This work describes an investigation into the performance of antennas for mobile base station applications and techniques for improving the coverage and capacity within a base station cell. The work starts by tracing the development of mobile systems, both in technical and commercial terms, from the earliest analogue systems to present day broadband systems and includes anticipated future developments. This is followed by an outline of how smart antenna systems can be utilised to improve cell coverage and capacity. A novel smart antenna system incorporating an array of slant ± 450 dual- polarised stacked patch elements four columns wide excited by a novel multi-beam forming and beam shaping network has been designed, simulated and implemented. It is found that for an ideal smart antenna array, four narrow overlapping beams, one wide “broadcast channel” beam and right and left shaped beams can be provided. Results are presented for the simulation of the smart antenna system using CST EM simulation software which inherently includes mutual coupling and the effects of a truncated ground plane on the element patterns. The results show some significant changes to the desired set of coverage patterns and various mutual coupling compensation techniques have been reviewed. An improved design technique has been developed for compensating the performance degrading effects of mutual coupling and finite ground plane dimensions in microstrip antenna arrays. The improved technique utilises combination of two previously known techniques: complex excitation weights compensation by inversion of the array mutual coupling scattering matrix and the incorporation of a WAIM (wide angle impedance matching) sheet. The technique has been applied to a novel multi-beam smart antenna array to demonstrate the efficacy of the technique by electromagnetic simulation. In addition, a demonstrator array has been constructed and tested which has yielded a positive conformation of the simulation results. For the developed demonstrator array which provides seven different beams, beams “footprints” have been predicted both for free space propagation and for urban propagation to evaluate the dynamic capacity performance of the smart antenna in a 3G mobile network. The results indicate that sector capacity can be dynamically tailored to user demand profiles by selection of the appropriate beam patterns provided by the novel smart antenna system.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 16 Feb 2012|