8. An antenna as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the length of the first edges of the patches is sufficiently different to that of the second edges to avoid cross-polarization.

9. An antenna as claimed in claim 8, in which the length of the first edges of the patches is 90-95 percent that of the second edges.

10. An antenna as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, in which, within each group, at least one second patch has shorter first edges than at least one other second patch.

11. An antenna as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, in which, within each group, one second patch adjacent a second edge of the first is spaced a shorter distance therefrom than the other, whereby the reception axis of the antenna is not perpendicualr to the plane of the substrate.

12. An antenna comprising a plurality of elemental groups disposed in an array upon a substrate, each group comprising a central patch adapted to be fed from a feed line and four parasitic patches adapted to be parasitically fed from the central patch, disposed around the central patch so as to form a cross, wherein the elemental groups are arranged with their cross axes parallel one to another, the array comprising a plurality of lines of groups spaced along the line by a distance P less than twice the wavelength λ corresponding to the resonant frequency of the antenna, alternate lines being displaced by P/2 so that the effective spacing in at least one antenna plane is less than λ .

13. An antenna according to claim 12 wherein P is at least equal to the wavelength λ.

14. An antenna according to claim 13 wherein adjacent lines are spaced apart by P/2 so that the antenna comprises a square array.

15. An antenna according to claim 13, wherein the diagonal distance between groups in adjacent lines is less than the wavelength λ, so that the antenna does not diffract at that wavelength.

16. An antenna according to any preceding claim, in which a feed network comprising a plurality of feed lines is disposed upon one face of a second substrate, parallel with the first, aligned so that a feed line lies adjacent a feed point of each central, or first, patch, and there is provided between the two substrates a ground plane, which includes apertures between each such feed point and the adjacent feedline so as to allow the patch to be fed therefrom.