Steering the beam of medium-to-high gain antennas using near-field phase transformation

Muhammad U. Afzal, Karu P. Esselle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


A method to steer the beam of aperture-type antennas is presented in this paper. Beam steering is achieved by transforming phase of the antenna near field using a pair of totally passive metasurfaces, which are located just above and parallel to the antenna. They are rotated independently or synchronously around the antenna axis. A prototype, with a peak gain of 19.4 dBi, demonstrated experimentally that the beam of a resonant cavity antenna can be steered to any direction within a large conical region (with an apex angle of 102°), with less than 3-dB gain variation, by simply turning the two metasurfaces without moving the antenna at all. Measured gain variation within a 92° cone is only 1.9 dBi. Contrary to conventional mechanical steering methods, such as moving reflector antennas with multiaxis rotary joints, the 3-D volume occupied by this antenna system does not change during beam steering. This advantage, together with its low profile, makes it a strong contender for space-limited applications where beam steering with active devices is not desirable due to cost, nonlinear distortion, limited power handling, sensitivity to temperature variations, radio frequency losses, or associated heating. This beam steering method using near-field phase transformation can also be applied to other aperture-type antennas and arrays with medium-to-high gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1690
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Aperture field
  • Fabry-Perot resonator
  • beam steering
  • cavity resonator
  • directivity enhancement
  • electromagnetic bandgap resonator antenna
  • frequency selective surface (FSS)
  • high gain
  • patch antennas
  • phase correction
  • phase transformation
  • phase-shifting surface
  • reconfigurable antenna
  • resonant cavity antenna (RCA)


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