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Increasing Gain of a K-Band Waveguide Horn Antenna with an Additively Manufactured Low-Loss Cylindrical GRIN Lens


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2/28/23 11:00 am to 12:00 pm EST

Event Description

Technical Education Webinar Series

Title: Increasing Gain of a K-Band Waveguide Horn Antenna with an Additively Manufactured Low-Loss Cylindrical GRIN Lens

Date: February 28, 2023

Time: 8am PT / 11am ET

Sponsored by: Fortify

Presented by: Colby Hobart, Senior RF Applications Engineer

A traditional circularly polarized gain horn is capable of increasing directivity to achieving certain gain levels, who's maximum is limited by the length of the device. To show how to enable small form factor devices to meet the same gain specs as a longer device, the study considers retrofitting a four-inch, K-band, circularly polarized gain horn with an additively manufactured Luneburg-like lens to further focus the energy to match the overall gain of a 10-inch horn of the same manufacturer. The design uses a low loss photopolymer material as the structure for the lens, which is printed in selective regions so that much of the device is air, further reducing the effective loss tangent. This presentation will review the design and optimization process of the lens, the specialized fabrication process at Fortify, and the performance testing results of the devices under study.

Presenter Bio:

Colby Hobart completed his MS degree requirements in Electrical engineering in 2004 at Worcester Polytech. He is an experienced Radio Frequency Engineer in both the design and applications engineering areas over 18 years in the field. He has held positions with several subcontractor suppliers to the military prime contractors, performing work on various passive components for radar systems. This work includes component design of microwave filters and other front end devices, as well as RF PCB manufacturing support across areas in applications engineering, design for manufacturing, automated RF testing, and comprehensive failure analysis. New to the additive manufacturing space, Colby brings his breadth of experience in RF and radar to 3D printing of complex materials. His main focus in the RF Applications role is to bridge the gap between the type of RF design engineer he has worked with for years and the enabling technology that brings relevant low-loss RF materials to the additive manufacturing market. He very much enjoys the excitement of demonstrating to customers the enhanced antenna performance they can achieve through additive technology.

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